When you take out a bail bond, you generally have to put up some form of collateral for the full bail amount that the bond company will use to secure your freedom. If you don't have enough cash for the collateral, there are a variety of different items most bail bond agencies will accept instead. 

Bank Account Balance

If you don't have the full bail amount in cash, you can offer up the money in your bank account. You will have to fill out authorization forms in many states that will allow a bail agent to run a debit card to pull money out of your bank account for your bail.

Credit Card Balance

You can use the available balance on your credit card to pay your bail amount in some states. The bail agency would run your credit card just like any other retailer would, and you will have to pay off your balance to your credit card just like any other balance.

Real Estate

Another popular form of collateral is real estate. If you own a home or a commercial building, or even an empty piece of land that has any value to you, it can be used as collateral. You will essentially agree that the bail company can sell your property if you don't honor the terms of your bail agreement. The real estate you use for collateral doesn't have to be your own; it can be that of a friend or family member who offers you their real estate holdings. If a friend or family member offers their real estate as collateral, they will have to fill out forms with the bail agency authorizing this.


Another type of standard collateral for bail bonds is vehicles. You don't have to give up your vehicle; instead, you will give the bail agency the title to your vehicle. They will hold the title until your case is complete. If you don't show up in court and your bail is revoked, they can seize your vehicle as they hold the title and sell your vehicle to settle your obligation.

Valuable Items

Many bail bond brokers will accept a variety of items that you could potentially pawn and have value. Examples of items include things such as electronics, antique furniture, collectibles, and jewelry. In this case, they will need to hold the items in their possession as collateral, and they may have to get the value of the items certified by an outside party.

What type of collateral is acceptable in this situation may be dependent upon bail guidelines in your state, as well as the guidelines of a particular bail agency, so be sure to contact a local bail bonds agency to see if the collateral you want to use will be accepted.