Your Car as Bail Bond Collateral? Here Are the Risks

In North Carolina, one of the most popular types of collateral any bail bond agency agrees to take is a car. In case of seizure, a motor vehicle is relatively easy to sell because there is usually a demand for it. A bail bond agency has different buyers to consider, including auto dealerships and private individuals.

As its owner, though, do not expect things to go smooth sailing all the time if you use a car to secure a bail bond. Despite its indisputable utility, your vehicle may not necessarily solve your problems and help save your loved one from incarceration before the trial.

Below are the risks involved when using a car as bail bond collateral.

It May Not Be Accepted

First, a bail bondsman may reject your car outright if it still under an auto loan. Its title should be clean, for another party has a lien on it. In other words, if your loved one leaves town, a bail bond agency cannot resell it to recoup its financial loss.

What you can do, though, is to use a different vehicle to meet a bail bondsman’s requirements. Aside from a car, you may be allowed to utilize a motorcycle, trailer or a recreational vehicle as collateral. Of course, you should not owe anything on the vehicle to be rendered acceptable.

It May Not Be Enough

Motor vehicles are not cheap, but they are depreciating assets. They rarely increase in value over time. A new car can lose about 10% of its worth as you leave the lot. After a year, about 20% of its value is usually gone. After year three, it may cost less than 60% of the amount you paid to buy it.

close-up jail prison cellblock row black and white

Since you need to finish paying off your auto loan before you can use a car as collateral, its worth can drop over $3,000 at the time of your consultation with a bail bondsman in Rowan County. If the bail amount is too high, you may need another item as a security for the bail bond.

To avoid undervaluing your vehicle, get it checked by a qualified mechanic to show the bail bondsman that it is not hiding any problem. Produce a copy of its service record and vehicle history report as supporting documents.

It May Be Held by the Bail Bondsman

Many bail bondsmen act like title lenders and do not take the vehicle for safekeeping, but some do require the keys to be handed over. If it is your only means for transportation, commuting between home and work will become a lot inconvenient.

If you are allowed to use your car as your loved one’s get out of jail free card, do everything to win the trust of the bail bond agency. It may observe a more lenient policy to more reliable clients. You can present a statement of creditworthiness as a testimony to your integrity.

A car is only one of the many types of collateral you can use as security for a bail bond. Consult a bail bond agency urgently to learn about your options.

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