As of 2017, there were over 10 million illegal immigrants in the United States. However, this number is very difficult to accurately calculate as most illegal aliens do not report themselves for obvious reasons.
If you or one of your loved ones finds themselves in an immigration detention center for either emigrating illegally or breaking their visa rules, you should be aware of the bonds process.
Just like bonds and bail in jail, an immigrant in a detention center may use a bondsman to help them get out of the center. The bond allows the individual to return to their home in the United States.f The bail or bond is a guarantee that they will attend all future hearings related to their case.
Bonds can be expensive, and bond companies know not everyone has liquid assets to hand. As such, some of them will take collateral in place of cash.
In this post, we’ll discuss what collateral you or your loved one can use in place of cash in order to help make this difficult time easier. Read on for more information.
What is Collateral?
Before we get into what types of collateral you can use in an immigration bond, let’s discuss what collateral is. Knowing what it is can help you make a better-informed decision of what to put up as collateral for your loved one.
By definition, collateral is something valuable you give in order to obtain a loan. A bond, at its core, is a loan that allows you or your loved one to exit the detention facility. As such, you cannot get a loan without having something “on the line.”
If you or your loved one does not abide by the conditions set forth by the immigration court as it pertains to their bond, you will forfeit the collateral. If the collateral you give is cash and the person does not abide by the guidelines given, you forfeit the cash. If the collateral is something else, you will forfeit the ownership of that item.
The collateral a bondsman will ask for will depend on how much the individual’s bond is. A smaller bond will require collateral of much lesser value than a larger bond.
If you or your loved one does abide by the rules set forth by immigration court as it pertains to the case, or the charges are dropped, the collateral will be returned.
A bondsman may state that the collateral needs to be a certain value in order to accept it.
There Are 4 Main Types of Collateral a Bondsman has used in the past
This list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of what you may use. You can use the collateral at some bond agencies, providing you cannot pay the bond fee with cash. If you have these high-value items to hand, they may be used as a substitute.
Jewelry can sometimes be used as collateral, depending on the value of the jewelry and the bond amount. Before handing over the jewelry as collateral, you may need it appraised at a reputable jeweler. This individual can then communicate with the agency how much the jewelry is worth.
Similarly, if you have loose diamonds or gemstones, gold or silver or other precious metals, they may also be used as collateral.
This can often be handed over while the rest of the case plays out.
A vehicle can be the most expensive asset that most people own if they do not own property. As such, it is often accepted as a form of collateral. Often, this will mean giving the bondsman the title to your car during the case. You will still be able to use your car if you’ve given it as collateral, but you will have to forfeit ownership if the guidelines of your bond are not carried out.
Another valuable asset many people own is typically property. Like a car, this can be used as collateral for cases where the bond is more expensive.
As with a car, you can still continue to live in the house during the case but you will give the deed or pink slip to the agency for the duration of the matter. If you or your loved one does not abide by the rules set forth by the bond, the agency will then own your property. This is often in the form of seizing your home and then selling it.
Because this is such a risky move, this is often the last resort. However, it is also one of the most common forms of bond or bail collateral.
If you having an investment account or savings account (or in some cases, a stock portfolio), you can also use that as collateral for a bond. Depending on the offense and the value of the bond or what is owed to the court, the bondsman may state that the assets need to be worth a certain amount in order to be used for the case.
As with other forms of collateral, if you or your loved one fails to meet the rules set forth by the court, the agency will then own these investment accounts or savings accounts.
Other Types of Collateral
The aforementioned collateral types are not the only ones that a bondsman have accepted in the past. Other commonly accepted are items like instruments, electronic equipment, expensive artwork or other high-value items.
But, unfortunately, times have changed and due to the fact that many defendants fail to go back to their immigration hearings, the type of collateral accepted for immigration bail bonds has changed. As of 2020, one hundred percent of the immigration bond must be collateralize in the only forms of: real property, cash, or credit card.
Because many individuals do not end up abiding by the full guidelines set up by the court, it is important that you are very careful about what to put up for collateral.
Do you need an immigration bond? If so, give us a call today. We are open 24 hours a day for your convenience.