What can you use as collateral for a bond?

If a loved one has been arrested recently, you might be wondering what can be used as collateral for a bond in California. 

Bail bonds are necessary when someone who has been arrested cannot afford the full bail amount. However, bail isn’t free. You will be required to pay the bail fee, otherwise known as a premium. This is a percentage of the bail amount, and you do not get this fee back.

On top of the premium, collateral may be required. Collateral should be returned after the hearing, but it could be seized if the arrestee skips out on bail. Because of this, it’s important to consider your collateral options carefully. This is especially true if you do not fully trust the person requiring bail. 

Here are a few different options for bail bond collateral:


If you own a vehicle, this might be the simplest form of collateral to offer up. But be careful. If the arrestee fails to make their court appearances, the vehicle could be seized. If this is your only form of transportation, that could create some problems. While you should be allowed to continue using the vehicle while it’s being used as a collateral, this definitely won’t be the case if it’s forfeited. 

If you have a second vehicle or another form of transportation (like a boat or camper), that would be ideal.

Keep Reading: How to find a bail bond company near me


If you have any savings, bonds, stocks, or other forms of investments, you can use it as collateral for a bond. However, it’s important to remember that these items could be tied up for quite some time. Because of this, you may want to consider another form of collateral before you offer up your life’s savings. 

Real Estate

Houses, land, and other buildings can be used as collateral for a bond (including any built-up equity). Other (less common) versions of real estate (such as livestock and crops) are also considered as a form of collateral. 

Jewelry and Other Valuables

Whether it’s a diamond ring or a ruby necklace, jewelry is an acceptable form of collateral. This also includes any gold, silver, or precious metals. 

These valuables can be combined with other personal items (such as computers, gaming systems, antiques, and even firearms) to account for the full value of the collateral.

In most cases, a 3rd party appraiser will be required in order to assess the value of these items (and possibly the proper storage of these items, as well).

Keep Reading: What is a bail bond agent?

Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds Today

Need help making bail? Give us a call at 661.324.6009 or fill out our online form to get immediate help. We are available 24/7 to help you or your loved ones make bail and identify possible forms of bond collateral.