If you want to help a friend get out of jail, you can do so by talking to a bail bond agent. A bail bond agent will pay your friend's bail for them in exchange for a few things. One thing you must offer is cash for the fee. If you do not have cash, you can use collateral. If you plan on using collateral for the bail fees, there are several things you should know. Here are three vital things to know before you complete the deal.

Why You Need Collateral

When you want to use a bail bond agent's services, they will charge a fee. They offer to pay a person's bail in exchange for the fee and a contract. The contract states that the defendant will go to court for hearings and abide by all the other rules they set in place. Paying the fee is the only way a bond agent will assist with the release of your friend. If you cannot pay the fee with cash, the agency might accept collateral.

The Types You Can Use

Collateral is valuable items that you own. You must be willing to surrender these items in exchange for the services. When you offer collateral, you are not giving the items away. You are loaning them to the bail bond agent for a period of time. You can get them back in the future. If you are not sure what you can use for collateral, ask the bail bond agent. Most agents accept any items that have value. For example, you can give them a car title or sign off rights to your home's deed. You can use electronics, jewelry, or firearms as well as a variety of other things.

How to Get It Back

If you want to get the items back, you will have to wait until your friend completes their court case. When the court settles the matter with your friend, they will notify the bail bond agency. The agency will give you back the collateral you provided at that time. However, you will likely have to pay the cash fee to get these items. You can ask the agent how this works to learn more.

Learning these things before you bail someone out of jail is essential. If you have questions about bail or collateral, talk to a local bail bond agent that offers 24-hour services.