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What is the difference between a secured and an unsecured bail bond?

A secured bail bond is one where the bail agent takes something for collateral from a family member or friend, or sometimes from the person in jail.

Most bail agents, to indemnify themselves from any loses, will require co-signers on most of the bonds they execute, and often will take car titles or a mortgage on real property. Remember that if the person who is out on bond does not appear in court at appointed times, or “skips,” the bondsman will have to pay the court the full amount of the bail. With larger bonds, it is in the bondsman's best interest to have collateral from the signer.