What Collateral is Required for a Bail Bond in New York City?

While a bail bond's fee is set according to a legal schedule, there is no law establishing a specific collateral requirement. Instead, the amount of collateral required is at the discretion of the bond agent and the judge.

A bail bond must be approved by a judge to secure the release of the defendant. The judge will review the amount of collateral posted by the indemnitor (the person purchasing the bond), and can reject the bond if they feel the collateral posted is insufficient.

Sample invoice showing fee and collateral for bail bond

A sample invoice showing $500 in required collateral (click image to open high resolution version).

In some cases, judges will require that the collateral posted equal at least 10% of the face value of the bond. If collateral takes the form of real estate or property (such as a car), the judge may require its value to equal 100% of the bond value.

Because a bond secured with less may be rejected, 10% is Betterbail's standard estimated collateral rate. However, agents often waive this requirement for clients with $50,000 or more in annual income. We are committed to finding you agents that require only what they think necessary to ensure the bond's acceptance by the judge.

The collateral is refunded at the conclusion of the case if the defendant has made all appearances and has - along with the indemnitor - obeyed all conditions of the bond agreement.