We recently had our client released on a $350K secured bond without the use of a bondsman! Secured surety bonds have not been widely used to secure a defendant’s release, but with New York’s new bail laws judges are setting three forms of bail and secured bonds are now often one of them.
Pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 510.10(17), “secured bail bond” means a bail bond secured by either:
“ (a) Personal property which is not exempt from execution and which, over and above all liabilities and encumbrances, has a value equal to or greater than the total amount of the undertaking; or
(b) Real property having a value of at least twice the total amount of the undertaking.”
If your loved one is a defendant in a New York criminal case and has had bail set by secured bond here are the steps our office takes to secure their release:
- Identify real property (a house, apartment, land or real estate) that has twice the amount of equity in it than the bond amount. If the bond amount is suppose to be $350K, you need to find a house with $700K in equity. In our recent case the family put up a home worth $1.4MM that had a $544K loan, leaving it with $856K in equity, far more than what the law requires.
- In order to establish the property value you need to obtain an official appraisal report of the home conducted by a licensed appraiser. The average cost of an appraisal is around $750.
- Obtain a title and lien search on the property ensuring there are no other liens or encumbrances reducing the equity amount. A lien search from a title company will cost around $200.
- If there is a mortgage on the property we will need to obtain what is called a “pay-off letter” from your lender indicating the present balance of the loan.
Finally, a series of court forms will need to be signed by the homeowners and the defendant, including an Affidavit of Confession of Judgment and a Judgment by Confession.
The homeowners will have to be present in court and go on the record and under oath before the judge swearing that they understand the risk they are taking and that they are willing to incur the risk of losing the value of the bond amount if the defendant jumps bail.
If there is a property with enough equity, a secured bond will be a family’s best option to secure the release of their loved one. All of this can be achieved without paying additional fees or premiums to a bondsman.