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The Foreclosure Crisis has Made it More Difficult to Post Bail

Karen Anne

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The foreclosure crisis has placed house owners in debt, ruined their credit ratings, decimated property values across the nation and also made it more difficult to post bail. The defendants are facing hurdles to get bail by offering residences as collateral.

For many decades the residential house was the final tool to enable a family member “get out of jail”. It was offered as security for those expected to pay bail so that they are free before or during a trial. But since the past few years prices of property have tumbled by over 30% across the country and by over 50% in the markets that have been hardest hit – regions in Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

Those defendants who have been charged with non-violent crimes are generally granted bail and usually returned to their respective homes after being locked up for a day or two. But things turned out to be different for Daniel Romero.

He was arrested after being charged with felony, grand theft as well as conspiracy aspiring to defraud; he was kept behind bars for 6 weeks. Then his in-laws offered their San Diego residence as security or collateral for bail. But it was underwater – the loan due amount was more than the value of the house.

It resulted in nearly one dozen agents for bail-bond refuse to take up the case of Romero. In the end a friend of the family persuaded the owner of Bail Bond Professionals of Tustin in California, Jason Meyerson, to take up the matter.

For a bail amounting to $300,000 Meyerson accepted a fee of $24,000 ($7,500 being upfront and $375 per month for running five months) in lieu of full payment at the beginning and collateral of a high value. If the friend had not helped Romero would not have got out of jail. He has however been found guilty and would be facing sentence soon.

At the end of the last quarter 2010, about 23% of the residences with mortgages had gone underwater. In Nevada, Arizona and California the proportion was 68%, 50% and 33% respectively. Worried about the tilt in the wrong direction the bond agents are refusing to accept as bail residences situated in the weak market zones.

A. J. Pontillo of A. J’s Bail Bonds in Modesto (California) said, “I’ve got better luck winning the lottery than I would finding someone with a home up for collateral that actually has value to it”.

Karen Anne, has been working on studying the foreclosures market, helping buyers on the finer points of foreclosures . Try to visit and search foreclosures for sale .


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