How Does a Replevin Bond Work?

Legal Services

The number of lawyers in American continues to grow every year. According to research from the American Bar Association, that number grew by 15% between 2008 and 2018, bringing the total number of lawyers above the 1.3 million mark. Many of these lawyers work in civil litigation – when one party seeks a financial settlement from another party for a perceived wrong. As part of this type of litigation, the courts may require the plaintiff to obtain a replevin bond. It’s a small but important part of the process. Use this quick overview to learn everything you need to know.

What is a Replevin Bond?

The easiest way to understand a replevin bond is with an example. Imagine a former landlord has seized some of your property to hold until you pay back rent, but you believe your rent bill is paid and you have a lawful right to your possessions. If you decide to take the landlord to court to get your things returned, you may be able to get access to them before the litigation is settled – as long as you have a replevin bond. The bond ensures that if you lose the case and don’t give your property back to the landlord, that person can file a claim against the bond seeking the financial compensation owed to him or her. Essentially, the bond works as a financial guarantee for the landlord (or whoever the defendant is). That person feels more comfortable returning your property knowing they are guaranteed to get whatever amount the court orders even if the defendant refuses to take responsibility.

How Does a Replevin Bond Work?

The plaintiff in the civil litigation needs to obtain a bond before the defendant returns personal property. If the defendant wins the case and the plaintiff refuses to pay the amount prescribed by the court or turn over property worth that same amount, the defendant can file a claim against the bond. At that point, the surety company (the company that issued the bond) will investigate the claim, using legal professionals and proceedings as necessary. If the claim proves valid and the plaintiff (known as the principal in a bond agreement) still refuses to pay, the surety agrees to settle the claim. That’s not the end of the process, though. The principal still has to pay the surety back whatever amount it settled for along with interest and fees. Even though the surety agrees to settle claims, the principal always has the final financial responsibility.

How Much Does a Replevin Bond Cost?

The depends on the value of the bond, which is set by the court. Though it varies by state and case, replevin bonds are typically twice the value of the property under dispute. So it you’re seeking the return of a $1,000 laptop, the corresponding bond will be valued at $2,000. However, the actual cost of the bond is only around 5% of that, or $100. The surety might also require the bond holder to put up collateral. Depending on the length of the litigation, replevin bonds may need to be renewed, in which case the bond holder pays the premium again. There’s also the cost of claims to factor in, but as long as the bond holder abides by the mandates of the court, claims are unlikely.

Who Needs a Replevin Bond?

That’s up to the courts. They will make the final determination when or if someone requires a bond. That being said, most litigation involving replevin – meaning the return of specific pieces of property rather than an equivalent monetary amount – will involve a replevin bond as well. Bonds provide peace of mind for the person turning over the property, and they help the courts keep disputes from growing more contentious. Therefore, if you need a bond, you will probably be well aware. At that point, find a trusted surety to work with ASAP. You can’t get your property back until you can prove you have an active bond that meets the court’s conditions. It does you no good to wait.

How to Obtain a Replevin Bond

The first and most important step is finding a surety company to partner with. You want one that keeps premiums as low as possible, makes service a true priority, and knows how to make the bonding process fast, easy, and painless. As long as you pick the right surety from the start, everything after goes a lot easier. The next step is submitting your bond application, which will ask for information about your finances, business interests, and background, as well as a copy of the court order mandating the bond. You may also need to submit additional documentation as required by the surety, particularly if collateral is involved. Finally, underwriters will use the information you submitted to quote you a price for the bond premium. The bond is active once the premium is paid, after which you will provide proof to the court and hopefully get your property returned shortly.

Viking Bond Service – Online Bond Specialists

When you need to get a bond – a replevin bond or most other kinds of surety bonds – work with Viking Bond Service the first time and every time. We are committed to making every part of the process easy and accommodating, so feel free to contact our team with all your questions and information requests. Or, fill out a simple online application and plan to get a quote in under 48 hours.

Author: Lynn Macci

In my role as Sr. Commercial/Court Specialist, I have been in the industry for 30 years in multiple Surety capacities. I have worked with many Sureties and have experience in a vast variety of Commercial and Court/Probate cases. I've entertained these types of bonds nationwide. I have a significant background and involvement in business development and Surety knowledge.