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Replevin Bond

What Is a Surety Bond in Court (or Replevin Surety Bond)?

Surety Bond in Court

America has over 1.3 million lawyers, which helps explain why some critics call it an overly litigious country. However, regardless of whether there are too many lawsuits, it's important that all of them proceed fairly. A replevin bond (also known as a court surety bond) is a type of court/judicial surety bond intended to resolve potential conflicts within judicial proceedings.

A court may require replevin bonds in cases when a plaintiff sues to recover property that he/she feels the defendant is holding illegally. In the event that the court orders the defendant to return the property to the plaintiff before issuing a final judgment on the case, they may require the plaintiff to take out a replevin surety bond as a condition of the returned property. The replevin bond's purpose is to guarantee that the plaintiff will return the property to the defendant if the case is ruled in the defendant's favor.

What is a Replevin Bond?

This is one type of surety bond that falls under the broader classification of court bonds. Surety bond requirements are common throughout the justice system, particularly in civil proceedings when property is under dispute. Replevin bonds are a way to move the wheels of justice forward while protecting against risk along the way.

But how does a replevin bond work? In the simplest terms possible, a replevin bond holds someone financially responsible when they will not return property they don't own. Judges will require a plaintiff to get one of these bonds before awarding them possession of property under dispute. However, if the court later determines that the defendant is the rightful owner of the property and the plaintiff refuses to return it, the replevin bond provides a way for the defendant to seek damages – and receive guaranteed payment.

Example of a Replevin Bond in Action

Consider this example: You fill a storage locker full of stuff but then fall behind on the rent. The owner of the storage locker takes possession of your things and you decide to sue him to get them back. If the court allows, you can obtain a replevin bond in order to get your stuff back before settling the lawsuit. If it settles in your favor, you keep your things. However, if the storage owner wins a legal right to your property and you refuse to return it, the owner can file a claim for compensation against the replevin bond.

Who Are the Parties Involved in a Replevin Bond?

Replevin bonds involve three parties.

  • The principal is the plaintiff taking a replevin action, and guaranteeing that they will return the property to the defendant if the case is ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant. You are most likely the plaintiff, and you are responsible for either turning over property, paying the claims, or paying back the surety company.
  • The obligee is the beneficiary party who requires the bond. In this case, the court will require the bond to benefit the defendant, making them the obligee. As the obligee, the defendant has the right to file claims for damages, which takes the form of compensation equal to the value of the property that the principal refuses to return.
  • The surety underwrites and issues the bond. As the underwriter, the surety agrees to pay the obligee if the principal is unable or unwilling to pay. At this point, even though the obligee has received payment, the surety will still attempt to collect the amount of the claim from the principal.

When Do I Need a Replevin Bond?

During a replevin action, the court may require the defendant to return the property under dispute to the plaintiff prior to judgment on the case. In order to recoup the property in the middle of an active case, the plaintiff may be required by the court to get a replevin surety bond. If you are involved in a legal dispute over property, an official from the court will inform you when you need a bond and in what amount. For most people, this is the first time they have ever needed a replevin bond, so there are likely to be a lot of questions. Contact the team at Viking Bond Service as soon as you know you need a bond to get guidance and advice.

Why Do I Need a Replevin Bond?

Courts require replevin bonds when temporarily awarding possession of property to a plaintiff during the course of a lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims ownership of property from the defendant. The replevin bond exists to guarantee that if the judge rules in favor of the defendant, who has been harmed by the temporary seizure of the property by the plaintiff, they can seek restitution. At the same time, replevin surety bonds are a tool to hold the plaintiff who refuses to return the property responsible for their defiance of court orders. To that extent, replevin bonds create an incentive for plaintiffs to follow the court's orders and relinquish property as required.

Benefits for the Obligees:

In the event that the defendant incurred a loss due to the plaintiff claiming possession of property during a replevin suit, the defendant can make a claim on the replevin bond for damages. After awarding money to the defendant, the surety will then seek restitution from the plaintiff.

Benefits for the Principal

Even though you, the principal, must pay to obtain bonds and may also have to pay for claims, the bond arrangement benefits you too. Without a bond, you would have to wait until after the lawsuit settlement to get your property back. Replevin bonds give the courts and the defendants the confidence to give you back your property early since they know you are more likely to return that property if required.

How Much Are Replevin Bonds Written for?

Replevin bond amounts vary case to case, and are based on the value of the property being disputed. The court will usually determine the required bond amount. In many cases replevin surety bonds are written for up to one and a half times the value of the property under dispute.

How Much Do Replevin Bonds Cost?

The cost of a replevin bond varies based on your financial information, such as credit and financial statements. Usually the cost of a replevin bond is between 1% and 3% of the total bond amount, and the surety will require collateral equal to the value of the bond. The three most common forms of collateral include:

  • Irrevocable lines of credit
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Fixed assets (like property)

How Are Claims Handled for Replevin Bonds?

Defendants who are entitled to property that the plaintiff has not returned can file a claim with the surety that issued the bond in replevin. Investigators from the surety will look into the claim, verify that everything is valid, then compensate the obligee for the value of their claim (up to the total value of the bond).

On the other hand, if the investigation questions the validity of the claim, the surety will not offer a settlement. The surety agrees to guarantee payment for all valid claims, but they do not agree to accept the final financial responsibility. That falls to the principal, who must pay the surety back for any and all claims it chooses to compensate.

How to Apply for a Replevin Bond?

Requirements for replevin bonds vary. Below are some items that are commonly necessary to secure the surety bond:

  • The court bond application, which includes the scope of the bond, and information on the principal.
  • The requirement document that specifies the bond that the court requires.
  • Court documentation that details information on the case that the surety can use to estimate the principal's chance of prevailing in the suit.
  • Financial statements: Personal financial statements in the case of an individual principal. Businesses need to produce business financial statements such as a balance sheet and income statement, as well as personal financial statements for each owner of the business.
  • Bank statements that verify assets outlined in personal/business financial statements.
  • Collateral: Usually 100% of the total bond amount

Requirements for replevin bonds vary. Contact Viking Bond Service and we can help you understand what you need to secure your bond.

Other Types of Replevin Bonds:

Counter Replevin Bonds

Counter replevin bonds are replevin bonds taken out by the defendant, instead of the plaintiff, in order to hold on to property while the case is ongoing instead of surrendering it to the plaintiff. In this case, the defendant is the principal, while the plaintiff is the obligee. Counter replevin bonds carry similar costs and application processes to standard replevin bonds, and also require collateral equal to the full value of the bond amount.

Sequestration Bond

A sequestration bond works in a similar fashion to a standard replevin bond, with the added ability to empower a sheriff or marshal to seize property under dispute in order to prevent the defendant from selling it or sending the property outside of the court's jurisdiction.

If you need either a counter replevin bond, a sequestration bond, a different kind of court bond, or another type of surety bond entirely, rely on Viking Bond Service to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Get Your Replevin Bond Fast from Viking Bond Service

Viking Bond Service can provide a replevin bond or a surety bond in court to applicants in all 50 states. The application process is simple, the approval process is fast, and the premium price is as low as possible. Don't let defendants hold onto your property, and don't partner with the wrong surety company either. Choose Viking Bond Service instead. If you have questions about anything at any time, please call us at 1-888-2-SURETY (1-888-278-7389), or fill out the contact form on this page. If you have enough information already, complete our online application at your convenience.

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