1 something clearly established
2 property that your creditor can claim in case you default on your obligation; "bankers are reluctant to lend without good security" [syn: security]
3 a prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms [syn: hostage]
5 a guarantee that an obligation will be met [syn: security]
A surety is a person who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another. Additionally, the situation in which a surety is most typically required is when the ability of the primary obligor or principal to perform its obligations under a contract is in question, or when there is some public or private interest which requires protection from the consequences of the principal's default or delinquency. In most common law jurisdictions, a contract of suretyship is subject to the statute of frauds (or its equivalent local laws) and is only enforceable if recorded in writing and signed by the surety and the principal.
If the surety is required to pay or perform due to the principal's failure to do so, the law will usually give the surety a right of subrogation, allowing the surety to "step into the shoes of" the principal and use his contractual rights to recover the cost of making payment or performing on the principal's behalf, even in the absence of an express agreement to that effect between the surety and the principal.
The act of becoming a surety is also called a guarantee. Traditionally a guarantee was distinguished from a surety in that the surety's liability was joint and primary with the principal, whereas the guaranty's liability was ancillary and derivative, but many jurisdictions have abolished this distinction.
In the United States, under Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, a person who signs a negotiable instrument as a surety is termed an accommodation party; such a party may be able to assert defenses to the enforcement of an instrument not available to the maker of the instrument.
surety in German: Bürgschaft
surety in Swedish: garant
surety in Turkish: Kefalet
- The Surety & Fidelity Association of America - An association with databases for surety bond forms and risk analysis.
- Surety Bond Articles - From general to specific surety bond information.
- The National Association of Surety Bond Producers - NASBP is the association of and resource for surety bond producers.
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