2015 Georgia Code
Title 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
Chapter 9 - REPORTING ACCIDENTS; GIVING PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Article 2 - REPORTING ACCIDENTS; GIVING SECURITY FOR DAMAGES
§ 40-9-38 - Surety bonds and real property bonds as security; requirements; cancellations; liens; actions on bonds; reduction or increase of security; erroneous information
(a) Security under this chapter may also be provided for by a surety bond executed by the person and by a surety company duly authorized to transact business in this state or by the person giving proof of his ownership of real property and by one or more individual sureties owning real property within this state and having an equity therein in at least the amount of the bond. The commissioner may not accept any real property bond unless the real property is scheduled in an affidavit attached thereto setting forth a description of such property and the title thereto, including any liens and encumbrances and amounts thereof, market value and value of such sureties' interest therein, executed by the owner or owners of such interest, and such bond and affidavit shows thereon that a duplicate original of such bond and affidavit has been recorded in the office of the clerk of the superior court where deeds are admitted to record in the county where the real property is located. The clerk shall provide a separate book for such purpose. The bond shall be approved by the clerk in the same manner as a supersedeas bond is approved. The fee of the clerk for recording and approving such affidavit and bond shall be $2.50.
(b) The commissioner shall not accept any such bond unless it is conditioned for payments in amounts requested by the commissioner, subject to the maximum amounts of security as specified under this chapter.
(c) No such bond shall be canceled unless 20 days' prior written notice of cancellation is given the commissioner, and cancellation of the bond shall not prevent recovery thereon with respect to any cause of action which necessitated the filing of such bond.
(d) A bond with individual sureties shall constitute a lien upon the real property of the principal and any individual surety in favor of the Governor of Georgia for the use of any holder of any final judgment arising out of the cause of action which necessitated the filing of the bond, against the principal on account of damage to property or injury to or death of any person or persons, upon the recording of the bond in the office of the clerk of the court where deeds are admitted to record in the county where the real property is located.
(e) When a bond with individual sureties filed with the commissioner is no longer required under this chapter, the commissioner shall, upon request, cancel it as to liability for damage to property or injury to or death of any person or persons; and, when a bond has been canceled by the commissioner, he shall, upon request, furnish a certificate of cancellation with the seal of the department thereon. The certificate, notwithstanding any other provision of law, may be recorded in the office of the clerk of the court in which the bond was admitted to record.
(f) When the certificate of cancellation with the seal of the department thereon has been filed in the office of the clerk of the superior court in which the bond was admitted to record, and when there are no claims or judgments against the principal in the bond on account of damage to property or injury to or death of any person or persons resulting from the ownership or operation of a motor vehicle by the principal arising out of the cause of action which necessitated the filing of the bond, the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the bond was admitted to record shall thereupon record the certificate of cancellation, which shall discharge the lien of the bond on the real property of the sureties. The cost of such recording shall be upon such sureties.
(g) If a final judgment rendered against the principal on the bond filed with the commissioner is not satisfied within 30 days after its rendition, the judgment creditor may, for his own use and benefit and at his sole expense, bring an action on the bond in the name of the state against the company or persons issuing the bond.
(h) When the sureties on the bond are individuals, the judgment creditor may proceed against any or all parties to the bond at law for a judgment or in equity for a decree and foreclosure of the lien on the real property of the sureties. The proceeding whether at law or in equity may be against one, all, or any intermediate number of parties to the bond; and, when less than all are joined, another or others may be impleaded in the same proceeding; and, after final judgment or decree, other proceedings may be instituted until full satisfaction is obtained.
(i) The department may, upon written notice to all parties involved, reduce or increase the amount of security ordered in any case within six months after the date of the accident if in its judgment the amount ordered is excessive or inadequate. In case the security originally ordered has been deposited, the excess deposit over the reduced amount ordered shall be returned to the depositor or his personal representative.
(j) Whenever erroneous information is given the department with respect to the matters set forth in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of Code Section 40-9-34, the department shall take appropriate action as provided in Code Section 40-9-32 after receipt of correct information with respect to such matters.
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