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TYPES OF SURETY BOND COLLATERAL

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WHAT IS A COLLATERAL?

A collateral refers to a security deposit the Principal (bond applicant) provides to the Surety (Bond Company) to be approved and issued a bond that is rather difficult to achieve. The collateral aims to reduce the surety’s risk and exposure and makes supporting the bond more favorable.


WHAT IS A COLLATERAL? When requiring collateral, the surety will consider the following:

ACCEPTABLE TYPE OF COLLATERAL

REQUIRED COLLATERAL AMOUNT

TIME OF RELEASE OF COLLATERAL

FORM OF PROTECTION FOR THE COLLATERAL


WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF COLLATERAL? There are several types of collateral that sureties may accept. Here are the most common forms:

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IRREVOCABLE LETTERS OF CREDIT (ILOC) Considered to be the safest form of collateral, these letters are often issued by a commercial bank. ILOC, also called as Standby Letter of Credit, are awarded based on the financial

standing of the bond applicant. These letters serve as a private contract between the bank and the surety, with the surety acting as the beneficiary. Most types of collateral accepted by the surety (except ILOC) are subject to the rules of the bankruptcy courts. Under Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code, most transfers or payments are made “on or within 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition� and may be recalled for the benefit of the bankruptcy creditors.


WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF COLLATERAL? There are several types of collateral that sureties may accept. Here are the most common forms:

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CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (CD) A Certificate of Deposit is used as a short- or long-term investment. Local banks may provide Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured CDs with higher

return rates than other investment options. With this collateral, the bank retains money for a specific length of time with the guarantee to repay the surety and interest to the depositor at the end of the investment term. The CD account’s aggregate limit must not exceed the coverage provided by FDIC to ensure that the failure of the bank does not reduce the collateral below the required limit.


WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF COLLATERAL? There are several types of collateral that sureties may accept. Here are the most common forms:

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FIXED ASSETS Fixed assets, such as real property, can be a form of collateral if they undergo professional appraisal, has adequate insurance, and free of encumbrances.


DOCUMENTS FOR COLLATERAL

Are there any other documents required for the collateral?

Sureties may require collateral receipts that hold the principal’s name if, and when, collateral will be returned. Sureties also may call for a pledge agreement, in addition to a general indemnity agreement, to secure repayment of a debt or obligation.

A general indemnity agreement indicates that the surety is provided with acceptable evidence that it has been released from all liability under its bonds and that the surety will have sole decision-making discretion. General indemnity agreements, collateral receipts, and pledge agreements contain specific conditions for the release of collateral.


RELEASE OF COLLATERAL When is the release of collateral? Sureties will not release the collateral until they are cleared of all bond obligations. This is often a subject of disagreement between the principal and the surety as to when it is the right time to release the collateral.

In construction or fiduciary/probate duties, sureties will not partially release half of the collateral even if half of the job is finished. The job and obligation should be completed at all costs and must meet the conditions specified in the bond contract. To avoid risks and for security purposes, sureties will hold the entire collateral until the end. “The End� is not at the end of every project or court-appointed obligation as the principal may assume. For example, in construction, there is a maintenance bond where the surety may require that

collateral be held until the maintenance period has concluded. The surety is equally obligated for the duration of the lien period, which can run for 90 days after work completion.


RELEASE OF COLLATERAL Here are some scenarios where sureties are unwilling to issue surety credit to principal unless they receive a collateral supporting the bond application/request:

Onerous bond conditions

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Unsatisfactory financial strength and capacity of the principal

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Unsupportable underlying obligations

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Obligation period is too long

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No bond cancellation provisions

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WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CHANGE SURETIES?

Concluding a collateral relationship can prove difficult, particularly if a series of bonds (like bid, performance or payment bonds) have already been issued. It is easier to use collateral funds with the old surety than move to a new non-collateral surety. Even if the principal starts receiving bonds from a new bond provider, the collateral will remain in place until bond obligations are exonerated. Though more beneficial conditions are available, this can be a deterrent and may impact your surety relationship in the long run.


IMPORTANCE OF COLLATERAL

For riskier bonds, the sureties will often require collateral. Collateral is regarded as a “last resort” payment or credit, and you may want to avoid it. But if it’s not a burden, then it may be necessary to secure collateral in some cases. For instance, you may have a weak business financial statement, but you have other financial resources. Surety underwriters may look into the case if the collateral requirement makes it impossible or problematic for the principal to work on a project or perform contractual or court-appointed obligations.

Types of Surety Bond Collateral  

What role does collateral play in surety bonds? In this publication, we take a look at the types of collateral that sureties may accept, the...

Types of Surety Bond Collateral  

What role does collateral play in surety bonds? In this publication, we take a look at the types of collateral that sureties may accept, the...

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