20-279.24. Bond as proof.

(a) Proof of financial responsibility may be furnished by filing with the Commissioner the bond of a surety company duly authorized to transact business in the State or a bond with at least two individual sureties each owning real estate within this State, and together having equities in such real estate over and above any encumbrances thereon equal in value to at least twice the amount of such bond, which real estate shall be scheduled in the bond which shall be approved by the clerk of the superior court of the county wherein the real estate is situated. Such bond shall be conditioned for payments in amounts and under the same circumstances as would be required in a motor vehicle liability policy, and shall not be cancellable except after 20 days' written notice to the Commissioner. A certificate of the county tax supervisor or person performing the duties of the tax supervisor, showing the assessed valuation of each tract or parcel of real estate for tax purposes shall accompany a bond with individual sureties and, upon acceptance and approval by the Commissioner, the execution of such bond shall be proved before the clerk of the superior court of the county or counties wherein the land or any part thereof lies, and such bond shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of such county or counties. Such bond shall constitute a lien upon the real estate therein described from and after filing for recordation to the same extent as in the case of ordinary mortgages and shall be regarded as the equivalent of a mortgage or deed of trust. In the event of default in the terms of the bond the Commissioner may foreclose the lien thereof by making public sale upon publishing notice thereof as provided by G.S. 45-21.17; provided, that any such sale shall be subject to the provisions for upset or increased bids and resales and the procedure therefor as set out in Part 2 of Article 2A of Chapter 45 of the General Statutes. The proceeds of such sale shall be applied by the Commissioner toward the discharge of liability upon the bond, any excess to be paid over to the surety whose property was sold. The Commissioner shall have power to so sell as much of the property of either or both sureties described in the bond as shall be deemed necessary to discharge the liability under the bond, and shall not be required to apportion or prorate the liability as between sureties.

If any surety is a married person, his or her spouse shall be required to execute the bond, but only for the purpose of releasing any dower or curtesy interest in the property described in the bond, and the signing of such bond shall constitute a conveyance of dower or curtesy interest, as well as the homestead exemption of the surety, for the purpose of the bond, and the execution of the bond shall be duly acknowledged as in the case of deeds of conveyance. The Commissioner may require a certificate of title of a duly licensed attorney which shall show all liens and encumbrances with respect to each parcel of real estate described in the bond and, if any parcel of such real estate has buildings or other improvements thereon, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, require the filing with him of a policy or policies of fire and other hazard insurance, with loss clauses payable to the Commissioner as his interest may appear. All costs and expenses in connection with furnishing such bond and the registration thereof, and the certificate of title, insurance and other necessary items of expense shall be borne by the principal obligor under the bond, except that the costs of foreclosure may be paid from the proceeds of sale.

(b) If such a judgment, rendered against the principal on such bond shall not be satisfied within 60 days after it has become final, the judgment creditor may, for his own use and benefit and at his sole expense, bring an action or actions in the name of the State against the company or persons executing such bond, including an action or proceeding to foreclose any lien that may exist upon the real estate of a person who has executed such bond. (1953, c. 1300, s. 24; 1993, c. 553, s. 10.)