guarantor – someone who makes a guaranty or gives security for a debt, either guaranteeing payment or collection if the principal debtor defaults

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1. Someone who makes a guaranty or gives security for a debt.  *  While a surety’s liability begins with that of the principal, a guarantor’s liability does not begin until the principal debtor is in default. — aka guarantor surety. Cf. SURETY (1). [1]

1. The person bound, by a contract of guaranty 24 Am J1st Guar § 2.

One who undertakes to answer for a debt, default, or miscarriage of another. [2]

1. A person who makes or gives a guaranty. [3]

     Excerpt from Fred H. Miller and Alvin C. Harrell’s The Law of Modern Payment Systems (2003):

     “A guarantor either guarantees payment or collection, depending on the words used.  ‘Payment guaranteed’ or equivalent words added to a signature mean the signer will pay the instrument if it is not paid when due without a need for the holder to resort to another party. ‘Collection guaranteed’ means resort must first be had to others. [4]

coguarantor – (1875) One of two or more guarantors for the same debt.

     Excerpt from Herschel W. Arant’s Handbook of the Law of Suretyship and Guaranty (1931):

     “Little is gained by the use of the term coguarantor, inasmuch as most of the problems that arise, where either this term or the term cosurety would be proper, involve the relations between the guarantors and sureties themselves.  The rights of cosureties and coguarantors inter se and their rights against the principal being the same, there is no advantage in attempting to suggest the form of their promise to the obligee by the use of the terms cosureties or coguarantors. [5]

guarantor of collectibility (1881) Someone who guarantees a debtor’s solvency and is under a duty to pay only if the creditor is unable to collect from the principal debtor after exhausting all legal remedies, including demand, suit, judgment, and any supplementary proceedings.

guarantor of payment (1814) Someone who guarantees payment of a negotiable instrument when it is due without the holder first seeking payment from another party.  *  A guarantor of payment is liable only if “payment guaranteed” or equivalent words are added to the guarantor’s indorsement.

officious guarantor Someone who guarantees a debt without being requested or having a. legal duty to do so and who therefore may claim no reimbursement of money paid on the guaranty.  See OFFICIOUS INTERMEDDLER. [1]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Fred H. Miller & Alvin C. Harrell, The Law of Modern Payment Systems 5 5.02, at 195 (2003).

[5]: Herschel W. Arant, Handbook of the Law of Suretyship and Guaranty 12 (1931).


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