The decisions of this State are to the effect that a surety defendant in a judgment with the principal, in order to preserve the liens and enforce the same for his reimbursement, on payment of the judgment must have it assigned to some third person for his benefit. As to collateral paxier held by the creditor, the surety, on payment of the principal debt, is ordinarily entitled to the full equitable doctrine of subrogation, but if he pays the principal debt on which he is himself bound, whether by judgment bond or other, without the assignment as suggested, the original obligation is extinguished and he becomes the simple contract creditor of the principal. In many of the States it is held otherwise, the surety, on payment, becoming entitled to the full right of subrogation, arising to him by the mere act of payment. .In others it has been so provided by statute. In this State, however, the only statute of the kind heretofore existent is one providing that “when a surety or his representative pays the debt of his deceased principal, the claim thus occurring shall have the same priority in the administration of the assets of the principal as had the debt before its payment,” and with this exception our cases on the subject hold, as stated, that a surety who pays the principal debt on yhich he is himself bound without procuring an assignment to a trustee for his benefit, thereby satisfies the original obligation, and can sue only as a creditor by simple contract. Liverman v. Cahoon, 156 N. C., 187; Tripp v. Harris, 154 N. C., 296; Liles v. Rogers, 113 N. C., 200; Hanner v. Douglass, 57 N. C., 265.
This being the position as it prevailed with us, the Legislature of 1919, desiring to give to sureties, and others secondarily or only in part liable on a judgment debt, a fuller benefit of the wholesome doctrine of subrogation, enacted a statute on the subject, Laws of 1919, ch. 194, in which it was provided in effect that where persons are jointly or severally liable on a judgment, and the same has been paid otherwise than by each one paying his proportionate part, the one so paying the judgment may demand of the judgment creditor that he transfer the judgment to a trustee for the benefit of the payor, and it shall be the duty of the creditor to make such transfer, and the lien of the judgment shall be thereby preserved, etc., for the benefit of the judgment debtor paying the same, and the judgment kept alive as against any of the judgment debtors who have not paid his proportionate part, etc. The statute, in section 1, *583further provides that wherever one of the judgment debtors is insolvent, or nonresident, making a new or further adjustment necessary, this may be presented by petition, and the matter heard and determined by a jury on issues submitted in the original or pending action in which the judgment shall have been entered. A second section provides that any judgment creditor who refuses to transfer a judgment in his favor to a trustee for the benefit of the judgment creditor who shall tender payment and demand in writing that a transfer be made to a trustee to preserve his rights in the same action, shall not thereafter be entitled to execution against the judgment debtor tendering payment, etc. Considering this section in connection with the first, and the purview and general purpose of the entire statute, and in reference also to the express statement in section 2 that the purpose of the transfer is to preserve the rights of the debtor in the action we are of opinion that “the refusal to transfer” appearing in this section clearly means a final refusal or one definite and persisted in till some pecuniary rights of the surety as affected by the judgment shall have been impaired, or he has been compelled to institute suit to conserve and enforce his status and right under the judgment as contemplated and provided by the statute. This is not only the permissible and natural interpretation of the terms of the law, but there is doubt if a more stringent construction would not offend against the constitutional guarantees protecting the rights of an existent judgment creditor; and it is the recognized principle that where a statute is susceptible of more than one construction, that will be adopted which will reconcile the same with the organic law. While a judgment, being a feature of the remedy, is to some extent subject to legislative regulation, it is also well understood that the usual remedies cannot be entirely withdrawn, or so impaired or interfered with that the owner is left without adequate relief. Edwards v. Kearzey, 96 U. S., 595; Bost v. Cabarrus, 152 N. C., 531; Mottu v. Davis, 151 N. C., 237.
In accord with this view, the facts showing that the judgment creditor, being in ignorance of the provision of the statute, and in the exercise of his rights as he then understood them, and as they had before existed, at first declined to transfer the judgment, but shortly thereafter, before any lien had been lost, or the rights of the surety as affected by the judgment in any way impaired, offered to make the transfer, and renewed the offer at the hearing, we think his Honor correctly ruled that the creditor was not finally deprived of his remedy, and entered judgment that execution issue. And under the statute as we have construed it, we are of opinion further, and so hold, that the surety, on payment, is still entitled to the transfer of the judgment as contemplated and provided by the laws.