Working On a Public Project? Preserve Your Right to Payment
In many ways, a bond claim is similar to a lien claim. Instead of placing a lien on real estate, you place a claim against a bond (essentially cash backed by a first tier company regulated by the State). In the same sense, the company that the bond covers (usually a prime contractor on the Project) has the right to know his exposure on the project. Thus, many jurisdictions require that if you do not have a contract with the contractor, you must inform the contractor that you are working or providing materials to the project. Failure to provide a pre-bond notice can result in a claim being denied. If you need to know whether your State requires a pre-bond notice, check out our Reference Desk, which contains a wealth of information about mechanics liens and bonds.
How Do I Know if a Project Is Bonded?
If the project on which you are working is a public in nature, funded by the government, or on government land (i.e. libraries, schools, military bases, the Washington Monument), then there’s a 99% chance that a bond is in place. All States and the Federal Government require that the prime contractors on a project (and in some cases subcontractors that have a contract exceeding a certain threshold amount) procure a bond to protect subcontractors and suppliers that they hire.
Commercial Projects can be a bit trickier, but keep in mind that the owner requires the bond because they want to ensure that you get paid. Calling the owner, the project architect or the project engineer and asking for a copy of the bond usually works. If you’re looking to file a bond claim, we offer such services for a low flat price. Check out our website or give us a call for more information.
Can If File a Bond Claim and a Lien Claim on the Same Project?
YES! At least most of the time. A bond exists in many States as extra protection. While many States do not allow for any type of mechanics lien to be filed on a public project, many other do, and also do not prohibit you from taking full advantage of the bond at the same time.
Take the necessary action that you need to take and file both a bond claim and a mechanics lien when you are not paid for the work you perform.