To successfully maintain a construction business, prompt payment is critical. Contractors and subcontractors often purchase materials before they have received payment themselves. They also may be working on several projects at once. Not receiving payment from one contractor or owner can be disastrous. While you can always work with a Tallahassee construction law attorney to receive compensation, the process takes time.
One of the remedies for not receiving payment for construction services is a payment bond. Payment bonds are insurance policies that are primarily used on public projects. However, they can also be used on private projects as well. A surety grants a payment bond on behalf of a paying entity to ensure that payment is made to lower tier workers. Payment bonds are often required on public projects because contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from filing liens for payment.
What Steps to Take When Filing a Payment Bond Claim
While it is highly recommended that you seek the guidance of a Tallahassee construction law attorney when filing a payment bond claim in the state of Florida, we have provided an overview of the process.
File a Notice of Intent
This notice is served to the non-paying entity to inform them of your intent to file a payment bond claim, if payment is not received. This notice can be filed prior to the start of the project up until 45 days from when services are initially provided.
Serve a Notice of Nonpayment
After 45 days from the start of services being provided until 90 days after they have been provided, contractors and subcontractors may serve a notice of nonpayment. The notice must have third-party verification when delivered. It must also list the party seeking the claim as well as the amount of the claim.
If this course of action does not yield payment, you may consider a lawsuit. Lawsuits must be filed no longer than a year from the time that labor or materials were provided to the payer. Technically, the payment bond surety is named in the lawsuit, however, the non-paying party can be named as well. The lawsuit is also filed in the name of the United States government for the benefit of the company filing the claim.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.