When project owners are delinquent in paying contractors for their hard work, this results in a lot more than just a few sleepless nights. Every time an owner falls behind on payments or flat out refuses to pay, a domino effect occurs that impacts everyone on the project including the general contractor, suppliers, subcontractors, and laborers. Owners that don’t pony up what they owe compromise a contractor’s cash flow, delay a backlog of projects, and can bankrupt a business. This is why it’s critical that contractors consult our Tampa construction lawyers.
At Cotney Construction Law, our attorneys are focused on streamlining legal processes for clients. In this editorial, a Tampa construction lawyer will discuss how investing in an affordable subscription plan can help construction firms save money and receive timely payment from owners.
A Small Monthly Investment Can Go a Long Way
With our subscription plans starting at as low as $499 per month, we offer an affordable solution to your business’s legal issues. Our construction law firm can also protect the best interests of your business and help you collect on accounts receivable. Here are some of the ways our Tampa construction attorneys help construction firms dealing with nonpayment.
Preliminary Lien Notices
Although preliminary notices aren’t required in every state for general contractors, in order to secure your lien rights on a project in most states, the first step is to send a preliminary lien notice. If you fail to provide notice in a timely fashion, your lien rights may be invalidated. Another reason to provide notice is that this process prioritizes your lien rights. You never want to make the mistake of failing to send notice. Sending a preliminary notice provides you with recourse if you are dealing with nonpayment by preserving your lien rights at the start of the project. Sending a notice also shows an owner that you are being straightforward in regards to the services you are providing on the project. You can take advantage of unlimited preliminary lien notices with every subscription plan option that Cotney Construction Law provides. Our Tampa construction attorneys can also provide preliminary bond notices in select plans.
The demand letter can be an effective way to quickly deal with a non-payment issue. If you have requested payment and an owner is either refusing to compensate you or is ignoring your attempts to be paid, the demand letter is often the right direction to take. For example, if you are owed compensation and considering filing a lien or pursuing a lawsuit, a well-written demand letter by an attorney can show an owner that you are serious about receiving payment. In fact, a demand letter drafted by an attorney with a professional letterhead shows the other party that you’ve already taken the next step by consulting a Brandon construction lawyer.
Experienced attorneys know how to be both diplomatic and direct when drafting a demand letter. They also know how to outline a succinct legal argument for your dispute while providing a clear payment plan for the owner to resolve the issue. Another benefit is that an ignored demand letter can only strengthen your case considering you have evidence showing that you’ve requested payment for your work in a professional and courteous way and that the owner refused to accommodate this request. Similar to preliminary lien notices, basic collection letters are featured in all of our subscription plans.
Claims of Lien
Filing a mechanic’s lien can be one of the most effective ways to seek overdue payment. It’s important to note that the laws pertaining to mechanic’s liens can greatly differ depending on the state in which you are performing work in. Mechanic’s liens also have extremely time-sensitive deadlines. If you overlook filing a lien in a timely manner, the claim of lien will be invalid. When you consult a Brandon construction attorney to file a lien on your behalf, they will file through the correct government clerk’s office and make certain that the lien contains a clearly defined description of the services you provided, all relevant information, and the amount owed for your services.
A lot of headaches start for contractors because they either verbally agree to work without a written contract in place or they utilize a boilerplate contract for all of their projects. Payment disputes can occur for several reasons that are directly related to the details (or lack thereof) in the contract. Resolving a payment dispute is also much easier to accomplish with a well-written contract in place. For example, issues like the scope of work, deadlines, payment schedules, insurance and performance bonds, and alternative dispute resolution are just a few issues that need to be covered in your contract before completing any work. The more comprehensive the contract is, the better the chances of avoiding a payment dispute. Moreover, if you experience a payment dispute with a clear outline of each party’s rights and obligations within the contract, you have a strong case to take moving forward.
If you are dealing with a non-payment issue, you need to have a firm understanding of your options. Along with discounts for standard hourly rates, several of our membership plans also provide clients with direct access to a dedicated attorney. Accessibility to a knowledgeable Brandon construction attorney is crucial for contractors and construction firms. You not only receive accurate legal counsel from an attorney that understands the nuances of construction, but you also receive peace of mind knowing that you have a loyal advocate in your corner.
With a well-written contract in place and access to an attorney whenever you need legal advice, you are protected from liability. Our on-demand attorneys can also aggressively pursue any compensation you are owed from owners that have breached a contract. Whether it’s before work commences with a preliminary notice, effectively filing a mechanic’s lien after completing work, or a demand letter at any stage of a dispute, we can proactively resolve your payment issue.
Legal services don’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can collect payment tomorrow by investing in an affordable subscription plan today. At Cotney Construction Law, our Brandon construction attorneys are committed to helping construction businesses reduce risk and save money on their projects. To learn more about our subscription plans or to schedule a FREE legal analysis today, consult the construction attorneys of Cotney Construction Law.
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.