It's important to receive the compensation you're owed after working hard on a construction project. But unfortunately, sometimes payment is not forthcoming. A "construction bond" can help solve this predicament.
It can seem daunting to know what to do but following these steps will help you get the money you are owed.
What is a Construction Bond?
A construction bond is a type of "surety bond" used by parties in construction projects. The party handling the construction work informs all involved that the project can be completed according to the contract when signing and submitting the bond. If a contractor fails to follow the contract, the surety and the contractor are liable.
There are three types of construction bonds:
- Bid - this enables the competitive process of bidding on a project. Each potential contractor submits a bond and how they will protect the project investor if someone backs out of the contract after winning the bid.
- Performance - The bid bond is replaced by a performance one when the contractor accepts the contract and starts to work on the plan. This type of bond protects the property owner from loss if the work is defective or below the agreed-upon quality expected by the contract.
- Payment - This type of bond can also be referred to as a "labor and material payment bond". This guarantees that the winning contractor on a project can compensate their workers, subcontractors, and the materials producer.
How to File a Bond Claim Against a Contractor
- Send notice - Often, you will have to send a notice to the other party before you can file a claim. The policy varies from state to state on the requirements - but it can be helpful to notify the other party. You may find they will settle the dispute. Please research your state's requirements for more information.
- Filing the Claim - If you have delivered notice and haven't resolved the issue, the next step is to file a bond claim. Different states have various forms required and requirements that can complicate the matter. Speaking to the court clerk about what is required can help you avoid errors when filing and the need to refile the claim.
- Submit your evidence to the Bonding Company - After you've filed your claim, the bonding company liable for the bond could reach out to you for supporting evidence and a sworn statement.
- Keep in touch with the Bonding Company - To ensure that things are progressing, you will want to follow up with the Bonding Company as they attempt to contact the contractor and reach a resolution. This will help you keep your claim in the forefront of their minds and communicate that you will not let this go.
- Collect Payment or Carry out your Claim - Hopefully, the surety company returns the money to you shortly after notifying them of the claim. But, if your claim is rejected, the last step is to file a lawsuit against the surety company and contractor.
Receiving the money you are due after working on the success of a project is vital for anyone. Sometimes payment is not readily forthcoming, and a construction bond can be your best route to the compensation you're owed.