File A Bond Claim
Claim The Money That Is Yours
- Are you getting slow-paid?
- Are your accounts receivables spiraling out of control?
- Is someone making up a dispute about your work to avoid payment?
- Are you unpaid because your customer can’t get paid from the state or county?
Getting paid in the construction industry can be tough, but you’re in the business of doing or supplying to construction work, not financing construction projects. When unpaid on a state, county or municipal construction project, rather than filing a traditional mechanics lien to get paid, contractors or suppliers can file a “Bond Claim.”
Similar to mechanic liens, bond claims are inexpensive to file and very effective. A properly filed bond claim provides your company security in receiving payment, as it obligates a surety company (usually a well-funded insurance company) to your claim directly, and it puts substantial pressure on the prime contractor’s relationship with their surety.
When it’s time to file a bond claim, trust the leaders in bond claims: zlien. You can use our industry leading technology to make your claim in minutes.
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What Exactly Is The Bond Claim Process?
This is a very common question, and it’s understandable, because the bond claims process is a bit confusing. We’ve written a helpful article on this subject titled “How Lien and Bond Claims Against State Projects Work.” Essentially, these are the stages of a typical bond claim:
STEP 1: FILE BOND CLAIM
The first step in filing a bond claim, is of course, filing the bond claim! This step is simple enough, but because of the complexity of state requirements and the chance of error, it’s worth using a reputable bond claim processing technology like zlien to file the claim for you.
The biggest mistake you can make when filing your bond claim, however, is not getting the claim filed on time. Each state has separate deadlines for when these bond claims are due. You must get the bond claim prepared correctly, and filed in the right place all before the state’s deadline. To determine the deadline to file a bond claim in your project’s state, consult zlien’s industry leading state bond claim resources.
STEP 2: REPLY TO BONDING COMPANY WITH BACKUP
After your bond claim is filed, you’ll be contacted by the surety to advise that a claim has been opened, and to request you reply with backup materials about your claim and a sworn statement of claim. Your next step is to return this sworn statement and any backup documentation you have. Return these documents as quickly as possible to keep the claim moving along, as your claim will be delayed as long as you delay returning the materials.
STEP 3: FOLLOWUP WITH THE BONDING COMPANY
After you file your bond claim and return your bond claim sworn statement and information, the bonding company will contact their customer (the prime contractor) and notify them of the claim. They will also give the prime contractor an opportunity to respond to the claim. Prime contractors often delay responding to the bonding company, which delays your claim.
Move your claim along by following up with the bonding company and pushing them to approve the claim.
STEP 4: FILE AN ENFORCEMENT ACTION
If the bond claim doesn’t produce payment right away, and your claim is either denied or delayed unreasonably, it may be time to file a lawsuit against the surety to enforce your bond claim. That is the last step, if necessary.
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- Are Bond Claims Actually Recorded with the County?
- Get a Copy of the Bond!
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- Who Do I Send My Bond Claim To, and How?
- More Bond Claim Articles
The Difference Between A Bond Claim and a Mechanics Lien
When you’re unpaid for materials or labor furnished to a private project, the law allows you to file a lien claim against that property. When working on a state, county or municipal project, of course, the government isn’t going to tolerate claims against its interest in the land.
Therefore, to protect contractors and suppliers on the job, prime contractors working on these projects are required to post a payment bond. The payment bond is secured by a surety company, who must meet certain qualifications to guarantee they have the finances to secure the value of the project. When someone goes unpaid on the state, county or municipal project, they can make a claim for payment directly against the payment bond.
So, while a mechanics lien filing attaches to and is secured by the physical property, a bond claim attaches to and is secured by the payment bond. In a lot of ways, since properties can be over-leveraged and complex to foreclose upon, claims against payment bonds are cleaner, simpler and faster than mechanics lien claims.
Stories About How a zlien Claim Worked
2K-TEM, Inc. Leveraged zlien To Get What They Earned
You perform a valuable technology for small businessmen like me. In addition though, you do it in a really caring and professional manner. I commend you and your team and, although I hope to never need you again in the future… you’ve earned a loyal customer!
2K-TEM, Inc., a general contractor firm in Deer Park, NY, turned to zlien when faced with a non-paying customer that was aggravating their bottom line. Proceeding with a claim against the project is always a sensitive decision, and further, a complicated one. In fact, the process is so laced with complication it is almost out of a small business’ reach, who lack the legal budget and administrative know-how to get a claim processed on time and accurately.
That is all well-understood by Matthew Caemmerer of 2K-TEM, who calls zlien’s platform “valuable for small businessmen like me.” Not only does zlien bridge the gap between small businesses and the complicated lien and bond claim, but the company does it with a small. Caemmerer was appreciative that this sensitive claim process was handled by zlien “in a really caring and professional manner.” The #1 care for zlien is that our users get paid…and in 2K-TEM’s case, that is exactly what happened.
Mr. Electric Got Paid!
Thank you for helping me get my money.
Mr. Electric franchise owner in Williamson County, Texas, Joseph Keller, summed up the benefit of zlien’s technology in a simple phrase: “Thank you for helping me get my money.” Small electrical contractors or franchise owners like Mr. Keller often work on a high volume of projects throughout the year, and regardless of the best invoicing processes and administrative handling, the accounts receivable aging report inevitably fills up. In the construction industry, a lien or bond claim is the critical difference between getting paid on those accounts and not, and therefore, it’s important for companies like Mr. Electric to have a process to leverage those rights.
Mr. Electric relied on zlien to process his claim, and the result hit the spot: payment. When you earn a payment and don’t get it, the choice is to either sit back and hope (and frequently, never get paid), or to take action and get the money you deserve. Mr. Electric got the money they deserved.
zlien Gives Bottom Line Equipment the Power of Bond Claims
Bottom Line Equipment is a Louisiana-based regional renter of heavy machinery equipment. They are a quickly growing company, appearing on the Inc. 5000 list for four straight years (2009-2012), and recognized by New Orleans CityBusiness as the #1 Fastest Growing Company in the metro area. Handling their volume of rental contracts requires a lot of logistics, as does handling their accounts receivables. Another wrinkle for the company is that they frequently furnish rental equipment to both private projects (where a mechanics lien is appropriate) and state or county projects (where a bond claim will be needed). When an invoice goes into default on a state or county project, they need to leverage their bond claim rights to secure payment and seek cash directly from the surety. Getting bond claim prepared and delivered quickly, and accurately, is of paramount importance, and for that task, they rely on zlien’s technology.
zlien’s technology empowers Bottom Line Equipment to take advantage of the bond claim’s leverage, enabling them to get a lien on a state, county, or other public project placed fast. It’s why they’ve successfully filed mechanic liens and bond claims using zlien since 2008.