Miller Act Claim Filing
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 federal developer?
Those unpaid for materials or labor furnished to a federal construction project may file a “Miller Act Claim,” which is the mechanics lien remedy for contractors and suppliers on a federal project. The Miller Act Claim is a bond claim against the project based upon the US Miller Act.
When properly filed, a Miller Act claim provides your company security in receiving payment, obligating the bonding company holding the Miller Act Bond to directly pay your claim. Since the bonding company has a strong contract with the prime contractor requiring indemnification, making a Miller Act Claim creates a lot of pressure on the prime contractor to resolve your payment claim.
When it’s time to process your Miller Act Claim, trust the leaders in these claims: zlien. You can use our industry leading technology to make your claim in minutes.
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5 Important Points About The Miller Act
One of the most popular posts on our Construction Lien Blog is the “5 Things To Know About The Miller Act.” This post provides great content about some key elements of the Miller Act statute, which are summarized here:
ONE: Prime Contractors Have No Rights
Prime contractors are required by the Miller Act to post the Miller Act bond, and subcontractors, suppliers, equipment rental companies and others in the construction industry can make claims against that bond. Since it’s the prime contractor’s bond at risk, however, prime contractors cannot make claims.
TWO: Notice Recommended, but Not Required, for First Tier Contractors & Suppliers
Those contractors and suppliers who contract directly with the prime contractor are not technically required to submit or file a “Bond Claim” notice to preserve their rights against the bond. Instead, they need only file a timely lawsuit against the bond, which is due 1 year from the last date they furnished labor or materials. While the Bond Claim filing is not required, it’s recommended, because it opens the claims process and may result in payment without the need for litigation.
THREE: Bond Claim Filing Otherwise Mandatory Within 90 Days Of Last Furnishing
Everyone who doesn’t contract directly with the prime contractor must file their Miller Act bond claim within 90 days of last furnishing labor or materials to the construction project. There’s no exception to this rule, and if you blow through the 90 day filing period without submitting your claim, your claim may be denied. A lawsuit is still required, like it is for 1st tier contractors and suppliers, within 1 year from last furnishing.
FOUR: Third Tier Contractors Have No Rights Under Miller Act
Suppliers to suppliers and those who contract directly with a second tier subcontractor typically do not have the right to file a Miller Act claim under the US Miller Act laws. There may, however, be some hope in making a bond claim under the terms of the Miller Act bond itself.
FIVE: You Can (And Should) Get A Copy Of The Miller Act Bond
If you’re furnishing labor or materials of any type to a federal construction project, you are entitled to get a copy of the Miller Act Bond furnished to you. You just need to ask by furnishing an affidavit and formal request. It’s important to get this information because you may need it to file or speed up your Miller Act claim.
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When Is A Project A Federal Project Under The Miller Act?
You’re unpaid on a construction project and now you’re trying to figure out what lien-like remedy is available to you to get your invoices paid. As discussed on this page, if you’re on a federal construction project, you can file a Miller Act Claim. But, how do you know if you’re on a qualifying federal project?
We wrote a blog post about this: Is My Project Private, Federal, State or Something Different? The easiest project type to identify is actually the federal project, as these are simply those construction projects performed on federal property. You’ll know you are working on federal property because the entity commissioning the work will be a federal entity.
Here are some common examples of federal entities that do construction projects:
- US Army Corps of Engineers
- US Department of Veteran Affairs
- US Department of Defense / Military
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, bond claim, or Miller Act 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 Miller Act 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), state or county projects (where a bond claim will be needed), and federal projects (where a Miller Act Claim is needed). When an invoice goes into default on a federal project, they need to leverage their Miller Act rights to secure payment and seek cash directly from the surety. Getting a Miller Act 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 Miller Act’s leverage, enabling them to get a lien on a federal project placed fast. It’s why they’ve successfully filed mechanic liens and bond claims using zlien since 2008.