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.