Image courtesy of Flickr (Licensed) by © Nick Carter
Image courtesy of Flickr (Licensed) by © Nick Carter

When a construction project goes sideways, a subcontractor’s ability to place a lien or perfect a bond claim is often the difference between making a profit (or breaking even) and taking a loss. And, as any contractor that does a substantial amount of government contracting work knows, bonds are the only game in town for most local, state and federal government work.

On federal projects, the statutory requirement for the provision of Miller Act payment bonds provides a measure of confidence for subcontractors that there will be payment at the end of the job, even if the prime defaults or breaches its agreement. To perfect a Miller Act claim, a first tier subcontractor need only bring suit on the bond within one year of completing itswork. A second tier subcontractor need only give notice to the prime contractor within 90 days of completing its work. Compared to a Texas public bond (which includes third month notice, sworn statement of account, and copies of contract requirements), perfecting a Miller Act bond claim is as simple as it gets.
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