Payment Bond Claims


If you are working on a construction project and haven’t been paid, you may be able to obtain payment by making a payment bond claim.  When you file a payment bond claim, the surety will be responsible for payment.

Don Spence has been a construction attorney for over 30 years, and has filed numerous payment bond claims.  He is experienced in working with sureties.  Don Spence is familiar with the nuances and differences in payment bond claims, whether the construction project is a public project (government or state building), or a private project.  The attorneys at Spence & Becker, LLC are licensed to practice in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

If you need help filing a payment bond claim, please give us a call at (301) 537-5991  or fill out the “Contact Form” at the bottom of this page.

Here’s how Payment Bond Claims work:

Payment Bond Claims

A payment bond is meant to guarantee payment to subcontractors who work on a construction project.  The bonding company is responsible for payment to the claimant (the company filing the claim).

Notice of a Payment Bond Claim must be given to the Contractor within 90 days of the date that labor and/or materials were provide to the project. The work provided cannot be warranty work or “punch-list” work.

Notice is typically given to the General Contractor at their place of business.  The notice needs to be in writing and must state the nature of the claim as well as the amount.

Ordinarily, a lawsuit must be filed within a year of last providing the work in order to enforce your bond rights

There are two different types of Bond Claims:

  1. Government project bond claims through Federal or state Miller Act
  2. Private bond claims (also known as common law bond claims)

Miller Act Claims

Miller Act claims can be federal or state in nature.

Federal Miller Act

The Miller Act was enacted to reassure workers on federal buildings that they would get paid for their work.  (Mechanic’s liens cannot be filed on federal buildings due to sovereign immunity.)

The Miller Act can be found in Title 40 of the United States Code (ch. 642, Sec. 1-3, 49 stat 793,794)

To file a claim under the Miller Act, compliance with the statute is required.

State Miller Act

State Miller Act claims are often referred to as “Little Miller Act.”

This act was enacted for the same reason as the Miller Act, to reassure workers on state buildings that they would get paid for work.  (Sovereign immunity would also prevent the filing of a Mechanic’s Lien on a state building.)

To file a claim under the Miller Act, compliance with that state’s statute is required.

Common Law Claims

For common law claims, it is important to carefully read the bond.  The terms will vary from bond to bond, and all terms must be complied with.

One also needs to be familiar with how the Courts have interpreted and applied the law in common law bond claims.

Contact Us

If you have a payment issue, the team at Spence & Becker, LLC can help.  We will evaluate your case and determine if a Payment Bond Claim is applicable.  If so, we can obtain the bond, file the claim, and get you your money.

Please note, this information is provided for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal advice.  Please consult a licensed attorney for legal advice.


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