One of the most common issues subcontractors face is non-payment. Sometimes subcontractors have a positive relationship with the prime contractor and resolve the issue amicably. However, when the parties cannot reach an agreement, the subcontractor faces financial turmoil. Even worse, if a subcontractor fails to take prompt legal action, it can lose access to one of the most effective ways to recover the amounts due.
On a private project, a subcontractor may file a mechanic’s lien to secure its right to payment. However, when the owner is the federal government, a subcontractor has no lien rights. Instead, the subcontractor must pursue its claims via the Miller Act. For every government contract, the Miller Act requires that the prime contractor post a payment bond to guarantee that its subcontractors and suppliers will be paid in a timely manner. The Miller Act allows subcontractors to make claims against the bond when the prime contractor fails to satisfy its payment obligations. However, the right to make such a claim does not last forever. The deadlines for a payment bond claim differ depending on who the subcontractor or supplier has contracted with.
Continue Reading Haven’t Been Paid? Preserve Your Rights Under the Miller Act