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Bond Claim Overview - deadlines for filing claim; does State or bond language have precedence, are pre-notices needed, and claim filing requirements

LouisianaBond ClaimsLien Deadlines

I am interested in filing a bond claim in the State of Louisiana. We are a first-tier subcontractor and the project is near completion. I would like to use Zlien, but believe I may need to hire an attorney. I am so confused on when, how and to whom a bond claim is filed specifically: 1. We finally found out a payment bond was recorded in the Parish and called the Surety Company to get a copy. We are concerned about timelines provided in the bond of when a claim can be made (i.e. 60 days after furnishing work or 30 days after substantial completion, etc). They did not provide a copy of the bond. What are the deadlines to file a claim on a payment bond in the State of Louisiana and do they have precedence over bond language? 2. We never filed preliminary-notices. Do I need to send a notice of intent for a bond claim prior to filing (similar to a lien)? 3. Do bond claims need to be recorded and notarized in the State of Louisiana? Thanks in advance in addressing any issues above.

1 reply

Jan 12, 2018
I'm glad you're considering zlien! I think this information will help.

(1) Under § 38:2242 of the Louisiana Public Works Act, "Any claimant may after the maturity of his claim and within forty-five days after the recordation of acceptance of the work by the governing authority or of notice of default of the contractor or subcontractor, file a sworn statement of the amount due him with the governing authority having the work done and record it in the office of the recorder of mortgages for the parish in which the work is done." I believe what you are referring to with the 30 and 60 day deadlines are the deadlines for filing a Louisiana claim or privilege under the Private Works Act (mechanics lien).

Further, in Louisiana, statutory provisions relating to bond claim will take precedence over the actual terms of the bond - under § 48:256.3, "The payment provisions of all bonds furnished for department contracts described in this Subpart, regardless of form or content, shall be construed as and deemed statutory bond provisions. Any such bond which fails to contain any of the requirements set forth in this Subpart shall be deemed to incorporate all of the requirements set forth in this Section. Language in any such bond containing any obligations beyond the requirements set forth in this Part shall be deemed surplusage and read out of such bond."

(2) Generally, in Louisiana, preliminary notice is not required in order to make a bond claim. However, an exception exists for equipment lessors (as well as material suppliers to subcontractors if the contract has been recorded).

(3) Yes! Bond claims should be notarized and filed with the Parish recorder, and sent to the prime contractor, the surety, and the public entity in charge of the project. Keep in mind, they must be filed in all parishes in which the work occurred.
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