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Can I file a lien against a contractor's bond and am I protected under the Miller Act

Virginia

In February, 2018, we performed mitigation services on a military facility for a first notice of loss call initiated by, whom we later found out after the fact , to be a hired government contractor representative of the government facility. Throughout the mitigation, the contractor led us to believe that the government facility would be paying the mitigation fees. After months of collection efforts, the military facility on 6/28/18 informed me that there was a bond against the contractor and provided me the bond company name and bond number. I have filed a claim with the bond company, and provided them their required documents to settle this claim against their insured. I would like to know what my company's rights are and the next step necessary to collect our service fees.

1 reply

Aug 20, 2018
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear about your trouble recovering payment. Anyway, a claimant is probably a lot better off having to recover from a bond than battling the government for nonpayment. Parties who have contracted with the prime contractor or a first tier subcontractor will have the right to make a claim against the prime contractor's bond. A lawsuit to enforce the bond claim must be filed within 1 year from when the claimant last furnished labor or materials to the project. Note, though, that filing a Miller Act is a bit complex in that the United States of America must be named as a plaintiff, along with yourself. Plus, the claim must be enforced in the federal district court where the project is located. Before enforcing a bond claim, it might be worthwhile to notify both the surety and the prime contractor that you intend to proceed with a lawsuit against the bond. For both parties, resolving the dispute without having to go to court would be a cheaper and easier affair - so sending a document like a Notice of Intent to File Action on Bond could be effective. Plus, if it is not effective, the bond claim enforcement suit may still be filed (as long as the deadline to do so has not passed).
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