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What is our next steps?

TexasBond Claims

Yesterday I asked a question about how to go about trying to get money even though we did not file on the bonding company in time. Thank you for answering.. Now we did file notices on time and we should still be able to claim on the bond even though we did not file in time. So how would we got about doing this? Would we need to get a lawyer to send a letter to the surety company to enforce the claim? We are in Texas and this is a public job on a school. We were hired as the subcontractor.

1 reply

Mar 20, 2019
I'm happy to hear we were able to get your question answered! Let's break down a little vernacular for Texas bond claims to be sure we're on the same page. In Texas, like most states, bond claims aren't technically "filed" - they're simply mailed to the appropriate parties. Once mailed to the proper recipients, for all intents and purposes, the bond claim is considered filed.

As I believe Nate mentioned in the answer to your previous question, Texas bond claims are sent no later than the 15th day of the 3rd month after each month in which labor or materials were furnished but not paid for. This is often referred to as a 3rd month notice on TX public projects. So, once this is sent to the appropriate recipients, a claim against the bond is made.

Now, once a bond claim has been made, enforcing a bond claim might become necessary - and that would require a lawsuit. Keep in mind, though, that the deadline to enforce a TX bond claim isn't immediate - a bond claim can be enforced any time between 60 days after the claim was made and the earlier of the following two dates: (1) 1 year after notice of the claim; or (2) completion of the project. Thus, when a bond claim is made but payment isn't coming, and when the time to enforce the bond is growing nearer, hiring an attorney to assist with proceeding with the claim may become necessary.

Before enforcing a bond claim, though, adding another step - a threat or warning that suit will be filed - might help to compel payment without the need for proceeding with suit.

For more on Texas public projects (including deadlines, notices, and other requirements), this resource should be valuable: Texas Public Project FAQs. Hope this was helpful, and please feel free to come back with any additional questions you may have!
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