Bonding and Sureties Attorney in Annapolis
On most construction projects, it is next to impossible to guarantee that the contractor will complete all of the required work and pay all suppliers and subcontractors. Fortunately, using a “surety” is one way to be secure in the knowledge that personnel and funding will be available to complete the project and make the payments that are due.
If you are a developer, general contractor, supplier, subcontractor, or anyone else involved in the construction industry, the Law Office of Matthew S. Evans, III, can put its more than 20 years of combined experience in this field to work for you.
Surety & Fidelity Law
Suretyship is not a new undertaking. There are written records that reference surety contracts dating back as far as 4,700 years ago. Fortunately, the industry has evolved a great deal over this period.
A surety bond is a type of bond in which one party (known as the obligee) is promised payment of a specified amount if another party (known as the principal) fails to meet a specified obligation. Surety bonds protect an obliged party against losses that can result from a principal failing to meet its obligations. The party assuming the risk is known as the surety.
A fidelity bond relates to issues of employee dishonesty and serves to cover the theft of a company’s property by its own employees. While fidelity bonds are labeled as “bonds,” the coverage that they provide functions more like an insurance policy.
Filing a Claim in Maryland
Public entities in Maryland have required the use of surety bonds for years on all publicly-funded projects. Through a surety, the project owner can make sure that the work is completed as contracted, and that claims for payments by suppliers and subcontractors are paid for.
Private project owners have also begun to use bonding as a way to ensure liens won’t cause them financial harm and that their projects are completed as expected. With a bond in place, subcontractors and suppliers won’t have to worry about payments, so they’re less likely to abandon a project.
Finally, you might discover that you need a statutory bond in place to get a contractor’s license from your state regulatory authority. This is the case in Maryland, where you must either prove a $20,000 net worth or obtain a two-year $20,000 surety bond instead.
Performance Bond Claims
Claims against performance bonds are common. These often occur when the principal on a bonded project defaults on its contract, goes out of business, can’t financially afford to complete the job, or is terminated by the obligee.
Our bonding and sureties attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with a surety’s performance bond claims. Our thorough understanding of the ways that clients are impacted by regulatory and private obligations allows us to resolve issues and mitigate exposure in even the most complex circumstances.
Payment Bond Claims
When a principal on a bonded project neglects to pay subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers, there could be claims made against a payment bond. Our legal team is well-qualified to investigate these matters, negotiate a resolution, and litigate when necessary.
Claims against payment bonds have time constraints for responses, and there may even be litigation based on the statute of limitations, pay-when-paid clauses, and pay-if-paid clauses. When dealing with these matters, we provide our clients with our extensive experience combined with a familiarity with local jurisdictions.
Bankruptcy can significantly complicate issues related to surety law. Our team can represent sureties in bankruptcy matters and can provide a defense to sureties from debtor-in-possession claims, trustees, and preference litigation cases.
We can also facilitate involuntary bankruptcy, which might become a necessary tool to protect a surety’s rights in collateral or another property. Our skilled construction law attorneys can outline your options and guide you through this process.
Suretyship is not the same thing as insurance. Unlike insurance that has risk underwriters, surety looks to its indemnitor and principal for reimbursement when a loss occurs. A surety requires that an indemnity agreement is executed in return for the agreement to issue bonds to a principal.
The surety has broad rights and powers with respect to loss reimbursement, and payment of costs including attorney fees. Sureties also have rights under the law that include equitable subrogation. Being able to pursue a third-party to recover losses is just one of the ways that a surety can be made whole.
Collecting a Surety Bond
If you need to collect against a surety bond, it might be necessary to take legal action. A claimant on a surety bond must prove priority in order to collect. While contractors can make claims on these bonds, consumers are generally given priority when there has been some gross wrongdoing by a company.
Recovery of public and private project bonds in Maryland may require prompt action. If you have a valid claim, you should assemble as much information as possible about the project, work completed, and the surety bond. This will help when it comes time to act against the bond.
Our Maryland claims settlement attorneys have assisted countless clients with their claims against bonds and sureties. We understand the bonding process, and our goal is to safeguard your rights.
Maryland Construction Law Attorneys for Help with a Bond or Surety Issue
The Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans, III helps Maryland property owners and construction professionals effectively deal with a wide range of construction law issues. Our bonding and sureties attorneys have experience negotiating agreements with sureties, including assisting with the evaluation of general agreements of indemnity and the underwriting process.
When a workout agreement cannot be negotiated among the parties, we provide strong representation for our clients in litigation related to surety bonds. As a client, you can count on us to assist you in resolving any surety issues that arise from payment bond or performance bond claims.
If you need strong legal counsel and representation regarding a surety issue, payment bond claim, or performance bond claim, contact the Annapolis construction law attorneys at the Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans, III. We are here to protect your interests as we work towards a favorable outcome in your bond-related matter.
Contact our office now at 410-626-6009 or reach us online to schedule an initial consultation.
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