Bond Claim Deadlines

We spend a lot of time discussing mechanics liens here at zlien. But mechanics liens can only be used to secure payment when the project in question is residential or commercial.

If contractors, suppliers, equipment lessors or other parties are unpaid on federal, state, or municipal projects, filing a bond claim is the best means of securing payment.

We’ve compiled lists of deadlines for sending notice, and filing and enforcing a bond claim in all 50 states. Take a look to ensure you secure payment on every project.

Click the button below your role to download a chart of notice and bond claim deadlines for all 50 states.


Bond claim and notice deadline chart for equipment lessors - download

Material Suppliers

Bond claim and notice deadline chart for equipment lessors - download

Equipment Lessors

Bond claim and notice deadline chart for equipment lessors - download

What Is a Bond Claim?

A bond claim is a claim against the surety bond backing a public construction project (projects sponsored by the federal, state, or municipal government). Bond claims serve the same purpose as mechanics liens (securing payment), but bond claims apply to public projects while mechanics liens can only be used on private projects (commercial or residential projects).

Before a public project begins, someone (usually the general contractor) takes out a surety bond. The surety bond is a sum of money set aside to cover the cost of the project. It is a guarantee to ensure that the GC will complete the project at the price it was bid, and that all subcontractors and suppliers will be paid.

If a subcontractor, supplier, equipment or other hired party is not paid, they may file a bond claim against the project’s surety bond. The claim must be filed against the bond rather than against the improved property (like mechanics liens), because it is impossible to claim a stake in property owned by the government.

Want to learn more about bond claims and how they work? Visit our introduction to bond claims.

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The Bond Claim Process

Preliminary Notice

As with mechanics liens, bond claims are typically not standalone documents. In most states, claimants are required to send preliminary notice in order to secure the right to file a bond claim in the event of nonpayment.

Preliminary notice is usually required to be sent preemptively, long before a payment problem arises. Most of the time, notice must be sent before or shortly after work begins on a project.

It is best practice to send preliminary notice on every project, so take a look at the bond claim deadlines compiled in the charts above to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. Sending preliminary notice late or failing to send it at all can be fatal to a bond claim, leaving a claimant with little recourse in the event of nonpayment.

Also, it’s a good idea to send preliminary notice even when it’s not required.

Filing a Bond Claim

The next step in the bond claim process is actually filing a claim. The deadline to submit a bond claim varies by state, so download the appropriate deadline chart in order to ensure your bond claim is filed on time and is valid.

In most cases, the bond claim should be provided to the surety and the general contractor. To check the specific rules for filing a bond claim in your state, visit zlien‘s state-by-state resources, select your state, then click “Bond Claim FAQs” in the lefthand menu.

To file a claim, you can download a blank bond claim template for your state, or you can file through zlien.

Enforcing a Bond Claim

If the claimant still isn’t paid after filing the bond claim, the claimant may file suit against the payment bond surety. Suits are typically filed in the federal district court where the job is located.

The timeframe during which a bond claim can be enforced varies by state, so check the deadline charts provided in this blog post in order to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. Typically, an enforcement lawsuit can be brought within a year of the filing of the bond claim.

Need deadlines for private projects?

Were you looking for mechanics lien and notice deadlines? We’ve got you. Just click on your project role and download or lien and notice deadline charts.

Lien and notice deadline chart for contractors - download


Lien and notice deadline chart for material suppliers - download

Lien and notice deadline chart for subcontractors - download

Want a shortcut for tracking deadlines and sending notices? Get a walkthrough of the zlien platform and speak to an expert about how zlien can help your business. We’ll empower you to secure payment on every project, public or private.