How to File a Bond Claim in Indiana

Before filing Indiana payment bond claims, you should make sure you’re familiar with not only the process but the laws and regulations that can determine whether or not your claim is eventually deemed valid. Any mistakes in the filing process can lead to your claim being denied and you being left unpaid for your work. When you work with ConstructionDisputes.com on your claim, our expert staff will ensure that your paperwork complies with all relevant Indiana bond claim laws and regulations.

Who Is Covered by Indiana Bond Claim Laws?

Under Indiana payment bond law, those eligible to file a payment bond claim for a public works project include subcontractors and labor/material suppliers contracted through either prime contractors or a first-tier subcontractor. Those who contracted below the first tier as well as suppliers to suppliers are not able to make a claim in Indiana.

These Indiana bond rules are covered in the state’s Little Miller Act, an extension of the federal Miller Act. Each state’s Little Miller Act outlines the legal process and coverage for making a claim against a surety bond. Indiana claim filing laws split public works projects into four different categories. These are:

  • Title 4 State Projects: These are fully owned by the state, such as jails or prisons.
  • Title 5 State Projects: These are partially owned by the state, such as certain colleges or universities.
  • Title 8 Indiana Department of Transportation Projects: These are infrastructure projects such as bridges, roads, and highways.
  • Title 36 Local Government Projects: These are projects taken on by local governments, such as schools or parks.

Each one of these project categories can slightly alter the bond claim process. For this reason, it’s very important to understand which category the project you worked on falls into and review the terms of the bond carefully. The Little Miller Act will also stipulate the Indiana bond amounts required for each project.

If you’re unsure whether or not you are covered, ConstructionDisputes.com can help. Our knowledgeable team of bond claim experts is always here to offer a helping hand and ensure that every claim made through us is in complete accordance with state laws. Sign up for an account and get help with your claim today!

Indiana Bond Claim Process and Deadlines

Once you’ve figured out whether or not you’re eligible to make a claim, you would next proceed to the first step of the Indiana payment bond claim process. In many states, this would mean sending a preliminary notice to the general contractor. Indiana claims, however, do not legally require a preliminary notice to be sent. However, it may help your claim later on if you decide to send one anyway.

Since a preliminary notice isn’t required, the first document you will often need to worry about is the bond claim form itself. Due to the separation of project categories in Indiana, knowing when to file the claim and what to include in it can get a bit complicated.

Title 4 State Projects

  • What to Include: The form must include the compensation you’re owed, a description of the claim you’re making, and a notice to the public works department that the surety company that issued the bond has been informed of the pending claim.
  • Who it Should Be Sent To: The surety company and the clerk, officer, or board of the contracting party
  • Claim Deadline: Sixty days after the last day any party provided labor or materials to the project

Title 5 State Projects

  • What to Include: Title 5 project claims are required to include the amount you’re owed for your work and a verification of the statement.
  • Who it Should Be Sent To: The trustee, commission, board, clerk, or officer of the state or contracting party
  • Claim Deadline: Sixty days after the last day the claimant provided any labor or materials to the project

Title 8 Indiana Department of Transportation Projects

  • What to Include: State-sponsored transportation project claims only require a statement of the amount you’re owed for the labor and/or materials provided.
  • Who it Should Be Sent To: The surety company that issued the bond
  • Claim Deadline: One year after you’ve been approved to provide labor or materials to the project

Title 36 Local Government Projects

  • What to Include: Claims made against bonds held for local government projects simply need to be provided in duplicate and receive verification of the claim.
  • Who it Should Be Sent To: The clerk, board, or officer of the contracting party
  • Claim Deadline: Sixty days after the last time the claimant supplied materials or labor to the project

Enforce Your Indiana Payment Bond Claim

With any luck, filing a claim will be enough to secure the payment you’re owed. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If for some reason your claim is not found valid, you would then be able to move forward with a lawsuit. It should be noted that lawsuits require both time and money to pursue, and there’s no guarantee they will turn out in your favor. As such, filing a lawsuit should be reserved for only after you’ve exhausted all other options.

The deadlines to file a lawsuit for each category are as follows:

  • Title 4 State Projects: A suit can be pursued 30 days after a claim has been filed but must be filed within one year of the contract being settled between the prime contractor and project-owning party.
  • Title 5 State Projects: A lawsuit can be brought 30 days after filing a claim but not after 60 days since project completion.
  • Title 8 Indiana Department of Transportation Projects: A lawsuit cannot be initiated prior to 60 days after filing a claim, but it must also be brought within 18 months after project completion. Public entities can also request that any lawsuit be filed within 90 days of delivering a notice to claimants.
  • Title 36 Local Government Projects: Same deadline as Title 5 projects

Indiana Mechanic’s Liens

Making claims on surety bonds isn’t the only way to secure your payment in the construction field. Filing a mechanic’s lien in Indiana is another viable option for construction workers to ensure they receive their due payment.

Mechanic’s liens function by giving labor and material suppliers an interest in the property they’ve placed a lien against. The reason an Indiana lien can be so productive in securing your payment is that liens inherently devalue the property until you’re paid. This gives the property owner and other interested parties a compelling reason to provide you with the compensation you’re owed.

However, always be sure that you are eligible to file a lien and haven’t submitted an Indiana lien waiver form. This could prevent you from seeking compensation through the use of a mechanic’s lien.

How to File a Mechanic’s Lien in Indiana

When filing a mechanic’s lien, Indiana workers will need to follow these steps:

  1. Send a preliminary notice. Indiana lien law only requires an Indiana pre-lien notice form to be sent by subcontractors on residential-owner projects. For new projects, it must be sent within 60 days of beginning work; send it within 30 days for renovation projects. Indiana mechanics lien deadlines are important to pay attention to, as missing a due date can prevent you from successfully filing the lien.
  2. Fill out the proper Indiana construction lien forms in duplicate and have them notarized. All Indiana mechanic’s lien paperwork you fill out should include the amount you’re claiming, your name and address, the project owner’s name and address, a legal description of the project, and the address of the project
  3. Deliver both copies of the Indiana mechanic’s lien form to the county recorder for the county where the project took place. This can be done through the mail, with a delivery service, in person, or, in some counties, electronically.
  4. Add a copy of the filed Indiana property lien form sent to you from the county recorder to your own records.
  5. Indiana construction lien law requires the lien to be served to the property owner within three days of its filing. This will often be handled by the county recorder.

Once you’ve received your payment, you can remove the lien by filing and serving an Indiana mechanic’s lien release form.

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana Bond Claims

What Is a Surety Bond in Indiana?

A surety bond acts as a contract between three parties to ensure that the appropriate payment and performance is rendered by the parties involved. By issuing the bond, the surety is guaranteeing that the principal (often a general contractor) will live up to the obligations owed to the third party, the obligee. For example, a payment surety bond will guarantee that workers will be paid for their labor even if the contractor withholds payment.

How Do You Get Bonded in Indiana?

In order to become bonded in Indiana, you simply need to apply for a bond. This can be done by finding an insurance agency or surety company who can grant and approve your surety bond. Indianapolis and other cities in Indiana should provide plenty of options to choose from. Once you’ve applied, a surety agent will review your finances and risk factor to determine whether or not to approve your bond. Different companies may give you different quotes for the cost of a bond, so it doesn’t hurt to shop around.

Let ConstructionDisputes.com Help With Your Indiana Bond Claim!

Our team of expert bond claim specialists is always here to help with your Indiana payment bond claims. By picking a pricing plan that’s right for you and working with us, you can ensure that every bond claim you file is in complete accordance with all of the necessary federal, state, and surety regulations. Our online platform also provides useful tools such as claim tracking and an online document center so you can easily organize your claim and follow its progress every step of the way.

Sign up today and get started filing your first bond claim for free!