Get paid on a construction project
- Posted at 02/12/2013
Are you a construction contractor, subcontractor, laborer or supplier who has not been paid for work you performed on a construction project?
For over 20 years, the attorneys at Schlueter, Mahoney & Ross, P.C. have protected the rights of construction professionals seeking payment of claims for construction projects and payment bond claims issued by sureties or insurance companies.
Colorado statutes recognize that contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and materialmen need a greater remedy for non-payment for their work than merely the right to sue on their contracts. Our attorneys are familiar with the nuances of Colorado construction law. We use our years of experience dealing with construction issues to achieve effective and lasting solutions for our clients.
Of particular importance to many of our construction clients are the Colorado Mechanic’s Lien Statutes and corresponding Trust Fund Statute. A mechanic’s lien is a way to secure your interest in property where labor or materials were supplied to improve the property. If you properly record your mechanic’s lien and then the property is sold (especially in cases where you perform work on new construction), you must get paid. If you properly record your mechanic’s 1 2
lien but the property is not about to be sold, you have the right to foreclose on the property and force its sale so that you can get paid.
Our attorneys will prepare, file and foreclose on mechanic’s liens, if necessary, to help you get paid for your work. There are, however, strict time limits that must be complied with in order to preserve your rights via a mechanic’s lien. Be sure to contact us at the earliest possible time in order to ensure that you do not unintentionally waive your right to file a mechanic’s lien.
We also prosecute and defend trust fund claims, which are prevalent in state court and federal bankruptcy court. A trust fund statute exists in Colorado, which requires contractors and subcontractors to hold any funds received from a construction project, in trust, for the payment of the subcontractors, materialmen, and the like, who have furnished labor, material or services to a project and have lien rights. If a contractor or subcontractor fails to hold money in trust, and certain statutory requirements are met, you may be entitled to treble damages (three times actual damages) and attorneys’ fees in any action you bring against the party who was to hold funds in trust and did not. The attorneys at Schlueter, Mahoney & Ross, P.C. have the knowledge and expertise to help you maximize the amount you can collect if you are not paid on a project. 3
Are you the owner of a property that had a mechanic’s lien improperly filed against your property? Did you have to pay for the same work twice because of a mechanic’s lien that was filed against property? We can help.
If you are the owner of the single family home there is a defense provided for by Colorado statutes, which provides that if you have already paid the full contractual amounts owed, the lien may not be enforced. The attorneys at Schlueter, Mahoney & Ross, P.C. can help you assert this defense if a mechanic’s lien is asserted against your single family home.
If you are the owner of a property that does not fall into the above category, although you may have to pay the lien amount, even if you have already paid the general contractor, there are still powerful remedies available to you. The most powerful being the Colorado Trust Fund 4 5
Statute. This statute provides that if you paid a contractor, that contractor is to hold the money in trust for payment of its subcontractors, materialmen and laborers. If this money was not properly disbursed, you may be entitled to treble damages (three times actual damages) and attorneys’ fees in any action you bring against the party who was to hold funds in trust and did not. This applies to the construction company, and in some cases, to the individual in charge of the construction company. It is also a powerful tool because a violation of the Colorado Trust Fund Statute is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. A contractor or subcontractor that violated his or her obligations cannot simply file for bankruptcy and avoid the debt he or she owes to you.
1C.R.S. § 38-22-101, et. seq.
2C.R.S. § 38-22-127.
3C.R.S. § 38-22-127(5), C.R.S. §§ 18-4-401, -405
4C.R.S. § 38-22-102(3.5).
5C.R.S. § 38-22-127(5), C.R.S. §§ 18-4-401, -405