Attorney’s Fees Under Prompt Pay
90%+ of the time, when securing lien rights, the preliminary notice will be enough to get you paid. Typically, serving a notice is a low cost to you. But, in the event you need to proceed with a lien and even suit to enforce the lien, a common question we hear is “Can I include attorney’s fees in my claim?” After all, liens and collections can come with a much higher price tag than a simple preliminary notice – and, if your customer had paid you when invoices were due, you wouldn’t have to pay for an attorney in order to proceed with the next action…
The answer is often state specific, and there have been cases where it is even “judge” specific (whether or not the judge will award attorney’s fees). In an article we posted this week “Criteria for establishing reasonable attorney’s fees under Alabama Prompt Pay Act” the author addressed the inclusion and reasonableness of attorney’s fees in Alabama.
According to the author, attorney’s fees are recoverable:
“The Alabama Prompt Pay Act allows contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers to recover the cost of labor and materials expended on a construction project. The Act also provides the recovery of court costs, interest, and “reasonable attorney’s fees” if the party seeking payment is ultimately successful.”
However, the total amount of the fees must be reasonable in comparison to the claimant’s claim amount. The author indicates there are 12 criteria the court uses to determine the reasonableness of the attorney’s fees, with the two most important being the case complexity and the “…amount of time consumed.”
For specifics on this particular case, I encourage you to read the entire article at the link above.
Take note of the 9 Documents Every Collector Should Have
“If you find yourself faced with the task of sending an account to collections, it’s important to provide the collector with all pertinent backup documentation. Collecting a past due receivable can be difficult, but if your collector has the necessary documentation, debt recovery becomes easier.”
Outside Our Walls
This week’s guest contribution comes from California attorney, Mr. Garret Murai, and discusses the Security on Large Construction Projects: The Payment Remedy You Probably Never Heard of
“California has a number of statutory payment remedies available on construction projects. Some, such as the mechanics lien, are relatively well known and often utilized. Others, such as the stop payment notice, are somewhat less so. However, there’s one statutory payment remedy you may not have heard of at all. And that is, security requirements for large projects.”