Do Not Sign That Lien Waiver

Every month, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers submit applications for payment upstream along with a form they are contractually required to execute: a release and waiver of claims or liens, commonly called a "lien waiver." The language in these lien waivers is intended to identify how much the contractor has been paid and release any claim...
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Pending Home Sales Plummet in April

Pending home sales is the latest sector to see record drops from the impacts of COVID-19. The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) declined 21.8% in April. All regions saw a month-to-month and year-over-year decline in pending home sales."With nearly all states under stay-at-home orders in April, it is no surpris...
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Working Through COVID-19 in Construction

There is always some sort of risk for credit professionals when a credit application comes in or the salesperson knocks on the door with a new customer. The risk of nonpayment for goods and services rendered is always at the back of a creditor's mind no matter how nice and clean a transaction looks on paper. Even cash in advance can get tricky if t...
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Material Suppliers Adapt to Accommodate Canceled, Delayed Projects

It has been more than three months since COVID-19 appeared in the U.S., and the challenges are never-ending. Many schools are transitioning to online learning, thousands of businesses remain closed, and a lot of the workforce is working from home. Some sectors, such as construction, operate in a gray area as projects are either moving forward, post...
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Mississippi Deadlines for Mechanic’s Liens and Construction Liens

For contractors and subcontractors, late payments can be an all-too-familiar part of the construction industry. Many assume the best of intentions—maybe the check is still in the mail? Maybe there was an emergency around-the-clock project? When it eventually becomes clear there is a problem, many will still try to work it out themselves. But all th...
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Risk Mitigation in Supply Chain Contracts: Termination, Credit and Insurance Terms

As business shutdowns related to the COVID-19 crisis continue to wreak havoc on supply chains across the globe, companies responding to supply chain disruptions will find that their obligations, rights and remedies largely depend on specific language in their contracts. A carefully crafted (or renegotiated) contract and an appropriate, timely respo...
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New Home Sales Rise Slightly Showing ‘Potential Recovery’

Although existing home sales declined last month, new home sales held their ground in April with more than a half-percent rise. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the increase brought the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 623,000 units.NAHB Chairman Dean Mon said in the report that the new home sales results "show the potential ...
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Reviewing Construction Contracts in the Time of COVID-19

As several industries adjust to their altered operations due to COVID-19, some are looking ahead to assess their options financially, specifically how to keep business afloat until work ramps up again. Almost everything with a schedule is either delayed or canceled altogether, including movie theater releases, sports events and even construction pr...
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Joint Check Agreement Basics

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down in more ways than one, leaving different parties stuck and hung out to dry through no fault of their own. This black swan has crippled many businesses and individuals, with still many outcomes left to be known. While some larger companies such as Under Armour, Nike and Adidas have come out and said they wil...
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The COVID-19 Potential Impact on Contract Surety

The COVID-19 pandemic raises a series of unknowns for contractors, owners, subcontractors, suppliers and sureties. Much is being written about whether construction is deemed an essential infrastructure exception to governors' various executive stay-at-home orders. Surety practitioners are facing novel legal issues raised by the pandemic as they ana...
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Existing Home Sales Continue Decline in April

COVID-19 continues to impact existing home sales, resulting in the second-straight month of declines. The National Association of Realtors announced May 21 that sales dropped 17.8% in April from March, and sales are down roughly the same amount from April 2019. The steep fall is the largest month-over-month decline since July 2010. "The economic lo...
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Payments and Order Cancellations for Suppliers and Distributors

At the present time, many suppliers and distributors are looking at the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and thinking—hard.Thoughts are likely to be at three levels.1. Goods supplied for which payment has not been receivedFirst, in terms of goods supplied, it may be that payment has not yet been made. If the distributor becomes insolvent, it ...
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Decrease in April Construction Input Prices Spells Good News for Industry

A bit of good news made its way to the construction sector last week when Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported a dip in construction input prices in April. Overall prices declined nearly 4.5% last month, the majority of the decline seen in nonresidential construction input prices at 4.2%. ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said inflatio...
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Construction Unemployment Rises Nearly 15% in April

Unemployment has reached record highs since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the construction industry is feeling it. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the unemployment rate continued to rise in April with an increase of nearly 15%—a total of 20.5 million jobs lost in 30 days.NAHB reported residential construction employmen...
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COVID-19 Affects Nonresidential Building

COVID-19 continues to impact industries left and right and is now hitting the nonresidential building sector. The Dodge Momentum Index declined 6% in April, according to a release from Dodge Data & Analytics. The index measures the initial report of nonresidential projects in planning. Despite the significant drop, the full impact of COVID-19 h...
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Emergency Tolling of Mechanic’s Lien Deadlines in Ohio

The swiftly enacted Ohio Coronavirus Relief Bill ("HB 197") ostensibly extends recording and other mechanic's lien deadlines under the Ohio Revised Code. However, given uncertainty created by the bill, it is recommended that original deadlines be honored as if they had not been tolled.Deadlines TolledHB 197 tolls any "criminal, civil or administrat...
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Nonresidential Construction Spending in March Gives ‘False Sense’ of What’s Ahead

As the U.S. experiences this drastic economic downturn from COVID-19, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) revealed only a slight dip in nonresidential construction spending in March for a total of nearly $803 billion. Despite falling 0.1% in March, nonresidential construction spending increased 2% over the prior yearAccording to ABC, 12 of th...
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Few Contractors Are Confident About the Future Thanks to COVID-19

Contractors are not anticipating a bright foreseeable future, at least for the time being, thanks to COVID-19. According to a recent report from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), its Construction Confidence Index (CCI), reached an all-time low in readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with all three scores plummeting below...
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New Home Sales Plummet in March

 New single-family home sales have finally felt the impact of coronavirus outbreak. Sales plummeted 15.4% in March from the revised February rate, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales are also 9.5% below March 2019."Despite the sharp decline in new home sales this month, the first quarter of 202...
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March Housing Starts Impacted by Coronavirus

U.S. housing starts have been greatly impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Privately owned housing starts fell more than 22% in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.216 million, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The staggering drop was the largest monthly step-back since March 1984, states R...
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