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Slowdown in construction industry could lead to litigation

The beginning of 2016 has already seen its share of turmoil in the stock market for Miami residents. Unfortunately, the local real estate market is also expected to take a hit in the upcoming year as well.

There are a number of factors that are expected to lead to a slowdown in the local economy. For instance, the economies of overseas countries in Europe and South America are struggling, and these countries typically contribute a great deal of income into the local economy. Accordingly, those businesses that receive a significant amount of business from abroad may see a hit in their bottom line.

The construction industry in particular is expected to see a slowdown. For instance, a number of luxury condo projects depend on foreign buyers, as foreigners spent about $6 billion on residential real estate in 2015. Given the currency struggles of the countries where these buyers are from, the new construction market may see a major impact in 2016.

The slowing or stopping of significant construction projects could lead to major construction litigation in the coming year. As those in the industry are aware, it is important to meet deadlines and become profitable in order for owners to make payments to the contractor, and for contractors to pay off their subcontractors. As a result, any interference on a construction project can lead to major problems for multiple entities.

It is important for those entities involved to understand the options they have for legal relief. For example, it may be possible to file a construction lien against the property in order to better the chance of receiving payment. In certain cases, these construction liens can be foreclosed against. Regardless of whether a lien is filed, a collection lawsuit may also be appropriate against the entity who has not made payment. Ultimately, each case should be examined on its own circumstances to determine what course of action will best protect the company and ensure payment.

Source: Miami Herald, “2016 could be a down year for South Florida’s economy,” Nicholas Nehamas, Feb. 3, 2016

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