CMI: Recession-like conditions persist

NACM's February Credit Managers' Index (CMI) remains stubbornly close to contraction territory despite improving 1.3 points to 52.4. "We did not fall into formal recession in 2023 and we might not in 2024, but for many credit managers, it's as if a recession is well underway," said NACM Economist Amy Crews Cutts, Ph.D., CBE.The index for favorable ...
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Performance bonds mitigate risk on public projects

Contractors are prohibited from filing mechanic's liens on public projects like highways, schools or fire stations, as this would lead to public real estate foreclosure. Instead, they are offered alternative security in a performance bond as a guarantee against the failure of the other party to meet the contract obligations.Why it matters: Understa...
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Arbitration of Construction Disputes: Benefits and Drawbacks

Arbitration is an alternative dispute-resolution process that uses a neutral third party to make a binding decision. Disputes are inevitable in any business or partnership, but most do not expect future litigation against the other party. However, in the construction industry, the average value of disputes in North America increased by 42% in 2023,...
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Tax Package Hits Snag in Senate

After a brief respite of bipartisanship in January, the border security and foreign aid package is officially dead in the water, and the Senate's busy legislative calendar has effectively stalled the bipartisan tax package that the House passed last week. In other words, everything is back to normal in D.C.On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the House passed, b...
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Mastering Construction Contracts

Construction contracts are the foundation of building projects, defining terms, responsibilities and expectations for all involved. They protect both contractors and clients by detailing project scope, timelines, costs and quality standards of a project. However, misunderstandings in contracts can lead to project delays, financial losses and legal ...
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Minimizing Extreme Weather Impacts in Construction Credit

The construction industry is directly impacted by weather conditions—heavy rain, snowstorms and dangerous heat temperatures can cause issues such as improper concrete curing and foundation pouring, for example. These can lead to prolonged delays resulting in project timeline disruptions, increased costs and ultimately impact the ability for credito...
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Bankruptcy Surge in 2023: Impact and Outlook

Total bankruptcy filings increased 18% year-over-year in 2023—likely due to high interest rates, maturing business loans and inflation. Chapter 11 bankruptcies increased 72% year-over-year and Subchapter V filings rose 45%, according to a report from Epiq. "While representing a substantial year-over-year increase, total bankruptcy filings remain lo...
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Housing Starts Surge: Material Suppliers Prepare for Increased Demand

Housing starts rose to a 1-½-year high at 14.8% in November. According to a mid-December report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, permits for future construction of single-family housing in November increased to the highest level since May 2022.A drop in mortgage rates in mid-December could provide a further boost to housing starts in the comin...
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New Law Requires Business Ownership Transparency

The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AMLA) established the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which requires FinCEN to establish and maintain a national registry of beneficial owners of entities that are considered to be reporting companies. Information collected pursuant to the CTA will be stored in a private database, according to the American B...
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How Often Should You Review Customer Credit Limits?

Credit management is a risky business. Every credit decision is directly influenced by ever-changing micro- and macro-economic factors. To better mitigate risk, credit professionals must be proactive in their credit limit assessments for new and existing customers. According to a recent eNews poll, most credit professionals review existing customer...
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Democrats Stuck Defending Poorly-Timed Basel III Proposed Regulations

It is unclear what Chairman Sherrod Brown hoped to achieve when he convened a hearing with the eight CEOs of the largest banking institutions in the U.S. on Wednesday, Dec. 6. What he got wasn't hard to predict—a well-choreographed lobbying campaign against the proposed Basel III 'Endgame' regulations that are set to be finalized next year. While C...
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Iowa Liens: Master Mechanic's for All Projects

A mechanic's lien is a tool to secure payment across all states. However, each state has adopted their own unique set of rules or statutes which must be followed to preserve and protect rights. Nearly 10 years ago, statute laws in Iowa changed, developing a registry for filing preliminary notices on residential projects.Changes in the statute have ...
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Equipment Rental Company May Lose Lien Rights in Pennsylvania

In the intricate world of construction and property development, the mechanic's lien serves as an essential legal tool, safeguarding the interests of those who contribute labor or materials to a project. The absence of such a tool is a loss of legal protection for contractors, subcontractors and suppliers ultimately leading to larger losses for all...
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Credit Managers Shed Light on Subchapter V Issues During Meeting with American Bankruptcy Institute

Several business-to-business (B2B) credit managers and bankruptcy attorneys from Lowenstein Sandler recently convened with the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Subchapter V Task Force to exchange invaluable insights gleaned from their cumulative experiences in Subchapter V cases.These credit managers, who are members of the esteemed National Ass...
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When Management Objects to Filing a Mechanic’s Lien

Filing a mechanic's lien can be a challenging process. It's a way to try to secure your rights and receivables, and allows flexibility to extend credit you might not typically extend. Several benefits come out of filing a mechanic's lien. Firstly, it helps with legal protection and ensures payment from the customer. Mechanic's liens also benefit su...
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Customer Payments Are Slowing, CMI Shows

NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) fell 1.4 points to 51.2 in October. The CMI remains just barely in expansion territory above 50 and its lowest levels seen outside of a recession, said NACM Economist Amy Crews Cutts, Ph.D., CBE."Respondents continue to note the financial stress of their customers, asking for term extensions, falling behind on pa...
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Dancing with Debt: The Texas Two-Step Bankruptcy

For the past several years, a number of Chapter 11 debtors, typically with significant mass tort exposure, have used a bankruptcy strategy known as the "Texas Two-Step" to resolve mass tort liability in a bankruptcy forum while shielding their operating businesses from the direct impact of bankruptcy.The name "Texas Two-Step" arises from a unique a...
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NACM’s Secured Transaction Services: An Extension of Your Credit Team

The construction industry presents unique challenges for credit professionals due to its complicated nature. For example, credit professionals must assess the risk associated with multiple parties involved in a single project. Cash flows in construction often depend on project milestones and payments, making it challenging to predict when and how p...
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Economy Flirts with Recession, CMI Shows

NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) gained 1.8 points to 52.6 in September. The improvement is welcome, but the CMI appears stuck on the precipice of a recession in business activity, said NACM Economist Amy Crews Cutts, Ph.D., CBE."Over the first nine months of 2023, the CMI has been bouncing around levels suggesting business activity is about to ...
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When Customers Pushback on Preliminary Notices

Preliminary notices should not be overlooked in the complex world of construction and project management because they serve as the crucial foundation upon which the entire payment process hinges. A preliminary notice serves as a notification to the owner or general contractor of a construction project to notify them that a contractor, sub-contracto...
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