All States Lien Waiver and Releases
Lien Waiver and Release Forms
Warning: All information contained within this data base is subject to change at any time by the various states and is not guaranteed in any way by FWM Software. Nor does FWM Software assume any liability or responsibility for its content. Please use in conjunction with advice from your attorney.
Note: The following information covers all states for this generic form. Please use at your own risk and in conjunction with advice from your own attorney.
Description: A waiver and release of lien rights is used to declare to the owner that you have been paid in full for your labor, materials or services supplied. It is the owner’s protection against double paying claims. Once you have waived your lien rights, you lose your right to lien an owner’s property in the event you are not paid, although this may not preclude a collection action against your customer and other parties for recovery. Talk with your attorney if you have any questions on these options.
Scope: All States, Private or Public Works
Time Constraints: None. A release need not be generated at all except at the request of one of the parties to the lien(owners, general contractors, lenders, sureties or customer).
Information Requirements: If you need a notary (jurat) form or need to add specific modifications or restrictions to your release, set those print screen options to 'Y'. Specify What Type of Release is needed and the Payment Amount. The following information is needed for the respective release types:
Conditional Release on Progress Payment: Through What Date does the Release Extend (defaults to 30 days before today’s date), Who Will Issue the Check (owner, general contractor, customer or lender) and Who Will Receive the Check (You, Your Customer and You, General Contractor, Customer and You);
Unconditional Release on Process Payment: Through What Date does the Release Extend (defaults to 30 days before today’s date);
Conditional Release on Final Payment: What Amount is Disputed, Who Will Issue the Check (owner, general contractor, customer or lender) and Who Will Receive the Check (You, Your Customer and You, General Contractor, Customer and You);
Unconditional Release on Final Payment: What Amount Is Disputed.
Form Types: There are four standard release types:
Conditional on Progress Payment: This is the safest release, and is used to release lien rights only through a specific date and only if the funds have been actually received. However, beware of what you are releasing. If you fail to include specific restrictions (such as what lot numbers that are released, etc.) you may accidentally release all of your lien rights through the release date. Talk with your attorney on language specific to your needs for restrictions;
Unconditional on Process Payment: This release is used to unconditionally (that is, totally and forever) release lien rights through a specific date. Use with caution.
Conditional on Final Payment: This release is used to release all lien rights if funds have been actually received. However, beware of what you are releasing. If you fail to include specific restrictions (such as what lot numbers that are released, etc., you may accidentally release all of your lien rights with no recourse. Talk with your attorney on language specific to your needs for restrictions.
Unconditional on Final Payment: This is the most dangerous release. It is a unconditional (that is, total and forever)release of all of your lien rights. Use with extreme caution.
Specific Statuatory Requirements, By State:
California: The language of the California release is slightly different than other states as of January 1, 1994. Specifically, the Special Restrictions language of the program (see below), except for the text covering change orders, is now required for California releases by law, and cannot be modified. The sole exception is the optional language covering change orders. If "Special Restrictions" is set to 'Y', that change order language is also added.
Add Modifications: If this option is set to 'Y', you may add specific modification language to the body of a release.
Special Restrictions: If this option is set to 'Y', the program adds language following the Halbert Lumber decision in California. Specifically, it adds language to nullify the release in case of unpaid or unauthorized change orders, unbilled deliveries, etc. If you are a material supplier or subcontractor, you will probably want set this option to "Y"'. If you are a general contractor, you will probably want to set this option to 'N'.
Procedures: Prepare appropriate release with additional information. Add modifications where necessary. Sign the release and notarize it if required. The prepared form can be sent to any requesting party, be it customer, general contractors, owners or lenders.
Important: A release is a release of your rights!! Do not generate releases unless you have been paid (in the case of unconditional releases) or a certainty of payment (in the case of conditional releases). If your release has specific or unique conditions or requirements, make sure you enter them using the program's modification features.
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