Mechanic's liens are governed under Title 10, Chapter 603 of the Maine Code. A waiver is a forfeiture or "giving up" of a legal right. In this case, the person granting the waiver is giving up the right to seek a mechanic's lien for all or part of the amount due. This assurance is usually enough to get the other party to pay. The Maine Code does not set out statutory forms for waivers, but according to the principles of contract law, the parties may agree to such modifications in writing.
In general, there are four types of waivers: conditional or unconditional, and referring to a partial or final payment. Conditional waivers become effective when the payment is confirmed (paid) by the bank, and offer more protection for the contractor. Unconditional waivers go into effect immediately, regardless of whether or not the payment is confirmed, and give more protection for the property owner. Partial, or progress payments relate to specific time frames or completed steps in the project. Final payment waivers apply when the responsible party pays the entire balance due.
In a situation where a property owner pays for work completed to date on a continuing project, the owner might request a lien waiver from the contractor, affirming that the contractor will not file a mechanic's lien for the remaining debt. Partial waivers relinquish lien rights for up to the partial or progress payment amount. A conditional waiver means the waiver is conditioned upon the claimant receiving the amount due. So, the contractor can offer a partial conditional waiver when the owner makes less than the full or final payment and the payment method does not guarantee receipt of the money (such as a check that hasn't cleared yet). This protects the owner's interests, and if the contractor is not entirely confident about the status of the payment, she can offer a conditional waiver and safeguard her rights, too.
Lien waivers identify the parties, the location of the project, relevant dates, and amounts paid. Record the signed, notarized waiver in the local recording office, and deliver a certified copy of the recorded document to the property owner.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice from an attorney. Please contact a Maine attorney with any questions about waiving lien rights or anything else with regard to mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Maine Conditional Lien Waiver on Progress Payment Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday January 13, 2020
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