Unconditional Waiver and Release of Lien on Progress Payment
In Maryland, mechanic's liens are governed under Chapter 9 of the Maryland Real Property Code. The term "waiver" refers to giving up 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. Maryland does not use statutory forms for waivers; according to the principles of contract law, the parties may agree to such modifications in writing. Maryland law, however, specifically prohibits any waiver requirement in a contract. Md. Real Prop. Code sections 9-113.
Typically, waivers come in four varieties: unconditional after a progress payment, unconditional after the final payment, conditional after a progress payment, and conditional after the final payment. Unconditional means the waiver is granted immediately, while conditional waivers depend on the property owner meeting specific requirements (conditions), such as the payment clearing the bank, before the waiver takes effect. So, unconditional waivers benefit the owner, and conditional waivers tend to favor the claimant. The payment distinctions are based on the amount due on the project, so progress payment refers to money paid on account, and final payment waivers are used once the balance is paid in full.
A valid lien waiver identifies the parties, the location of the project, relevant dates and payments, and any other information necessary for the specific transaction. After signing the form, the claimant records it with the local agency responsible for maintaining land records.
An unconditional waiver is effective when signed and given to the property owner and waives part of the lien amount representing the partial payment made, regardless of the payment's status. So, if accepting a payment via check, avoid using an unconditional waiver if there are doubts about whether the check will clear the bank.
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 Maryland construction law attorney with questions about waivers or anything else about mechanic's liens.
Deeds.com Maryland Unconditional Lien Waiver on Progress Payment Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday May 20, 2019
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