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Wisconsin Construction Lien Waiver

Lien Waivers in Wisconsin

Lien waivers are used to simplify payments between contractors, subcontractors, customers, and property owners. A waiver is a known forfeiture of a legal right. In this case, the person granting the waiver forfeits the right to seek a mechanic's lien for all or part of the amount due.

Unlike other states, Wisconsin outlines a broad array of waiver rights and the law does not require verification of payment before the waiver takes effect. Any document signed by a lien claimant or potential claimant and purporting to be a waiver of construction lien right, is valid and binding as a waiver whether or not consideration was paid therefor and whether the document was signed before or after the labor, services, materials, plans, or specifications were performed, furnished, or procured, or contracted for. WIS. STAT. 779.05(1). Any ambiguity in such document shall be construed against the person signing it. Id.

Any waiver document shall be deemed to waive all lien rights of the signer for all labor, services, materials, plans, or specifications performed, furnished, or procured, or to be performed, furnished, or procured, by the claimant at any time for the improvement to which the waiver relates, except to the extent that the document specifically and expressly limits the waiver to apply to a particular portion of such labor, services, materials, plans, or specifications. Id. Therefore, be sure to spell out any exceptions to the waiver in the waiver document as any mistake could lead to an inadvertent waiver.

Be certain that payment is guaranteed before issuing a waiver, especially if the account still shows a balance due. A lien claimant or potential lien claimant of whom a waiver is requested is entitled to refuse to furnish a waiver unless paid in full for the labor, services, materials, plans, or specifications to which the waiver relates. Id. A waiver furnished is a waiver of lien rights only, and not of any contract rights of the claimant otherwise existing. Id.

A promissory note or other evidence of debt given for any lienable claim shall not be deemed a waiver of lien rights unless the note or other instrument is received as payment and expressly declares that receipt thereof is a waiver of lien rights. WIS. STAT. 779.05(2).

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice from a legal professional. Please contact an attorney with questions about lien waivers, or any other issues related to liens in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Construction Lien Waiver Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday August 22, 2019

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Wisconsin Construction Lien Waiver Form