Louisiana Lien Waivers Made Simple

A mechanic’s lien is a last-resort measure used by construction procurers to obtain payment withheld by a client. In this day and age, however, many clients harbor valid concerns about fraudulent liens, especially considering Louisiana’s loose requirements for filing a mechanic’s lien. Whether you’re a contractor, supplier or equipment lessor, a mechanic’s lien waiver is an effective way to protect your clients from fraudulent liens.

Basic Types of Lien Waivers

A lien waiver is a document stating that you waive your right to any future liens against your client’s property. Depending on the type of waiver, it is furnished either prior to receiving payment or afterward. Four factors combine in different configurations to create the type of lien waiver necessary for any given situation, and they are:

1.Conditional;

2.Unconditional;

3.Progress payment; or

4.Final payment.

Conditional Waiver Upon Progress Payment

A conditional waiver upon progress payment is usually attached to a mid-project invoice and stipulates that you waive your right to any future liens on the client’s property up to a certain date if you receive and process payment on it. It excludes returned or stopped payment checks. This type of waiver is the safest for you as the procurer.

Unconditional Waiver Upon Progress Payment

An unconditional waiver upon progress payment is issued after receiving and processing a mid-project payment, and states that you waive your right to any future liens on the client’s property through a specified date. It excludes returned or stopped payment checks.

Conditional Waiver Upon Final Payment

A conditional waiver upon final payment is usually attached to a final invoice and stipulates that you waive your right to any future liens against the client’s property if you receive and process payment on it. It excludes returned or stopped payment checks.

Unconditional Waiver Upon Final Payment

An unconditional waiver upon final payment is issued after receiving and processing the final payment, and states that you waive your right to any future liens against the client’s property regardless of whether the payment check has been returned or payment stopped. This is the safest type of waiver for the client.

With a lien waiver, you aren’t just building a structure—you’re building trust. Let the attorneys at Wolfe Law help you secure that trust with a lien waiver that works for you.

About the Author: Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page. Follow Seth on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

One comment on “Louisiana Lien Waivers Made Simple”

  • Seth, great article. It’s important to note that Louisiana is one of the “unregulated” lien waiver states. There are 12 states currently regulating lien waivers, which is to say that the statutes stipulate that a certain form must be used. Louisiana is not one of these states (see the 12 states here: http://www.zlien.com/articles/lien-waivers-the-12-states-with-statutory-forms/)

    Accordingly, when signing a lien waiver in Louisiana, it’s important to be very careful about the waiver’s language, and to potentially involve an attorney to help you review it.

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