Lien waiver

sparky1118

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Master Electrician
Has anyone ever had a contractor ask you to hand in a signed copy of a lien waiver with every invoice submitted? New contractor working on a customers house is requesting me to do this. Thoughts?

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Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Has anyone ever had a contractor ask you to hand in a signed copy of a lien waiver with every invoice submitted? New contractor working on a customers house is requesting me to do this. Thoughts?

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I've had one, but not with submittal but on payment. HO got burned by a GC that they paid for all the service but he didn't pay the subs, and the subs put a lean on HO for non payment.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
A lien waiver is proof you've been paid in full on a job. When you sign it, you forfeit any right to file a lien against the peoperty (your recourse if you don't get paid)

I sign them for one contractor about 20% of the time, only after payment is made in full.

I've had a couple of jobs with them that had an initial invoice and then change orders following, and they asked for a lien waiver after the initial invoice was paid but the change orders weren't. I refuse to sign any lien waiver until all money for that job is paid
 

sparky1118

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Master Electrician
They want me to submit a lien waiver with every invoice I met. In my opinion it should be given to them when they give me payment not beforehand for some reason I feel like that would burn me if I did it his way

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James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I understand why they would want it that way. Just trying to make sure there's no roadblock to getting paid by the customer.

But it's a red flag for me. What kind of job atmosphere have they created, to necessitate it?
 

sparky1118

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Master Electrician
I understand why they would want it that way. Just trying to make sure there's no roadblock to getting paid by the customer.

But it's a red flag for me. What kind of job atmosphere have they created, to necessitate it?
These are long time customers who pay within two days regardless the amount. This is a new contractor not from my area who does work for them at their other house


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James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
These are long time customers who pay within two days regardless the amount. This is a new contractor not from my area who does work for them at their other house


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So you have a customer, and a contractor they hired wants to start using you on other work he has? That sounds much better than a cold call

I'd say two things:
1) talk with your customer. See if they can get you feeling any better or worse about that contractor

2) talk with that contractor. I'd be curious as to why he wants a post-paid waiver before payment is made. Maybe try it for a job or two, see how it goes.

Just don't get strung out on a half dozen jobs right away and set yourself up to take it in the shorts for $20k

You might find he's just quirky, and it could be your best account
 

Eli1211

Member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Electrician
A couple restoration contractors I do work for have the same requirement. Haven’t had any issue yet. I agree with James L as far as their reasoning behind it and how to approach it.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
They want me to submit a lien waiver with every invoice I met. In my opinion it should be given to them when they give me payment not beforehand for some reason I feel like that would burn me if I did it his way

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I get this with lenders a lot, especially when owner sends invoice to the lender and they are the ones issuing the payment check.

Latest one I have been getting on a current project I am working on is the lender issues the check, has been stamped on the back with lien waiver information in the endorsement area and instructions that it must be signed for the check to be valid.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
One way I've handled the payment/waiver issue is I've gone with electronic invoicing, when its paid they get notifications that payment recieved and any balance due. It also allows for credit card payment.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
I was always nervous but signed anyway so I could get paid, and never ran in to any problems by doing so

One of the contractors that used waivers later stuck me for $14k, but waivers were not involved
 
Location
northern illinois
Occupation
supervising electrician
If I remember correctly from my early days in business, the waiver is ONLY valid if you have been paid the amount you are waiving lien to. I once had a less than honest GC the presented the sub's waivers for his payout, and didnt pay the subs (excuses for a week of when I would get paid). I contacted my attorney, and was told the waiver isnt valid in court, unless the GC can prove he paid me.

We dont need to know what a firestorm I stirred up when I told the homeowner I was going to file a lien...... Long story short he called the GC, and found out I hadnt been paid.....

Anyway just me 2 cents worth from my experiences.

Howard
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I have never had to file a lien, but threatened to three times. Was paid each of those three times.
the ones that seem to not pay me were the small weekend jobs. Lost out on a couple of those until I just quit doing work for altogether unknowns.

If you fill out a lien waiver and haven’t been paid as a condition of getting paid the lien waiver isn’t valid and has been proven invalid depending on the conditions in which the waiver is submitted.
you can still take out a lien if your not paid. The GC still has to prove you have been paid.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
A lien waiver is proof you've been paid.
That's why you sign it.

If he decides to pay you in $100 bills, the only proof he needs is that piece of paper you signed saying you've been paid in full.
 
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