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Lien Releases - When to Use Them

There are two (2) parts to know about lien releases. Refer back to this section if you recieve a preliminary lien notice on your home remodeling or construction project.

What if I don't receive a preliminary lien notice?

In the event that no subcontractors or material suppliers have served or mailed you a preliminary lien notice, then there is nothing for you to do. If a company or person does not file a prelim notice, then they lose all lien rights to your property, meaning that they cannot sue you for unpaid bills.

What do I do if I receive a preliminary lien notice?

Once you receive a preliminary lien notice, you must execute lien releases with that contractor or material supplier throught the project to protect yourself from being sued. This is very easy to do as there are two options in lien releases:

  •      Conditional Lien Release CONDITIONAL LIEN RELEASE - This is when a progress payment or down payment is being made against a higher total for the work or materials, but the bill is not paid in full. The subcontractor or material supplier would sign this upon receiving a partial payment for his work or materials.
  •      Unonditional Lien Release UNCONDITIONAL LIEN RELEASE - This would be executed upon final payment to the subcontractor or material supplier for his complete portion of his contract with the price or general contractor. Meaning that he has been paid in full. Be sure to execute this "as you are handing the check over" and not later. Doing it later means it might not get done and you are leaving yourself open to paying the contractors bills for him and getting liens put on your home.

Part of trusting your contractor is knowing how to hire a contractor.


This document is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace legal counseling.

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