A lien waiver is a release of a claim of a lien. Such waivers are governed primarily by state laws, which vary by state. Upon signing a lien waiver, all rights to attach a lien to certain property or goods is relinquished. Some typical liens, among others, which may be waived include tax liens and mechanic’s liens. A lien is often waived in order to allow property to be transferred or as a condition to making a payment for work on the property.
The following is an example of a state statute governing lien waivers:
Waiver of lien
A. An owner or contractor by any term of their contract, or otherwise, may not waive or impair the claims or liens of other persons whether with or without notice except by their written consent or as prescribed by section 33-1003. Any term of the contract to that effect shall be void. Any written consent given by any claimant pursuant to this section is unenforceable unless the claimant executes and delivers a waiver and release. This waiver and release is effective to release the property for the benefit of the owner, the construction lender, the contractor and the surety on a payment bond from claims and liens only if the waiver and release follows substantially one of the forms set forth in this section and is signed by the claimant or his authorized agent, and, in the case of a conditional release, if there is evidence of payment to the claimant. Evidence of payment may be by the claimant's endorsement on a single or joint payee check that has been paid by the bank on which it was drawn or by written acknowledgment of payment given by the claimant.
B. No oral or written statement purporting to waive, release or otherwise adversely affect a claim is enforceable or creates any estoppel or impairment of a claim unless it is pursuant to a waiver and release prescribed by this section or the claimant had actually received payment in full for the claim.
C. This section does not affect the enforceability of either an accord and satisfaction regarding a bona fide dispute or any agreement made in settlement of an action pending in any court provided the accord and satisfaction or agreement and settlement make specific reference to the mechanic's lien or bond claims.