What is a Lien Release?
- Lien Release Resources
Lien Release FAQs
These docs can be confusing, but they don't need to be. Find answers to some frequently asked questions below.
Map of Lien Release Requirements
The lien release rules, forms, and specifics are different in every state. This map gives you an overview of some lien release requirements across the country.
Free Lien Release Forms
Download free lien release forms for any state and any project. These fill-able PDFs are easy to use and have been curated or created by construction attorneys and payment experts.
Watch videos about lien releases
Enjoy a series of videos that try to explain lien releases as simply as possible so you can release your lien claim confidently.
File Your Your Lien Release Online
Ready to file a lien release for a job you liened? Filing a lien release is easy and fast, and helps you get it right. Get your lien release filed with the County Recorder fast.
Lien Releases, also known as “Lien Cancellations” or “Satisfaction of Liens,” can be a thorny and dangerous instrument, and unexpectedly so. Some states require that the lienholder release the mechanics lien after the claim has been satisfied or upon request, though most lien cancellations are filed by the claimant voluntarily and in exchange for payment or a promise of payment. In the states that do require a lien release to be filed, after satisfaction or the debt, or upon written demand by the owner, failure to do so can result in some steep penalties and liability.
Aren’t lien releases the same as lien waivers?
No. A lien release or lien cancellation is not the same thing as a mechanics lien waiver. Although many states refer to lien waivers as a “waiver and release” there is an important distinction. A lien release cancels or removes a filed lien claim from the title of the real property, while a lien waiver is used to waive lien rights before a claim is filed.
When to file a lien release?
The fact, however, is that the exchange of money for a release is delicate. Claimants want the money before a release, and owners, lenders, or general contractors want the release before the money. No one wants to give up their leverage. So, what to do? The simple answer is, never file a lien release until you have money in hand.
How to file a lien release?
The process for filing a lien release is relatively the same as filing the actual lien claim itself. This involves filling out the appropriate lien release form with all of the essential information, such as the lien recording information and dates, the property location, the owner of the property’s name, the lien claimant’s name, and so on. The requirements will vary slightly from state to state, so check with your recorder’s office ahead of time to be sure they will record the release. In addition to this, some states such as Michigan, require a copy of the filed release to be sent to the owner as well.