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Alabama Lien Waivers Guide and FAQs

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Alabama Lien Waiver FAQ

Alabama Lien Waivers Overview

Alabama Lien Waiver Rules

  • Rules At A Glance
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lien waivers not regulated
No Specific Form

Alabama does not require any specific or statutory lien waiver form. Any form may be used.

lien waivers do not need to be notarized
Notarization Not Required

Alabama lien waivers are not required to be notarized, and should not be notarized.

Can Waive Rights in Contract

There is no specific prohibition on waiving future lien rights through contract, provided that both parties have a clear intention that the lien rights be waived.

Can Waive Rights Before Payment

There is no specific prohibition on waiving lien rights prior to payment, provided that both parties have a clear intention that the lien rights be waived.

Lien waivers are pretty complex documents. But they are also unassuming because of how frequently they get exchanged on construction jobs across the country, and in Alabama. A lien waiver is basically a receipt that payment has been made for work or materials on a job. These documents are exchanged at the time of payment, and commonly attached to subcontractor pay applications or vendor invoices.

There are different types of lien releases for different types of situations. And these documents have significant consequences for everyone on a job — as it connects directly to everyone’s right to cash! Also, one pesky aspect of lien waivers is that the process of sending, requesting, tracking, and collecting lien waivers is an administrative pain that slows down the payment on a project.

Knowing everything you can about lien waivers will allow you to make your process faster. And if your process is faster, your cash will move faster; and that’s good news for everyone on the project!

Alabama lien waiver laws

Alabama lien waivers are unregulated. This means the state does not have specific laws regulating the exchange of lien waivers on construction jobs, or the specific forms themselves. Many states laws set out the actual lien waiver form template that construction job participants must use. Alabama is not one of those states.

The lack of regulation actually makes exchanging lien waivers more difficult in Alabama, and riskier. This slows down the construction payment process. Plus, lien waivers can be a source of confusion with lots of room for error. Below are some frequently asked questions about the lien waiver laws and requirements in Alabama.

Free Alabama Lien Waivers Forms & Templates

Alabama does not have required lien waiver forms, but here are some lien waiver templates that can be used on Alabama projects. These waiver templates were drafted by construction attorneys and do a good job of having the required “clear intent” between parties.

Alabama Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Alabama Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This al final conditional waiver (also called a final conditional lien release) should be used when the final payment for a project is expected but...

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Alabama Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Alabama Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This al final unconditional waiver (also called a final unconditional lien release) should be used when the final payment for a project has been made...

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Alabama Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Alabama Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This al partial conditional waiver (also called a partial conditional lien release) should be used when a progress payment on the project is expected. There...

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Alabama Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Alabama Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This al partial unconditional waiver (also called a partial unconditional lien release) should be used when a progress payment on the project has been received....

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Alabama Lien Waivers FAQs

It's common for lien waivers (also called lien releases) to be exchanged between parties along with pay applications and construction invoices. And it's common for this process to cause some confusion. In states like Alabama, where the waiver process is largely unregulated, there are many questions and few concrete answers. The below frequently asked questions will help with some common issues encountered in Alabama.

Alabama Lien Waiver Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alabama require a specific statutory lien waiver form?

No, Alabama does not require or provide statutory forms for lien waivers. Because the form and content of lien waivers aren’t regulated under Alabama’s Mechanics Lien Act, careful attention should be given to the actual terms of the waiver to ensure you’re not waiving more than intended.

While Alabama does not have required lien waiver document templates, this doesn’t necessarily mean that “anything goes.” Lien waivers must not run afoul of the “public policy” protections in place for contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.

What are the requirements for an Alabama lien waiver? What makes a lien waiver binding?

Under Alabama case law, a waiver or an act equivalent to a waiver will only be binding if there is a clear intention, whether express or implied, between the parties to waive lien rights.

Many can (and do) argue about what is a “clear intention.” And these arguments can be unpredictable in court, and expensive. It’s important to remember that in Alabama, like in many states, lien waivers will be interpreted against the party who drafted the waiver, and any interpretation defaults will be guided by the public policy protections in favor of contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.

Are unconditional lien waivers prohibited in Alabama?

No, nothing under Alabama’s mechanics lien laws prohibit the use of unconditional lien waivers. Accordingly, contractors, subs, and suppliers should be cautious when executing an unconditional waiver, particularly if they have not received payment yet.

If the waiver is explicit enough, it is possible for contractors and suppliers to waive their lien rights before actually being paid.

Is there a specific statutory prohibition on lien waivers in advance of payments, providing labor, or furnishing materials in Alabama?

There is no specific statutory provision that prohibits the enforceability of waiving lien rights by contract in advance of performance. These so called “no-lien clauses” may be valid as long as the terms of the contract clearly express the intent to waive lien rights. Thus, contractors, subs, and suppliers in Alabama must be very careful when signing a construction contract.

• Dive deeper: Where in Alabama lien laws is it stated that no-lien clauses are unenforceable?

Must an Alabama lien waiver be notarized?

No, an Alabama mechanics lien waiver does not need to be notarized in order to be effective. There are very few advantages to getting a lien waiver notarized in Alabama, but if the contract and/or the hiring party are requiring waivers to be notarized, notarization will likely be required.

• Getting lien waivers notarized can sometimes be challenging, here are some Options for Getting Construction Documents Notarized Remotely.

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How to file a lien in Alabama

Need to file a Alabama mechanics lien? File your mechanics lien with Levelset, the lien experts quickly and easily. Or you can follow the 3 steps below to file a lien yourself with Levelset's free information.
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