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Lien Waiver Software Info

  • At A Glance

Lien Waiver Software

Lien waiver software helps contractors and suppliers generate lien waiver documents based on legally compliant or custom-made templates, electronically send or request these documents, electronically sign them, and keep track of all the waivers exchanged between parties. These construction waiver apps and tracking tools can integrate with your existing accounting or project management platforms.  They can also help companies manage their lien rights or lien exposure by intelligently connecting the waiver exchange to parties in the payment chain and the status of their pay applications/payment.

The result is that your company is compliant with lien waiver requirements, payments can be processed faster, and you have fewer headaches!

There are many apps out there to help you with lien waivers, but don’t get too overwhelmed with your decision. This guide will help you understand how online construction waiver software can help your business, what kind of questions you should ask in the buying process, and how to evaluate the players. Keep in mind that there are real differences between the various solutions, and it’s important to find the best fit for your company and your process. And to compare the lien waiver solutions directly, check out this article, The 5 Best Lien Waiver Tools, which includes reviews, ratings, and a guide on how to choose between the best solutions on the market.

Though you certainly know many of the headaches and complexities presented by lien waivers, you can read about the major pain points in How to Handle Requesting & Tracking Lien Waivers.  Requesting, tracking, collecting, and chasing lien waivers is a pain in a neck, and it’s a pain for everyone in the construction payment chain. Construction lenders, property developers, general contractors, and subcontractors are all juggling this intricate and misunderstood process.

Until recently, companies have relied on generic waiver tracking spreadsheets or just a paper-based process to keep up. But as compliance needs have been more complex, and technology has emerged to help, this is becoming less and less attractive.

Contractors and suppliers are increasingly using tools to improve time-consuming and legally sensitive processes like lien waivers.

Whether you are requesting and keeping track of waivers, or if you’re sending them along with your invoices or pay applications, there’s a pile of reasons why you should consider employing one of the many lien waiver apps out there to help. Online waiver software will save you and your team time, will eliminate headaches, will significantly reduce compliance gaps, will make it easier for all the contractors & suppliers you work with, and, most importantly, will make your payments go faster.  And faster is better.

While going through this guide, the frequently asked questions and other information, keep asking yourself: What do you want to get out of a construction lien waiver tool?

Lien Waiver Software Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that may come up when evaluating software tools that can help you with lien waivers. Keep in mind that these are also questions that you should be asking to solution providers in the buying process.

What is lien waiver software?

Well, it depends. There are many different tools and software products on the market that can help you in one way or another with construction lien waivers. This answer will break down the tools available into different categories.

Apps & Tools for your Full Lien Waiver Process
The first category of lien waiver software we should discuss is the category of tools that helps most completely with the pains of the lien waiver process. There are a few tools emerging in the market that help contractors and suppliers with this process, including features such as:
  • Generating lien waivers
  • Managing multiple lien waiver templates
  • Connecting waivers to pay apps & invoices
  • Tracking lien waivers from subs & suppliers
  • Electronically requesting lien waivers
  • Integration with accounting data to streamline lien waiver process, and possibly automate it
This is the purest version of an application or tool that can help you with the lien waiver process. Using one of these tools, you should be able to get a handle on lien waivers.

The Document Only Category
The first category discusses tools that will help you with the lien waiver process as a whole (whether you're sending or collecting). However, there are a bunch of tools that will help you with the lien waiver forms themselves.

These tools are more simple. They work as more robust "form filling" technology. They may have features that let you manage different waiver forms, and then the capability to merge your job data into the form itself. However, ultimately, these tools are just form tools, and are not helpful to the lien waiver process as a whole.

DIY Hacks
Finally, you may already be using a variety of different software products to hack together a lien waiver process. This includes file storage apps like Dropbox, Box, and Drive, which can be used to keep track of waiver documentation from stakeholders on a job. Many companies will create folders in these document storage services for every project, pay application, and/or contractor. In addition to this, companies will use Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or some other generic spreadsheet tool to track the stakeholders on a project and who has or has not sent a lien waiver.

How much will lien waiver software cost me?

You'll find a variety of price points when evaluating lien waiver software. It's important to choose the best solution for your company, because you want the price to fit your need! You'll likely find 3 different types & ranges of price points in the market.

1. Flat SaaS Monthly/Annual Subscription Cost
This, in our opinion, is the best and most reasonable type of pricing for lien waiver software products. In this variation, you'll pay a monthly or annual fee to access a tool, and you will be able to use the lien waiver functionality in an "all you can eat" environment. There should not be any other fees, but you may sometimes encounter extra fees for signatures (per signature), or payments (per payment transaction), etc.

2. Price Calculated Based on Project Value
Another common way for waiver solutions to be sold is by charging a fee based on the projects value. The software company, in other words, will provide the software to handle waivers (and possibly other tasks) for 0.25% of the total contract value (as an example).

3. "It Comes With The ____" Pricing
There are some "lien waiver software" tools that are packaged up as part of a broader offering. You may, for example, need to switch your entire accounting platform or your entire project management platform to access the lien waiver functionality. In this case, the cost is wrapped up into the costs of a broader offering.

What's the difference between software that helps me with lien waivers, and my accounting/project management tool's lien waiver functionality?

There's a big difference between tools that have some lien waiver help built-in, and tools that are built to help you better control and manage the lien waiver process.

It's really common for some tools to enable you to generate lien waiver documents, for example. This is a document merge function that can help you save time with one element of the process. However, managing lien waiver compliance is a complex affair, as we explored in How to Handle Requesting & Tracking Lien Waivers..

Do I need to force my customers/contractors/suppliers to use the lien waiver app, too, or can I use it alone?

This is a really good question, and it's an important question to ask during the buying process when evaluating software to help you with lien waiver compliance.

The trouble with the construction industry is that it is extremely fragmented, and companies have all sorts of different processes and tools that they use. If your software requires everyone else to use it, too, you're going to be constantly fighting to get people to adopt it. Shucks, it's hard enough getting your own team to adopt new tools!

There are plenty of lien waiver apps and tools, though, that offer substantial benefits to you even when you're the only one using it. This is super important. This is what you want to see!

Here's a short video webinar from Levelset on how this process works in our software. As you'll see, you can use and get benefits from Levelset all by yourself. And other stakeholders on your job can use Levelset, too. But that only makes things even easier...it's not a hard requirement.

How can electronic signatures help in the lien waiver process when waivers need to be notarized?

First things first: Lien waivers do not need to be notarized. Check out this article from our Construction Payment Blog: Do Lien Waivers Need To Be Notarized? Usually No!.

Though it's common in the culture to ask for notarized lien waivers, it is not needed (see, for example, this question about being requested to notarize a waiver in Oregon even though it's not required). And even when a waiver must be notarized according to the law of THREE states, signing an unnotarized lien waiver may still pass muster (see this question about an unnotarized Texas lien waiver.) In fact, notarizing a lien waiver when it's not required may invalidate a waiver in some instances!!

Short story: Don't worry about notarization if you don't have to!

Sometimes, though, you have to. And when that happens, most lien waiver software products provide a way to incorporate notarization. This can be done electronically, through an e-Notary solution, or by allowing the notarization to happen offline and then easily uploaded into your lien waiver management system.

Why fumble around with lien waivers anyway?

You may be wondering why you need to care about lien waivers at all! Well, aside from the fact that state law or the lender/owner on your project requires you to deal with them, construction waivers are extremely beneficial in helping to administer the flow of money on a job. Take a look, for example, at this video on how lien waivers reduce payment risk down the chain:

We're Always Here To Help You With Lien Waivers

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Construction attorneys: Courtney Stricklen, Christopher Ng, Andrea Goldman, and Peter Ryan

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Levelset Makes Lien Waivers Easy

You can get the Lien Waiver Help you need with Levelset's Lien Waiver Tools

Electronically Sign Waivers

Get rid of the paper chase and make exchanging lien waivers a lot faster and easier with electronic signatures. Free electronic signatures from Levelset keeps everyone happy, doesn't require any downloads or tools to use, and is safe, secure, and legally compliant.

Smart Templates Always Get It Right

Upload your own waiver template, or use Levelset's legally compliant templates. Also, create smart rules to use different templates in different scenarios. This way, you can manage the different compliance and waiver requirements within different states, or from different owners, lenders, and contractors.

Paychain Waivers Connects To Sub-Tiers

Levelset helps you know more about everyone on your job, and keep track of all the stakeholders. Match stakeholders with who they contract with, link contractors and suppliers to their preliminary notices and pay applications, and always be certain that you're exchanging the waivers you need.

Get The Help You Need Whenever You Need It

Lien waiver compliance is complicated.  Just take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Lien Waivers to see all of the nuances that contractors & suppliers must juggle. Plus, the nuances, rules, and requirements are different from state-to-state (see our 50-State Lien Waiver FAQs).

When considering a lien waiver software product, it’s certainly important that the tool will have all the features, such as generating waivers, electronic signatures, requesting & tracking waivers, and more.

Ultimately, though, it’s most important that you have some expert help in your corner, and a place where you can turn to for help when you need it.  Here is why Levelset has the expert help you need, whenever and wherever you need it:

  • Ask legal or payment questions to experts for free in our Expert Center
  • Construction Payment Resource Center with forms, how-tos, guides, and state-by-state legal requirements on all lien waiver, lien rights, and construction payment topics
  • 5-Star Support by Live chat, telephone, and email to anyone and everyone
  • Founded by Construction Attorneys with substantial domain expertise

You need help with your lien waiver processes and getting your payment process easier overall…and Payment Help Is Here at Levelset.

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lien waiver help and support team

Manage Waivers Throughout The Payment Chain

Lien waiver tools and applications must offer some table-stakes features, such as being able to generate lien waiver documents and enabling electronic signatures from stakeholders.

However, the most important thing you’ll want to evaluate is whether the tool will help you manage all the stakeholders throughout the payment chain, and be able to track and collect lien waivers from them.

The payment chain is critical in the construction payment and your lien rights compliance process.

Getting a lien waiver from the contractors you directly do business with is nice, but it’s not the protection you need, and it’s not the compliance that the lender or property developer should want.

Instead, it’s important that everyone from the top to the bottom of the payment chain is tracked in your system, and that you can manage the preliminary notices and lien waivers exchanged throughout. You can see why this is critical in the graphic below.

Many lien waiver tools and processes do not offer reasonable ways for you to track all job participants, and to collect/track waivers from them.

Levelset’s tool is built for the payment chain.  You can manage, view, research, and track everyone on the job, and through Paychain Waivers, make it easy to request and get all the waivers you need.

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With and without sub-tier waiver exchange

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