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Massachusetts Lien Waivers Guide and FAQs

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Massachusetts Lien Waiver FAQs

Lien Waivers Overview

Massachusetts Lien Waiver Rules

  • Rules At A Glance
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lien waivers regulated
Specific Form Required

Massachusetts requires specific forms to be used by GCs in exchange for progress payments. All other lien waivers are unregulated.

lien waivers do not need to be notarized
Notarization Not Required

Lien waivers in Massachusetts do not need to be notarized, but they must be signed “under the penalties of perjury.”

Can Waive Rights in Contract

If the waiver in the contract is in the required statutory form, and signed under the penalty of perjury, there is no prohibition to including the waiver in with a contract.

Can Waive Rights Before Payment

If the waiver is valid and enforceable, lien rights can be waived prior to payment.

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 Massachusetts. 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 are 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!

Massachusetts Lien Waiver Laws

Massachusetts is just one of 12 states that provide statutory lien waiver forms and have specific lien waiver laws; sort of. MGL ch. 254 §32 provides a statutory form for a Partial Waiver and Subordination of Lien to be used by general contractors.

All other types of lien waivers in MA are unregulated. This means the state does not have specific laws regulating the exchange of lien waivers on construction projects, or the specific forms themselves. The lack of regulation makes exchanging lien waivers more difficult in Massachusetts, and riskier. MA contractors, subs, and suppliers should thoroughly review the language of the waiver to ensure that they aren’t waiving more than intended. 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 Massachusetts.

Free Massachusetts Lien Waivers Forms & Templates

Massachusetts has specific lien waiver forms that can be used by everyone on an Massachusetts construction project. Using these forms is safe, easy, stress-free, and fair for everyone involved.

The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Massachusetts rules. You can download them free, or use our free system to send or request your compliant Massachusetts lien waiver form.

Free Massachusetts Lien Waiver Forms

These Massachusetts lien waiver forms are compliant with the state's requirements. Make it easy, and use forms from the source you can trust.

Massachusetts Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Massachusetts Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This MA 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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Massachusetts Lien Waivers FAQs

Massachusetts's lien waiver requirements and rules can be confusing, but everybody providing or requesting lien waivers in Massachusetts needs to make sure they are compliant with the statutory requirements. We have some answers to the most common questions about Massachusetts's lien waiver rules below.

Massachusetts Lien Waiver FAQs

Does Massachusetts require a specific statutory lien waiver form?

Yes, but only for general contractors in exchange for progress payments, referred to as a Partial Waiver and Subordination of Lien.

All other types of lien waivers in Massachusetts are not governed by statute. Because the form and content are unregulated under MA lien laws, careful attention should be paid to the actual terms of the waiver to ensure you’re not waiving more than intended.

• See: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?

What are the requirements for a Massachusetts lien waiver? What makes a lien waiver binding?

For general contractors using the Partial Waiver and Subordination of Lien it must be in substantially the same form as provided by statute.

Download a free Massachusetts Partial Waiver and Subordination of Lien form here

All other lien waivers must clearly express the intent of the party to waive lien rights in order to be valid and enforceable.

How does subordination work on Massachusetts' statutory lien waivers?

The general contractor waiver and subordination form is meant to protect a lender’s priority of their security interest for loan advances after the contractor has filed a Notice of Contract. Failure to provide such a waiver can be grounds for a lender or mortgagee to refuse to make construction financing advances.

Once executed, the waiving party agrees to subordinate their lien rights to the lender for labor/materials furnished any time through the 25th day after the end of the payment period listed in the waiver; to the extent of the amount of funds actually advanced through such 25th day.

• Learn more: Subordination of Mechanics Liens Explained

Are unconditional lien waivers prohibited in Massachusetts?

No, unconditional lien waivers are not prohibited in Massachusetts as long as the waiver is valid and enforceable.

• Dive deeper: Conditional vs. Unconditional Lien Waivers | What’s the Difference?

Can a contractor or supplier waive their lien rights by contract?

Yes, Massachusetts does allow for the waiver of lien rights by contract. Therefore, contractors should review their contracts carefully to identify whether the contract contains a no-lien clause.

• See: Construction Contracts- Beware of Certain Clauses

Must Massachusetts lien waivers be notarized?

No. Lien waivers in Massachusetts from parties that filed a notice of contract/subcontract must be signed by the party “under the penalties of perjury,” but not notarized.

• See: Do Lien Waivers Need to Be Notarized? Usually, No!

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How to file a lien in Massachusetts

Need to file a Massachusetts 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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