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can a $0.00 lien waiver be delivered in IL

IllinoisLien Waivers

An owner/management company requested a lien waiver from my subcontractor after the project was complete and the sub was already paid. It was an unconditional lien waiver and signed by the sub, as I interpret, relinquishing lien rights no matter what the value stated. It was returned to me by the owner/management co. with the request to add a $ value to allow my payment. I changed the $0.00 to $1000.00 had the sub execute and redelivered the lien waiver with a final payment sum included. I am trying to disguise the amounts paid to the subs to the owner for obvious reasons.

1 reply

Sep 12, 2017
It looks like you have a couple of different questions: 1) Can a lien waiver be delivered with no amount listed?; and 2) Are there ways to deliver lien waivers to the property owner (from subs) without exposing the difference between the amount you paid the sub and the amount the owner paid you?

The answer to the first question is a qualified yes. First, Illinois is not a state that has statutorily mandated waiver forms, so really anything goes. The waiver can take the form acceptable to the parties and which evidences the desire to waive lien rights. However, a waiver with an amount actually listed as $0.00 can be different than a waiver that just doesn't list an amount. A waiver for $0.00 technically waives nothing (although if there was a "through date" that may be open to interpretation. A waiver that does not list an amount is valid to waive rights to the extent the waiver describes. This can be 1) by a through date (i.e. waives rights to file a lien for all labor or materials furnished through xx/xx/xxxx); 2) completely (i.e. waives rights to file a lien for all labor or materials furnished for the referenced project); or some other manner.

Since Illinois does not prescribe the form of the waiver, it can be whatever you want. Therefore, if you don't want to disclose what the sub was paid by you, you can request a waiver from the sub (to provide the owner) that full and finally waives all rights to file a lien for work performed on the project, and leave it at that.
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