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Can bank make a request for unconditional lien waiver for final payment after only deposit was recived on the project?

OhioLien Waivers

We have a project started one month ago and we recieved only a deposit. Owner asked to sign an unconditional lien waiver on progress payment & unconditional lien waiver on final payment. We signed an unconditional lien waiver on progress payment, but he is requestiong on final payment too, telling that bank cannot pay without both waivers.

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Aug 3, 2020
If you haven't received final payment, then it'd be wise to refuse to sign a final unconditional lien waiver. This is especially true considering Ohio's mechanics lien statute doesn't prohibit the waiver of lien rights before payment is received. It's entirely possible that a claimant could accidentally undercut their ability to recover payment if a waiver is signed prematurely. With that being said -  it's not illegal for a bank or customer to request a final unconditional lien waiver before payment is made. But that doesn't mean the request must (or even should) be fulfilled. Offering to explain the situation to the customer and to the bank should be useful. In all likelihood, the parties don't fully understand how mechanics lien waivers are supposed to work (essentially - like receipts after payment is made). This article could be helpful on that front: The Property Owner’s Guide to Lien Waivers. When a customer or their bank is absolutely adamant about getting a waiver, there could be some workarounds. For one, if the next payment scheduled will constitute final payment, then potentially even sending a final conditional lien waiver could be an option. That waiver won't be effective until the payment on the waiver is actually received. Or, requiring some other form of payment security - outside of the mechanics lien process - could provide enough peace of mind to forego lien rights. Levelset discusses some of those options here: Don’t Want to File a Mechanics Lien? Here Are 5 Other Options.
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