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Can I cash a check and still retain my lien rights?

ColoradoLien Waivers

I'm an electrical subcontractor working on a multifamily residential project in Denver, CO. I received a check for a partial payment owed. The total owed to us is $7,000, for which I have sent out a notice of intent to lien. I received a check for $1,700. The back of the check has stamped "Mechanic's Lien Waiver" and the contractor has emailed me claiming that that is the total he owes and is willing to pay. Wording below it says "By endorsing this check, payee waives and releases any mechanic's lien rights which payee may have with respect to work performed or materials furnished by payee for which payment is made by this check" Then a signature line below. Can I cash this check without signing the lien waiver? Can I sign the waiver but add a line that it only covers invoices through a certain date? Or do I risk my rights of my lien?

2 replies

Oct 19, 2021
I am sorry for the issues. This is somewhat complicated. If this contractor had an attorney or knew what they were doing, they would have made clear that this check was "paid in full" or similar accord and satisfaction language on top of this release. If you deposited the check then the balance would be discharged. Adding a line (or reservation of rights) and the like does not overcome the accord. Without reviewing every word on this check, I can't provide legal advice. Generally, if you endorse the accord and deposit the check, you have agreed to what we call the "accord" which is the waiver. If you want to guarantee your lien rights, you should not sign and deposit this check.
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Oct 28, 2021

A lien waiver is for all amounts owed as identified in the date of the waiver. Without asking any more questions, it sounds like you are waiving the right to pursue further money.

 

 

 

 

 

Jim

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