Do i put zero dollars owed at the time of the date on the conditional? We had just put equipment on the job 2 weeks before the said date?

7 days ago
State: California

The date on the waiver was 06/25/2019. We just put equipment on the job 06/14/2019. The customer kept the equipment for over a month. So we didn’t have any money owed until 07/17/2019. Do we put 0 dollars owed as of 06/25/2019 on the first waiver and then just wait f0r the next waiver to come?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

Zero dollar lien waivers give rise to plenty of questions. In some situations, zero dollar lien waivers can even be dangerous. However, in a situation where nothing is owed, where the waiver is a partial conditional waiver, and where the through date does not purport to waive any rights beyond that first “pay period” for which the amount owed is $0, using a zero dollar lien waiver is probably not all that dangerous.

Still, note that if nothing is owed, then no lien rights have accrued. So, since there’s nothing to waive, then no lien waiver should (generally) be required. Thus, it might be helpful to talk to a customer who’s requested a waiver to see if providing one is really necessary.

But, as mentioned above: if a zero dollar lien waiver is required, as long as the there are no payments owed up to the through date on the waiver, and as long as its a partial conditional lien waiver, then no rights should be unduly waived.

For more information on California lien waivers, these resources should be helpful:
(1) California Lien Waivers | Common Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
(2) California Lien Waiver Forms & Guide – All You Need to Know

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