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does endorsement of a check with a lien waiver on it cause me to waive my rights?

UtahLien ReleasesLien Waivers

I received a check for a project in UT. It included this lien waiver as a condition of endorsement: In consideration of the payment of this check, the payee by endorsing &/or negotiation same waives & relinquishes all right of lien or claims payee now has upon the project described by common job name/number on reverse side herof. Undersigned further acknowledges & guarantees that it has made payment in full to all laborers & suppliers under its scope of work to date hereof. Is this a conditional or final waiver? Do I completely waive my lien rights if I endorse a check with this terminology?

1 reply

Jan 7, 2021

That language is non-standard. An endorsement on a check can be a valid waiver depending on the language and other specific requireiments. Those are set forth in https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title38/Chapter1A/38-1a-S802.html. Whether it is a final payment or progress payment depends on the language of the endorsement (if it doesn't indicate one way or the other, it is deemed a progress payment). Because that langauge does not include express language that it is final, you have an argument that it only a progress payment waiver, and would waive further rights. Typically, the release will be conditional on the payment clearing the bank, at which point it becomes "unconditional." You should speak with a Utah construction attorney to discuss in more detail. 

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