Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>My x-employer won’t pay me last check told me to bring him a signed UNCONDITIONAL lien waiver notarized before he pays me I want to put a lien till I get paid what should I do
My x-employer won’t pay me last check told me to bring him a signed UNCONDITIONAL lien waiver notarized before he pays me I want to put a lien till I get paid what should I do
That can be a tough call - on one hand, waiting too long to file could result in the loss of lien rights, and on the other, filing a lien while it appears that the dispute is nearing a resolution can throw a wrench in negotiations. While that decision must ultimately made by you, there are some considerations to keep in mind:
First, note that exchanging an unconditional waiver for final payment is not all that uncommon. When utilized properly, a final unconditional waiver in exchange for payment can be a fair deal - if full payment is given in exchange for the waiver, the waiver might well be irrelevant . Any amounts for which a lien would have been filed would be paid. Of course, the safer route would be to ask to utilize a conditional final waiver than an unconditional waiver of lien since a final lien waiver is a complete and absolute waiver of any mechanic’s lien rights.
Also, it's important to keep deadlines in mind. Generally, the deadline to file a Missouri mechanics lien will be within 6 months after the last day labor and/or materials were furnished to the project. For equipment lessors, a lien must be filed within 60 days from the date on which the lessor removes the last piece of equipment from the property. Anyway, it sounds like there may be plenty of time to resolve this dispute without resorting to a lien filing - though if a deadline is getting even remotely close, it would be wise to remain proactive. Of course, filing a lien is a great way to speed up payment, and three weeks is a long time to go without pay.
In Missouri, though, a Notice of Intent to Lien could be a good balance - a Notice of Intent to Lien may be necessary to preserve your lien rights anyway, and sending this notice early can help provide additional firepower to negotiations. If that notice is sent, the party owing payment will likely be more motivated to negotiate favorable terms for a claimant - they'll know you mean business and are prepared to file a lien if push comes to shove.