How to Avoid Unsigned Lien Waivers

Lien waivers are a vital exchange in the construction industry. They ensure that everyone on site has completed their work and has been paid for it. But sometimes general contractors might receive a lien waiver that hasn’t been signed. This slows down the exchange process and leads to an extensive back-and-forth situation between the general contractor and subcontractor.

An unsigned lien waiver causes an administration nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the use of lien waiver automation software, you can ensure that waivers are signed before they are submitted.

What an Unsigned Lien Waiver Means for a General Contractor

Regardless of whether your lien waiver is conditional or unconditional — missing signatures are a roadblock to making or receiving payment. As a quick reminder, conditional waivers require payment for the waiver to become effective, while unconditional waivers require a signature for the lien to become valid. To learn more about which lien waiver process you should follow, read our simple guide to lien waivers.

The traditional lien waiver process creates many challenges. First, it is difficult to track and communicate around paper-based lien waivers. Subcontractors don’t always know when to sign a lien waiver, or the request can get lost in the mail. And with paperwork always piling up, general contractors struggle to keep track of lien waivers. 

At the same time, subcontractors don’t want to sign the waiver before receiving receipt of payment, creating a stalemate that extends the payment process. In a more dire circumstance, general contractors may end up paying their subcontractors without a lien waiver due to poor tracking procedures.

An unsigned waiver can also result in:

  • Not meeting US state requirements when using lien waivers
  • Risk of a lien filing or a bond claim being filed after payment has already been made
  • Payment process delays, which lead to cash flow issues


To help you avoid the above challenges, you should look into how lien waiver management software can speed up the lien waiver process, improve waiver tracking, and boost communication and trust for both parties.

How Can You Automate the Signing Process

Lien waiver tracking software, like GCPay, provides you with the ability to expedite the review process on all current waivers. Along with helping you avoid receiving unsigned waivers, there are also many other benefits including:

  • Guaranteeing and storing proof of receipt for payments and waivers
  • The software tracks the status of all lien waivers, each and every step of the way. Status updates are easily accessed within a few clicks.
  • ePayments enable subcontractors to receive their money when a waiver is signed as payment is held in escrow — a scenario in which everybody wins
  • Subcontractors are required to submit a lien waiver with their payment application, so you don’t pay before approving a lien waiver
  • Lien waiver templates meet all state requirements and subcontractors can easily identify which one to use as you decide on the template
  • Lien waivers can be locked — allowing you to view the signed copy before releasing payment
  • Subcontractors can be electronically notified when to sign a waiver and notify you when they are signed
Tired of missing, incorrect, or unsigned lien waivers? Book a demo with GCPay today.

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