General Inquiries

Lien Release Process and Organization

  • 1.  Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-03-2019 18:08
    How do you track conditional and unconditional lien releases for payments that you make to Subcontractors and Suppliers?
    What are your best practices and tools that you use?
    Thank you in advance.

    Tina Diffendal CPA
    Diffco, LLC
    Cypress TX


  • 2.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-04-2019 08:08
    ​TIna, what software are you using?

    Susan Milner
    Corporate Controller
    Eldeco Inc.
    Greenville SC
    (864) 312-9896

  • 3.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-04-2019 10:05
    We use Vista by Viewpoint.  Thank you!

    Tina Diffendal CPA
    Diffco, LLC
    Cypress TX
    (713) 515-5292

  • 4.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-04-2019 08:51
    Great question!  Collecting and tracking waivers have been extremely challenging for us as well. Advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Emily Dolson
    ATCS, Inc.
    Englewood, OH

  • 5.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-04-2019 15:00
    ​Hi Tina,  Our software is thru Computer Guidance Corp. and within the subcontractor module we can track all notices from suppliers and when we receive a conditional or unconditional release.  It will also cut a joint check if we have entered the notice and the subcontractor hasn't provided us with a lien release.

    Mary Miller
    Sun Builders Co.
    Houston TX
    (281) 815-1020

  • 6.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-05-2019 07:46
    Tina, we use Vista also.  It has a built in Compliance feature.  It is either PO Compliance or SL Compliance.  In AP Company Parameters, check three boxes 1.on , Invoice tab: "Don't add vendor to payment batch if 'out of compliance' "; two on Audit Options tab: [Subcontracts] "Don't add Payments to batch if 'out of compliance'"; 3. [Purchase Orders] "Don't add Payments to batch if 'out of compliance'" .  Set up the compliance codes (in HQ) you need and put them on each PO or SL which requires a Lien release.  When an invoice comes up for payment, it will be on compliance hold until someone sets the date on the PO Compliance record.  The compliance code (CC) needs to be the date type, not the yes/no type (we use those for to make sure we get an executed SL before we pay anything).  The date type CC will allow any invoice on that PO/SL with an invoice date less than or equal to the compliance date to be selected ad paid on a check run.  I have a Work Flow notifier that sends our AP person an e-mail when a job with a PO/SL compliance hold gets a payment.  We also made a spreadsheet for open AP that pulls from the system, with our Lien compliance codes in separate columns.  I think Viewpoint should have a better report for finding PO/SLs on compliance hold.  Each PO/SL can have multiple CC.  We have one each for, COI, Contract, Lien Releases.  When the executed ROL comes back, we attach it to the compliance item on the PO and update the date to the date it is executed through.  We send Partial, Conditional releases, which become enforceable when the check clears.  On the last payment, we end a Final Conditional.  You will need to work through the details if you need unconditional releases also.  The system works great, it really does not pay an invoice when it is out of compliance.  It has saved us several times.

    Scott Luman
    Freestate Electric Company
    Laurel MD

  • 7.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-05-2019 14:20
    We are a small company and use a simple excel spreadsheet.  If you're interested, please let me know and I can send it direct.

    Thank you,
    Lisa Gosnell
    Executive VP/Controller
    Starrett Construction, Inc.
    (San Diego)

    Lisa Gosnell
    Executive Vice President / Controller
    Starrett Construction, Inc.
    El Cajon CA
    (619) 448-3025

  • 8.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-06-2019 09:26
    We also use Excel spreadsheets for tracking.
    I believe TX requires both the Conditional upon payment - Unconditional from previous payment before current payment is released, if I remember correctly.

    Years ago, I developed a spreadsheet for the projects that required both.  I'm happy to share if you are interest.



    Finance Director
    p. 816.389.8300 c. 816.389.9565 |
    520 W Pennway St, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64108

  • 9.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-09-2019 09:44



    I'm interested in your spreadsheet.  Thank you in advance.



    Carolyn Brister, CBA


    Momentum Mechanical, Inc.

    2504 Gravel Dr.,  Fort Worth, TX  76118

    817-624-0024 Office     817-846-6476 Cell


  • 10.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 10-08-2019 16:01
    I would love to see your spreadsheet if you don't mind sending it to me too.

    Thanks so much,
    Terrie Dillon
    Next Generation Capital, LLC
    phone:  916.822.3220 ext 113
    mobile: 916.801.4452

    Terrie Dillon
    Next Generation Capital, LLC
    Gold River CA
    (916) 801-4452

  • 11.  RE: Lien Release Process and Organization

    Posted 09-07-2019 11:23
    Hi @Tina Diffendal and all -- Here are some opinions and resources that may be helpful to you. I'll be careful not to be sales-y here, because I am the CEO of a company that helps contractors with this very problem (Levelset). Instead, I want to provide you with good resources.

    1) Here is a review of the Best players/tools available
    I wrote a blog post a few months ago reviewing the best construction lien waiver software & tools out there: The 5 Best Lien Waiver Tools: Reviews & Guide.  This is a review of:
    • Builder Trend
    • Oracle Textura
    • GL (Greenlight) Compliance Solutions
    • GCPay
    • Levelset 
    You may also want to look at this other thread on Construction Café about lien waiver/lien release management software.

    2) Things You Want to Think About When Tracking Lien Waivers
    Tracking lien waivers is really tricky, and here is an article that can help you understand all of the nuances:  How to Handle Requesting & Tracking Lien Waivers.  This article includes a free Lien Waiver Excel Tracking Spreadsheet, and covers:
    • Knowing what to look for when tracking lien waivers
    • Guide to having clear, simple forms
    • Curating & Managing the list of stakeholders on the job
    • Creating a consistent & easy lien waiver tracking process
    • How to reduce paper and get digital
    • Top 5 things NOT to do when collecting & tracking lien waivers

    Another reference here is the CFMA Building Profits article I wrote some years ago, "Is everything you know about lien waivers wrong?"

    3) Give Levelset A Shot For Free
    You can request & send lien waivers and pay applications for free on Levelset.  Give it a shot.
    - Send or Request Lien Waivers
    - Send or Request Pay Apps

    Scott Wolfe J.D., Loyola College of Law
    CEO & Founder
    New Orleans LA
    (866) 720-5436