17.24 Releases


In General

A "release" can be defined as the relinquishment of a right, claim, or privilege. Because it is considered a contract, any release must contain a valuable consideration.

Releases do not follow specific forms or wordings. In fact, there exists a wide variance of forms among the states.

It should be noted that technically speaking, a "release" is not the equivalent of a "waiver" or a "satisfaction;" although, many times the terms are being used interchangeably. A "satisfaction" indicates fulfillment or complete payment of an obligation; while a "release" just discharges an indebtedness without a "satisfaction" necessarily taking place. "Waiver" is essentially unilateral. It is a legal consequence from some act or conduct or party against whom it operates, and no act of a party in whose favor it is made necessary to complete it.


Points To Consider When Reviewing Releases

  • Is there a specific statutory form that must be used?
  • Is the adequate form being used in order to effectuate the release?
  • Is the language being used sufficient for the purposes of the release.
  • Is there an adequate consideration given for the release?
  • Is the party executing the release empowered or authorized to execute it?
  • Does any other party (spouse, partner, tenant, lender, other lot owners, etc.) need to join in the execution of the release?
  • Is a condition, exception, or reservation contained in the release?
  • Is all the property being released?
  • Has the released been properly recorded?
  • Has the recording of the lease been authorized by the party executing the release?

    NOTE: For "release, satisfaction, or discharge" of mortgage see Sec. 12.28.