A waiver occurs when one party in an agreement gives up some or all of their rights.  This can be done orally, through a written contract, through conduct, or by a failure to take certain actions.  If a party has waived their rights, they usually cannot take those rights back or claim them later in the future.

An example of this is with the filing deadlines for a lawsuit.  If the person doesn’t file their lawsuit within the given timeframe after the violation, they are deemed to have “waived” their right to sue.  They then cannot file a lawsuit.  A person can also waive their right to sue by signing an agreement not to litigate.

Fee waiver agreements can be helpful for both parties.  They may help a party to close a deal by making the agreement more accessible without a fee; they can also help the other party by reducing the overall cost on the agreement.

What is a Fee Waiver?

A fee waiver is a type of agreement where one party agrees to waive their rights to collect a fee.  In other words, the party that usually has to pay the fee is allowed to proceed with the agreement without having to pay the fee.  Fee waivers can waive the entirety of the fee, or only a portion, depending on the needs and desires of the parties involved. 

Some instances where fee waivers are used include:

  • Fees for professional services (such as attorney fees, doctor fees, automobile mechanic fees)
  • Late fees for missed payments (such as on a mortgage or student loan)
  • Credit card fees
  • Fees for applications

Many court documents may also include a fee waiver.  These allow the person to file their legal documents without paying the application fee, or with a reduced fee cost.  Examples of these are various immigration applications and bankruptcy filing applications.

What are Some Examples of Fee Waiver Disputes?

Fee waivers can be helpful, but they can also present some legal disputes.  Some common examples of fee waiver disputes may include disputes regarding:

  • Whether the fee is to be waived in part or in whole
  • Whether a fee can actually be waived or not
  • The amount of fee to be waived
  • Whether a fee can be returned after it was actually paid

Fee waivers operate basically like a contract agreement.  In fact, they are usually included as part of a more general contract.  Thus, fee waiver disputes are subject to contract breach laws and remedies.  Remedies may include monetary damages or an injunction (such as a court order requiring a company to change its fee policies).

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Fee Waiver Disputes?

Fee waiver disputes can create many stumbling blocks for any contract or business agreement.  If you need assistance with a fee waiver, you may wish to contact a lawyer in your area.  A qualified lawyer can help you draft and review a waiver agreement, and can help you get a waiver enforced in court if needed.  Also, if you need to file a lawsuit for damages, your attorney can represent you during the legal proceedings.