Mechanic's Lien

Let the experienced attorneys at Mag Mile Law help you navigate the Mechanic's Lien process.

A mechanic's lien is one of the options available for a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier of labor, services or materials when they have not been paid for work they performed. When this happens, the contractor or subcontractor may file a mechanic's lien against the property where they performed the work.

A valid mechanic's lien prevents the property owner from transferring the property without paying you first, and it also allows the contractor to force the property to be sold in order to satisfy the lien.

In Illinois, the filing of such liens is governed by the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, 770 ILCS 60/1 et seq. The filing of a mechanic's lien under the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act requires a complicated series of steps that must be performed in correct order in a certain period of time after the contractor or subcontractor has completed its work. The purpose of this multi-step process is to provide proper notification to the owner that the contractor or subcontractor has not been paid.

What should I know about Mechanic's Liens?

The Mechanics Lien Act provides contractors with important tools to ensure full payment for all work they provide. But, navigating the highly technical and complicated provisions of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act can be challenging. It is important that contractors still become familiar with some of the basic requirements:

  • The act distinguishes between: (1) liens on property due to an "original contractor" from an owner from private construction; (2) liens on property due to an "original contractor" from a public body resulting from public construction; and (3) subcontractor liens.
  • There must be a contract to support the right of a lien, whether it is written or oral.
  • The right of a subcontractor to a lien is dependent on the contract between the owner and the original contractor. If there is no contract between the owner and the original contractor under the terms of which a lien may be established, then the subcontractor has no lien.
  • The lien must be perfected through notice and recording requirements, and the time periods established by the Mechanics Lien Act are mandatory for enforcing the lien. The deadlines vary slightly between "original contractors" and subcontractors.
  • The Mechanics Lien Act allows for the recovery of interest for unpaid amounts from the date due until the date the claim is paid.
  • The Mechanics Lien Act provides for an additional and cumulative remedy, meaning that a contractor can also file other actions to recover what he or she is owed.

Don't go at this alone. Call the attorneys at Mag Mile Law to help you get paid.

If you are an Illinois contractor, subcontractor or material supplier engaged in a dispute regarding payment for work performed, our team of attorneys at Mag Mile Law, LLC is here to help. We have years of experience representing contractors in mechanics' lien litigation throughout Illinois. Please contact us for a free consultation.