Illinois Mechanics Lien Filing “How To”

In Illinois, liens filed on private property or on funds relating to a public project are known as Mechanic’s Liens. When an Illinois mechanics lien is filed with regard to work performed on privately owned property, it attaches to and encumbers the fee simple ownership of property. Illinois construction liens on public property to do not attach to the real property, but rather to the money due from the owner to the prime contractor.

As for who can file an Illinois mechanics lien claim, contractors, as well as subcontractors and material suppliers can file an Illinois construction lien. If a company does not have a contract with the owner or with the contractor, they are not eligible to file an Illinois mechanics lien claim.  Oral contracts are sufficient if you have sufficient documentation to show the existence of an agreement or that you performed the work for which you are filing an Illinois mechanics lien.

Prior to filing an Illinois mechancis lien claim, certain pre-requisites may need to be fulfilled.  Within 60 days from beginning work on a single family, owner occupied residence, subcontractors and suppliers who do not have a contract with the owner must provide notice to the owner that they are supplying labor or materials.

On all projects, within 90 days of the completion of the work, subcontractors and suppliers who do not have a contract with the owner must provide notice to the owner and the mortgagee.

As for the timing of the filing of the actual lien claim, an Illinois construction lien should be recorded within four months after the completion of the work to prevail over the owner and third parties. An Illinois construction lien can be filed up to two years after completion of the work, but may not be valid if the property was conveyed to a third party four months after the completion of the project.

Filing an Illinois mechanics lien is a great way to collect oustanding receivables because on a private project, the Illinois mechanics’ lien places an encumbrance on the property that makes it difficult to resell or re-finance the property without first removing the lien.

In addition to Illinois mechanics lien claims, also provides other methods for collecting money that is owed on a construction project.  These other services include the provision of Stop Notices and Bond Claims.

A Stop Notice is a notification that has the ability to enhance the effectiveness of a mechanic’s lien.  A Stop Notice, or a notice to withhold funds, is sent to the company that is financing or funding the construction funds for a project.  Once that company receives the Stop Notice, that company has notice that it should withhold sufficient money to satisfy the stop notice claim.  The purpose of the Stop Notice is to provide the lender, financiers or funders of the construction project notice that there is money owed to a contractor, subcontractor or supplier so that an inquiry can be made as to why that money is not being paid.

Bond claims can only be filed on a project where the owner, contractor or subcontractor has obtained a payment bond to ensure that every contractor receives payment for the work performed on the Project.  The payment bonds issued by sureties for construction projects have specific timing requirements, but most require claimants to submit claims against the bond within sixty to ninety days from the claimants’ last date of work.  Bond claims are as or more effective than a lien claim because the payment bond acts as a guarantee that payment will be made for work properly completed.

For more information on filing an Illinois Construction Lien, an Illinois Mechanics Lien, an Illinois Stop Notice, an Illinois Bond Claim, or an Illinois pre-lien notice, please visit