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Mechanics Liens

Mechanics Liens in Illinois

Illinois follows the lead of many States in recognizing the legal interest of contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and other construction professionals in the property that they improve. The resulting claim, known as a Mechanics Lien (not to be confused with the interest of a mechanic in a vehicle) permits for the recovery of:

  • The value of the construction professional’s work; and
  • Interest and, in limited circumstances, fees and costs

That right to payment is contained in the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, which codifies years worth of caselaw, as well as older statutes, that sometimes put forth conflicting views on the rights and obligations of construction professionals. The constant in the Mechanics Lien equation is that the law has always been on the side of the honest contractor.

Obviously, the key inquiry is whether a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier has been “honest” and whether they are seeking the value of their work or just trying to strong-arm the property owner. This is where Mechanics Lien law comes in. Under the Illinois scheme, a contractor must document its relationshipo with the property owner to be paid, while each of itse subcontractors and suppliers must inturn be able to document their relationship to the General Contractor, and then everyone should be prepared to swear to the accuracy of their claims. This is the flip side of a Mechanics Lien, which – if not governed by law and common sense – can result in unjustified and unwelcome claims against property that amount to slander of title.

M. Hedayat & Associates has more than 20 years’ experience working with Property Owners and Developers, General Contractors, Subcontractors, Suppliers, Architects, Title Companies, Homeowner Associations, Real Estate Agents, and other professionals, in order to structure, monitor, and successfully complete construction projects. While the key to a successful job is good planning and oversight, where parties cannot agree our office goes to work to ensure that Mechanics Liens do not erupt into a job-stopping event. Even where there is no likely outcome short of suit to Foreclose a Mechanics Lien, our office has the experience to see such lawsuits through to the end. See the links below to find out more through our Mechanics Lien Primer and Construction Litigation page.

Mechanics Lien Primer

This Primer describes procedures that can be used by General and Subcontractors, as well as Suppliers, who wish to use Illinoismechanics lien laws to secure payment. The process is very detailed, with little or no margin for error. Failure to preserve its rights exactly as required by the Mechanics Lien Act renders the claim of the contractor, subcontractor, architect, or supplier void. 

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Construction Litigation

Where all attempts at resolving construction disputes have failed, parties will proceed to State or Federal Court, or in certain cases to Arbitration or Mediation, in order to resolve such disputes. Where a Mechanics Lien has been filed, the filing contruction professional has a few choices. 

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