What to Know About Illinois Mechanic’s Liens When Buying Property
A mechanic’s lien gives contractors the right to foreclose on and sell property if they do not get paid for performing work.
The statute is quite complicated with lots of technical steps to make sure the lien is secured and to protect property owners from fraudulent claims. There is a tight deadline to enforce the lien; in fact, it must be recorded within 4 months of the work being complete. If not foreclosed in a certain amount of time the lien is discharged.
Does this mean all work done on a property is subject to a mechanic’s lien?
No, an addition or a roof/patio deck would be subject to the lien statute whereas basic repairs like remodeling a bathroom would not.
What if I am buying a property from someone, and there is a mechanic’s lien on the title report? The title insurance company will not allow the sale to close until that lien is “cleared” during the closing process. In other words, the seller will need to pay their contractor before the deal can close so that the contractor cannot come after the purchaser for their money.
Title insurance is there to protect property owners from untimely or improper mechanic’s lien claims.
If a contractor comes back years later and claims to have a lien that was never recorded in the public records, the title insurance company should protect the purchaser from having to pay that contractor.
These materials have been prepared by Statman, Harris & Eyrich, LLC for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel, as the advice appropriate for your particular circumstances may vary.