ILLINOIS MECHANICS LIENS / COVID-19

Defeating Mechanics Lien Claims

Defeating mechanics lien claims is often possible for experienced construction attorneys. The smallest error or inaccuracy in the recorded document can void the lien.

Jeremy has defended property owner, developer, and lender clients from dozens and dozens of lien claims. He has identified flaws with many of those liens. Sometimes, this invalidated the liens, and his clients paid nothing to clear title. In other instances, Jeremy’s clients were able to swing the settlement bargaining power in their favor by identifying flaws in the lien claims, securing substantial settlement discounts.

If you need to defeat – or assess the validity of – a mechanics lien claim, please contact us.

Why are Mechanics Liens so Difficult for Claimants to Get Right?

The Illinois Mechanics Lien Act beautifully balances competing interests.

Sure, one of its goals is to help designers and contractors secure payment for services rendered from property owners, developers, and lenders.

However, the Lien Act contains very specific requirements for lien claimants to meet with exacting precision. This furthers another goal: to empower property owners, developers, lenders, and purchasers to confidently transact in real property – without being subject to an undue risk of mechanics lien claims.

The Lien Act is about predictability, not fairness. People should be able to rely on recorded real estate records. If a mechanics lien lists the wrong PIN number, or address, or the incorrect “last date of work,” or contains other errors, a search of the real property records may not reveal the lien claim. In that case, the lien can often be invalidated under Illinois law. Defeating mechanics lien claims is a focus of Jeremy’s practice.

On What Grounds Can Mechanics Liens Be Defeated?

Lien claims can be defeated for dozens of reasons, too many to list. Some common mechanics lien errors include imprecise allegations regarding:

  • Sworn statements and lien waivers
  • Description of the property owner
  • Incorrect contract description
  • Incorrect lien claim amounts
  • Allocation and apportionment
  • Lienable improvements
  • Abandoned projects
  • Landlord-Tenant issues
  • Legality of contract
  • Satisfying contract conditions
  • Licensure requirements
  • Completion dates
  • Notice requirements
  • Necessary parties
  • Subcontractor issues
  • Many others…

These kinds of mechanics lien defects are often readily identifiable by experienced construction attorneys. Using lien claims, Jeremy has recovered millions of dollars for architect, engineer, and contractor clients. He frequently records mechanics lien claims for projects in the Chicagoland area. His experienced recording lien claims, plus his experience representing property owners, developers, and lenders in mechanics lien and mortgage foreclosure litigation, helps him spot subtle defects in lien claims.

Defeating mechanics lien claims

Jeremy is an experienced litigator in the Mechanics Lien / Mortgage Foreclosure Section of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.