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IL real estate lawyerCommercial and residential real estate matters can be complicated since they often involve a lot of paperwork and legal terminology. However, it is important to understand all of the terms to avoid losing time or money. One such real estate issue many people may not be familiar with is a mechanic’s lien, which is a legal document that is filed against a house or other similar type of property. Mechanic’s liens are a means by which subcontractors and suppliers can seek payment for upgrades or enhancements that were performed on a property if they are not getting paid per the terms of their contracts.

Making Home Improvements

Homeowners can face a mechanic’s lien even if they do not miss repair or home improvement payments. For instance, if you have your kitchen remodeled and the contractor does not pay the material supplier, that individual or company can put a lien against your house as a way of recovering the money they are owed. You are then responsible for paying any subcontractors, suppliers, or workers for their labor (time) and materials.

Many homeowners do not know that even if they already paid a contractor for work, if the other parties or tradesmen involved in the project are not paid by the main contractor, the subcontractors can come after the property on which the work was performed, such as a house. Ultimately, if you own a home, you may be required to pay for the work a second time, or worst-case scenario, you may have to sell your house if you cannot afford these extra costs.

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Mechanic's Lien Act, DuPage County Real Estate LawyerIt is an all too common scenario for contractors and suppliers: work is performed and/or materials are supplied for construction on a piece of property, yet the work or materials are not reimbursed. As a result, contractors and suppliers feel that they will never see the funds owed them. However, under Illinois law, contractors and suppliers may file a mechanic's lien against the property owner.

Under the Illinois Mechanic's Lien Act, a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier can place a lien on a property if he or she has not received payment. The Act offers an additional source of protection for the contractor because it guarantees that filers of mechanic's liens will be paid before anyone else who may also have a lien on the property—the assumption is that the work done on the property (for which the funds are owed) improved the property, which increased its value.

Under the statute, there are strict criteria regarding the circumstances under which a mechanic's lien can be filed, as well as the time period in which it must be filed. The lien must also be filed in the county where the property is located.

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