How to File a Mechanic’s Lien


Sometimes as a contractor, you have to protect yourself, not just from accidents, but even from property owners who aren’t willing to pay for your hard work and supplies you’ve put in. Of course, this doesn’t happen as often with customers who are happy with your work as compared to those who don’t agree with everything, but in general, it can still happen. In order to protect yourself from allowing this to happen to you though, you need to file a mechanic’s lien in Illinois to reduce the amount of problems you may face later on. This isn’t always easy though, and time plays an important part of being able to do this, as well as other factors.

You Need to Know if You Qualify First

First and foremost, you need to know if you qualify for one. Sometimes this requires you to get ahold of a company to get the proper consultation necessary. If you don’t have the rights reserved to a mechanic’s lien, and you end up filing one, you can face numerous charges and have a large legal battle ahead of you for filing a frivolous lien in the state you’re in. You do not want this to happen, so you have to have all of the plans and paperwork in place at the right moment, as well as the proper notice.

Speaking of Notices

Almost every single state in the U.S. has laws in place that protect both property owners as well as the project contractors. Because of this, you need to file a notice that you’re going to file a mechanic’s lien. There is more than one type of lien that you can file in America; one being the preliminary notice, and one being the notice of intent to lien.

The second one is actually the notice that not so many states require, meaning that when you get hired for a project, you should as a safety measure file a notice to your client at the beginning of working on the project. The second notice is one that you will file to let your client know that you intend to file a lien if necessary before you do. If you wait too long to file one, or file lien and don’t use it (or finish the job at the right time), this can actually waiver your right to file a mechanic’s lien, so timing is pertinent. We’ve said this a lot, but it needs to be stressed a lot.

Get a Draft of Your Lien

Just like anything else that you would write for anything professional, you want to first create a rough draft of your mechanic’s lien before you ever file one. Why is that? Well, if there are any small errors or discrepancies in your lien at all, you may not get it. You have to have the amount you want to be paid, your name, legal entity, any intellectual property (supplies, labor, etc.) and even include the property owner.


Filing a lien doesn’t have to be a nightmare and you don’t actually have to do it all by yourself. This is something that many contractors don’t know about. Hiring a company like BICANET can greatly help you when it comes to filing national construction notices, and they have a very high record to back up their claims.

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