Can a public adjuster file a mechanics lien?

6 days ago

Can a public adjuster file a mechanics lien? How much time do they have from the date they met with the insurance company adjuster? Or from the date that contract has been signed. Homeowner received a check from the insurance, but decided to no proceed with the repair, but to keep the money to himself. There was no additional work performed by the adjuster.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

If an adjuster hasn’t contributed to the actual improvement of the project property, that adjuster will generally not be entitled to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien. Mechanics lien rights are generally available to those who have performed labor or provided material or equipment which has permanently improved the project property.

Services provided to the property owner which haven’t resulted in any change or improvement to the property will generally not give rise to mechanics lien rights (with the exception of architectural, engineering, surveying, and construction management work, in some situations).

For more information on Illinois mechanics lien laws: Illinois Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs.

Other recovery options are likely available

Of course, it’s always possible that some other method of recovery could be available when payment is owed but not paid for services provided. For instance, if there’s a contract in place and payment hasn’t been made, a breach of contract action might be helpful to recover payment. Or, even when there’s no contract, an unjust enrichment action could be helpful. Plus, depending on the size of the dispute, proceeding with claims in Illinois small claims court might be an option to streamline the claim process.

But, before deciding how to proceed, it’d likely be wise to consult with a local Illinois attorney familiar with the state’s insurance industry. They’ll be able to advise on how best to move forward and collect payment.

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