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Can I file a lien if a preliminary notice was not sent on time? Customer retracted their credit card payment

IllinoisLien DeadlinesRight to Lien

We delivered panels to a customer on 10/09/21. He had issues with his order so we advised him to send them back so we could fix it. We delivered a crate to him to return the panels on 11/13/21. Unfortunately, we did not send a preliminary notice as he had already paid in full. He never returned the panels and never contacted us. Now he has retracted his credit card payments and we are past our deadline to send the preliminary notice. What are our rights at this point since he has retracted his payment but still has the panels?

1 reply

Jan 13, 2022

If I understand you correctly, you are a material supplier who delivered goods in October and in November delivered a crate to permit the customer to return what he claimed were non-conforming goods. Now, just over 3 months later, you have neither goods nor payments, as the customer retracted his CC charge. 

First, as a material supplier you stand in the same shoes as a subcontractor, so you have 90 days from the last day of "work" (i.e. from when the materials were delivered) to file your Notice of Lien. You appear to be over the time limit.

Second, regardless of your lien rights, you may sue the offending customer for: (a) breach of contract (nonpayment), and (b) fraud by deception (due to having pulled the credit card payment as a means of obtaining free goods).

I hope this information has been helpful. I recommend sitting down with a knowledgable Attorney work out a strategy. Best of luck!

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