I am a Georgia contractor working on jobs in Illinois. Companies are regularly asking for unconditional lien waivers saying we have received the check before they will release the check. Title companies always ask for this. We refuse to do so and claim it is illegal to require a company to sign a document saying we have received payment when we have not. Is there something different about IL lien laws?
You ask if Illinois laws relating to Mechanics Liens support the use of unconditional waviers prior to actual payment. Having worked in this area for decades, it is not the law that differs so much as industry practice. And, even that differs from county to county - with Cook being the most aggressive. I started my career dealing with such issues in Cook County and can tell you that presigning waivers is customary. But remember, lien waivers are both statutory and contractual in nature, so if offer, acceptance, and consideraiton are not all in place, then no contract was created. Many times I have challenged lien waivers on behalf of my Clients if no actual payments were made (invalidating the contractual aspect of the waiver). Obviously, it is not an ideal practice, but presigning can be done and need not be fatal.
I hope this information was helpful. Best of luck!