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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>In the Mechanics lien, it references my wife and I as "owners." Only my wife is the owner of the property involved; I am not an owner. Is this an invalidating error? Also, the lien document makes reference to an exhibit A. No such exhibit was attached in my notification. Is this an invalidating error and if it is, how is proved one way or the other?

In the Mechanics lien, it references my wife and I as "owners." Only my wife is the owner of the property involved; I am not an owner. Is this an invalidating error? Also, the lien document makes reference to an exhibit A. No such exhibit was attached in my notification. Is this an invalidating error and if it is, how is proved one way or the other?

IllinoisMechanics Lien

We received a lien notice almost 2 years ago (Illinois). We didn't respond to it because we believed the contractor would not perfect it and didn't want to contest it. The appendix A is important because according to the contract all additions had to approved of in writing and I don't know if what is referenced was approved or even discussed.

1 reply

Dec 5, 2018
These are good questions. First, let's look at the deadline to enforce the given lien claim. In Illinois, lien claimants must enforce their lien within 2 years of completion of the lienable work. This timeframe runs from when that work was finished - not when the lien was filed. Thus, potentially, a lien claim filed nearly two years ago could be invalid and unenforceable due to failure to enforce if the work was completed over 2 years ago. Regarding whose names appear on a filed lien - while including an additional party that is not an owner may be an error on the face of the lien, this sort of error would seem unlikely to invalidate the lien - as long as the true owner is listed, the lien will likely not be invalidated for containing extra information. Regarding the failure to attach pertinent information - that might be more along the lines of an error that could invalidate a mechanics lien filing. However, under § 60/7 of the Illinois lien statute, an overstated lien will not be automatically invalidated - to invalidate a lien on those grounds, it must be shown that the lien amount was inflated with the intent to defraud (which can be hard to prove). Thus, trying to invalidate a lien claim because the lien is allegedly overstated might not be effective without fraudulent intent. But, considering a mechanics lien has been filed and is nearing the time to enforce the lien (if that time has not already passed), it might be wise to consult a local real estate or construction lawyer. They will be able to take a deeper look at the lien claim and surrounding documentation and other info and advise you on how best to proceed. Plus, with a better look at the lien itself, they may be able to point out issues with the lien claim that might result in the lien's invalidity.
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