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Lien on specially fabricated materials

IllinoisMechanics LienMaterials

Hello We are researching information about Materialman’s Lien for project in IL . I found this article about it, but IL state is not specified. We are materials supplier, and we fabricate windows specifically for each project. The client can’t accept windows at the moment, and we are storing them in the warehouse. We would like to clarify regarding Lien option on specifically fabricated materials, what are the due dates and documents we would need to submit in case the client will not take windows from the warehouse.

4 replies

Jun 9, 2023

A custom-window supplier is considered a "materialman" under the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (the "Act") and therefore has full lien rights. How you enforce those rights depends on whether you contracted directly with the owner of the project (in which case you are treated as a GC) or with another contractor (in which case you are treated as a subcontractor).

To perfect your lien rights, you must observe these dates:

4-Month Notice: If you contracted with the Owner of the project, you must file your lien claim with the County Recorder and give the Owner, the Bank, and all other subs notice within 4 months of the date on which you produced the windows.

90-Day Notice: If you contracted with another contractor (i.e. the GC) you must file your claim with the Recorder and provide the Owner with notice within 90 days. 

In either case, your Mechanics Lien must be in writing and include specific information, such as the amount of the claim, the date on which the work was performed, and the name of the person or entity for whom the work was performed.

2-Year Deadline: Once notice of the claim is given you must file and enforce your Mechanics Lien within 2 years of the last day of work. Failure to enforce your claim within that period renders it void.

To perfect your lien rights, you must have a valid contract with the person or entity for whom you are providing the custom windows. 

I hope this information was helpful. Best of luck!

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Jun 12, 2023

Hello Mazyar,

Thank you very much fo your detailed response.

Our contract is with General contractor, so we are subcontractor. 

Our windows are manufactored overseas in Europe, and we delivered them to the warehouse un USA instead of the job site in IL as per client request. For example, windows were produced 06/12/2023, loaded to the sea container 06/13/2023, arrived in USA 07/13/2023 and 07/15/2023 windows were delivered to the warehouse, Which date we should use to calculate due date?

Thank you!

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Jun 12, 2023

While a supplier generally has a year following delivery of custom goods to the job-site in which to make it's claim (a clear departure from the 90-day limitations period) I would not count on that assessment where, as here, it appears you have not yet delivered the custom windows. Can you use the date of delivery to the warehouse to begin the countdown? Must you wait for the goods to be delivered to the job? These questions should be addressed by your Attorney.

I recommend securing experienced construction-law Counsel to ensure that you are in full compliance. Best of luck!

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Jun 22, 2023

The issues you are dealing with depend on a careful review of the contract and other writings which are part of the transaction. The moral of your story is that a lawyer should be hired at the beginning of the transaction to revise and draft the contract.

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