Illinois Prompt Payment Guide and FAQs

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Illinois Prompt Payment Overview

Illinois Prompt Payment Requirements


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15
DAYS
Prime Contractors

For Prime Contractors, progress payment due within 15 days from approval of invoice, Invoice approved within 25 days. (Invoice automatically approved on 25th day if no written notice detailing withholding of payment delivered).


15
DAYS
Subcontractors

For Subcontractors, payment due within 15 days from receipt of payment from above.


15
DAYS
Suppliers

For Suppliers, payment due within 15 days from receipt of payment from above.


10%
/ YEAR
Interest & Fees

Interest at 10% year.

30
DAYS
Prime Contractors

For Prime (General) Contractors, payment due within 30 days of invoice approved (invoice must be approved in 30 days).


15
DAYS
Subcontractors

For Subcontractors, payment due within 15 days of payment from above.


15
DAYS
Suppliers

For Suppliers, payment due within 15 days of payment from above.


1%
Interest & Fees

Interest at 1% for Prime; Interest at 2% month for sub-tiers.

Illinois’s prompt payment statutes set forth specific timeframes when general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and others involved with a construction project must be paid. This page provides an overview of these regulations, and addresses some frequently asked questions related to the Illinois prompt payment laws.

Illinois Prompt Payment Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Prompt Payment Private Projects FAQs

Do I have to send a letter or file anything to qualify for Prompt Payment Penalties or Remedies in Illinois?

In short, no. The following is required for Illinois prompt payment laws to apply to private projects:

The party requesting payment has performed according to the contract
The party requesting payment had its pay application approved by the property owner or owner’s agent (prime contractor), or the work has been accepted by the owner, owner’s agent, or contractor (subcontractor).

Can I include Prompt Payment Fees in my Illinois Mechanics Liens Claim or Bond Claim?

No. Illinois does not allow miscellaneous amounts to be included on the face of a mechanics lien. Note also that interest on late payments allowed by the prompt pay act may not be awarded in addition to any interest charged to the paying party via Illinois mechanics lien law.

If I am paid late according to Prompt Payment Statutes, can I obtain interest or other Penalty Payments?

If payment is received late the party to be paid is entitled to recover interest pursuant to the specifics of the prompt payment act. Note that if payment is not made as specified by Illinois law, the unpaid party may stop work without penalty for breach of contract until payment is made. In order to do so, the unpaid party must provide 7 days notice to the paying party prior to stopping work.

Are there reasons for which payment may be withheld past the general deadline?

Illinois does not specifically identify reasons for which payment may be withheld.

What is the best practice for making a demand to a non-paying party to get Prompt Payment Fees?

Prompt Payment Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Prompt Payment Public Projects FAQs

Do I have to send a letter or file anything to qualify for Prompt Payment Penalties or Remedies in Illinois?

Illinois requires the receipt of a proper bill or invoice in order for the prompt payment statute to apply. If there is some error on the invoice, the owner is required to notify the party sending the invoice within 30 days of receipt, to identify the defect and/or any information necessary to correct it.

Can I include Prompt Payment Fees in my Illinois Mechanics Liens Claim or Bond Claim?

Miscellaneous amounts are not allowed on Illinois bond claims. However, interest would likely be recovered through a successful action to enforce a bond claim.

If I am paid late according to Prompt Payment Statutes, can I obtain interest or other Penalty Payments?

If payment is received late the party to be paid is entitled to recover interest pursuant to the specifics of the prompt payment act. This is always true, as the prompt pay act specifically holds that a party may not be forced to waive the rights afforded to it pursuant to the act.

Are there reasons for which payment may be withheld past the general deadline?

Illinois does not specifically identify reasons for which payment may be withheld.

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Illinois Prompt Payment Statute FAQs

Getting informed about prompt payment laws is important. An examination of Illinois’ prompt payment laws, the rules and regulations related to payment timing, is important to know your rights and responsibilities as a party on a construction project. Illinois’ specific laws can be found in: Title 815 ILCS 603/1-603/99, Title 50 ILCS 505/1-505/9, and Title 30 ILCS 540/0.01-540/7, and are reproduced below.

Prompt Payment Statute on Private Projects

815 ILCS 603/1: Short Title

Short title. This Act may be cited as the Contractor Prompt Payment Act.

815 ILCS 603/5: Definitions

In this Act:

(a) “Payment application” means, in accordance with the terms and definitions of the applicable contract, any invoice, bill or other request for periodic payment, final payment, payment of change order or request for release of retainage from the contractor to the owner.

(b) “Construction contract” means a contract or subcontract, entered into after the effective date of this Act, for the design, construction, alteration, improvement, or repair of Illinois real property, except for contracts that require the expenditure of public funds and contracts for the design, construction, alteration, improvement, or repair of single family residences or multiple family residences with 12 or fewer units in a single building.

(c) “Contractor” and “subcontractor” shall have the meanings ascribed to them by the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act and cases decided under that Act.

815 ILCS 603/10: Construction Contracts

(1) If a contractor has performed in accordance with the provisions of a construction contract and the payment application has been approved by the owner or the owner’s agent, the owner shall pay the amount due to the contractor pursuant to the payment application not more than 15 calendar days after the approval. The payment application shall be deemed approved 25 days after the owner receives it unless the owner provides, before the end of the 25-day period, a written statement of the amount withheld and the reason for withholding payment. If the owner finds that a portion of the work not in accordance with the contract, payment may be withheld for the reasonable value of that portion only. Payment shall be made for any portion of the contract for which the work has been performed in accordance with the provisions of the contract. Instructions or notification from an owner to his or her lender or architect to process or pay a payment application does not constitute approval of the payment application under this Act.

(2) If a subcontractor has performed in accordance with the provisions of his or her contract with the contractor or subcontractor and the work has been accepted by the owner, the owner’s agent, or the contractor, the contractor shall pay to his or her subcontractor and the subcontractor shall pay to his or her subcontractor, within 15 calendar days of the contractor’s receipt from the owner or the subcontractor’s receipt from the contractor of each periodic payment, final payment, or receipt of retainage monies, the full amount received for the work of the subcontractor based on the work completed or the services rendered under the construction contract.

815 ILCS 603/15: Interest; Suspension of Performance

(a) If a payment due pursuant to the provisions of this Act is not made in a timely manner, the delinquent party shall be liable for the amount of that payment, plus interest at a rate equal to 10% per annum.

(b) A contractor or subcontractor who is not paid as required by this Act may, after providing 7 calendar days’ written notice to the party failing to make the required payment, suspend performance of a construction contract without penalty for breach of contract, until the payment required pursuant to this Act is made.

(c) The interest imposed by this Act shall not be duplicative of the interest charged under the Mechanics Lien Act.

815 ILCS 603/99: Effective Date

This Act shall take effect upon becoming law.

Prompt Payment Statute on Public Projects

50 ILCS 505/1: Short Title

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the “Local Government Prompt Payment Act”.  

50 ILCS 505/2: Application

This Act shall apply to every county, township, municipality, municipal corporation, school district, school board, forest preserve district, park district, fire protection district, sanitary district and all other local governmental units. It shall not apply to the State or any office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, commission, university or similar agency of the State, except as provided in Section 7.

50 ILCS 505/3: Approval of Bills

The appropriate local governmental official or agency receiving goods or services must approve or disapprove a bill from a vendor or contractor for goods or services furnished the local governmental agency within 30 days after the receipt of such bill or within 30 days after the date on which the goods or services were received, whichever is later. If one or more items on a construction related bill or invoice are disapproved, but not the entire bill or invoice, then the portion that is not disapproved shall be paid. When safety or quality assurance testing of goods by the local governmental agency is necessary before the approval or disapproval of a bill and such testing cannot be completed within 30 days after receipt of the goods, approval or disapproval of the bill must be made immediately upon completion of the testing or within 60 days after receipt of the goods, whichever occurs first. Written notice shall be mailed to the vendor or contractor immediately if a bill is disapproved.

50 ILCS 505/4: Payment of Bills; Penalty

Any bill approved for payment pursuant to Section 3 shall be paid within 30 days after the date of approval. If payment is not made within such 30 day period, an interest penalty of 1% of any amount approved and unpaid shall be added for each month or fraction thereof after the expiration of such 30 day period, until final payment is made.

ILCS 505/5: Failure to Approve Bills; Penalty for Late Payment

If the local governmental official or agency whose approval is required for any bill fails to approve or disapprove that bill within the period provided for approval by Section 3, the penalty for late payment of that bill shall be computed from the date 60 days after the receipt of that bill or the date 60 days after the goods or services are received, whichever is later.

50 ILCS 505/6: Time Periods

The time periods specified in Sections 3, 4 and 5, as they pertain to particular goods or services, are superseded by any greater time periods as agreed to by the local government agency and the particular vendor or contractor.

50 ILCS 505/7: Fund Appropriated or controlled by State; Certification

If the funds from which the local governmental official or agency is to pay for goods or services are funds appropriated or controlled by the State, then the local governmental official or agency may certify to the State Treasurer, Comptroller and State agency responsible for administering such funds that a specified amount is anticipated to be necessary within 45 days after certification to pay for specified goods or services and that such amount is not currently available to the local governmental official or agency. The State Treasurer, Comptroller and State agency shall than expedite distribution of funds to the local governmental unit to make such payments. The certification shall be mailed on the date of certification by certified U. S. mail, return receipt requested. Any interest penalty incurred by the local governmental unit under Section 3 or 4 because of the failure of funds to be distributed from the State to the local governmental unit within the 45 day period shall be reimbursed by the State to the local governmental unit as an amount in addition to the funds to be otherwise distributed from the State.

50 ILCS 505/9: Payments to Subcontractors and Material Suppliers; Failure to Make Timely Payments; Additional Amount Due
Payments to subcontractors and material suppliers; failure to make timely payments; additional amount due. When a contractor receives any payment, the contractor shall pay each subcontractor and material supplier in proportion to the work completed by each subcontractor and material supplier their application less any retention. If the contractor receives less than the full payment due under the public construction contract, the contractor shall be obligated to disburse on a pro rata basis those funds received, with the contractor, subcontractors and material suppliers each receiving a prorated portion based on the amount of payment. All interest payments received pursuant to Section 4 also shall be disbursed to subcontractors and material suppliers to whom payment has been delayed, on a pro rata basis. When, however, the public owner does not release the full payment due under the contract because there are specific areas of work or materials the contractor is rejecting or because the contractor has otherwise determined such areas are not suitable for payment, then those specific subcontractors or suppliers involved shall not be paid for that portion of the work rejected or deemed not suitable for payment and all other subcontractors and suppliers shall be paid in full.

    If the contractor, without reasonable cause, fails to make any payment to his subcontractors and material suppliers within 15 days after receipt of payment under the public construction contract, the contractor shall pay to his subcontractors and material suppliers, in addition to the payment due them, interest in the amount of 2% per month, calculated from the expiration of the 15-day period until fully paid. This Section shall also apply to any payments made by subcontractors and material suppliers to their subcontractors and material suppliers and to all payments made to lower tier subcontractors and material suppliers throughout the contracting chain.

30 ILCS 540/0.01: Short Title

This Act may be cited as the State Prompt Payment Act.

30 ILCS 540/1: Application of Act

This Act applies to any State official or agency authorized to provide for payment from State funds, by virtue of any appropriation of the General Assembly, for goods or services furnished to the State.

For purposes of this Act, “goods or services furnished to the State” include but are not limited to (i) covered health care provided to eligible members and their covered dependents in accordance with the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, including coverage through a physician-owned health maintenance organization under Section 6.1 of that Act, and (ii) prevention, intervention, or treatment services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities, mental health services, alcohol and substance abuse services, rehabilitation services, and early intervention services provided by a vendor. For the purposes of item (ii), a vendor includes but is not limited to sellers of goods and services, including community-based organizations that are licensed to provide prevention, intervention, or treatment services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse problems.

For the purposes of this Act, “appropriate State official or agency” is defined as the Director or Chief Executive or his designee of that State agency or department or facility of such agency or department. With respect to covered health care provided to eligible members and their dependents in accordance with the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, “appropriate State official or agency” also includes an administrator of a program of health benefits under that Act.

As used in this Act, “eligible member” means a member who is eligible for health benefits under the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, and “member” and “dependent” have the meanings ascribed to those terms in that Act.

    As used in this Act, “a proper bill or invoice” means a bill or invoice that includes the information necessary for processing the payment as may be specified by a State agency and in rules adopted in accordance with this Act.

30 ILCS 540/2:

(Repealed).

30 ILCS 540/2.1

(Repealed).

30 ILCS 540/3:

(Repealed).

30 ILCS 540/3-1: Interest Penalty

The Illinois Court of Claims shall, in its investigation of payments due claimants, provide for interest penalties as prescribed in this Act; however, interest penalties in claims pursuant to the Line of Duty Compensation Act shall be paid in accordance with subsection (3) of Section 24 of the Court of Claims Act.

30 ILCS 540/3-2: Late Payment to Vendors; Interest Penalties

Beginning July 1, 1993, in any instance where a State official or agency is late in payment of a vendor’s bill or invoice for goods or services furnished to the State, as defined in Section 1, properly approved in accordance with rules promulgated under Section 3-3, the State official or agency shall pay interest to the vendor in accordance with the following:

(1) Any bill, except a bill submitted under Article V of the Illinois Public Aid Code and except as provided under paragraph (1.05) of this Section, approved for payment under this Section must be paid or the payment issued to the payee within 60 days of receipt of a proper bill or invoice. If payment is not issued to the payee within this 60-day period, an interest penalty of 1.0% of any amount approved and unpaid shall be added for each month or fraction thereof after the end of this 60-day period, until final payment is made. Any bill, except a bill for pharmacy or nursing facility services or goods, and except as provided under paragraph (1.05) of this Section, submitted under Article V of the Illinois Public Aid Code approved for payment under this Section must be paid or the payment issued to the payee within 60 days after receipt of a proper bill or invoice, and, if payment is not issued to the payee within this 60-day period, an interest penalty of 2.0% of any amount approved and unpaid shall be added for each month or fraction thereof after the end of this 60-day period, until final payment is made. Any bill for pharmacy or nursing facility services or goods submitted under Article V of the Illinois Public Aid Code, except as provided under paragraph (1.05) of this Section, and approved for payment under this Section must be paid or the payment issued to the payee within 60 days of receipt of a proper bill or invoice. If payment is not issued to the payee within this 60-day period, an interest penalty of 1.0% of any amount approved and unpaid shall be added for each month or fraction thereof after the end of this 60-day period, until final payment is made.

(1.05) For state fiscal year 2012 and future fiscal years, any bill approved for payment under this Section must be paid or the payment issued to the payee within 90 days of receipt of a proper bill or invoice. If payment is not issued to the payee within this 90-day period, an interest penalty of 1.0% of any amount approved and unpaid shall be added for each month, or 0.033% (one-thirtieth of one percent) of any amount approved and unpaid for each day, after the end of this 90-day period, until final payment is made.

(1.1) A state agency shall review in a timely manner each bill or invoice after its receipt. If the State agency determines that the bill or invoice contains a defect making it unable to process the payment request, the agency shall notify the vendor requesting payment as soon as possible after discovering the defect pursuant to rules promulgated under Section 3-3; provided, however, that the notice for construction related bills or invoices must be given not later than 30 days after the bill or invoice was first submitted. The notice shall identify the defect and any additional information necessary to correct the defect. If one or more items on a construction related bill or invoice are disapproved, but not the entire bill or invoice, then the portion that is not disapproved shall be paid.

(2) Where a State official or agency is late in payment of a vendor’s bill or invoice properly approved in accordance with this Act, and different late payment terms are not reduced to writing as a contractual agreement, the State official or agency shall automatically pay interest penalties required by this Section amounting to $50 or more to the appropriate vendor. Each agency shall be responsible for determining whether an interest penalty is owed and for paying the interest to the vendor. Except as provided in paragraph (4), an individual interest payment amounting to $5 or less shall not be paid by the State. Interest due to a vendor that amounts to greater than $5 and less than $50 shall not be paid but shall be accrued until all interest due the vendor for all similar warrants exceeds $50, at which time the accrued interest shall be payable and interest will begin accruing again, except that interest accrued as of the end of the fiscal year that does not exceed $50 shall be payable at that time. In the event an individual has paid a vendor for services in advance, the provisions of this Section shall apply until payment is made to that individual.

(3) The provisions of Public Act 96-1501 reducing the interest rate on pharmacy claims under Article V of the Illinois Public Aid Code to 1.0% per month shall apply to any pharmacy bills for services and goods under Article V of the Illinois Public Aid Code received on or after the date 60 days before January 25, 2011 (the effective date of Public Act 96-1501) except as provided under paragraph (1.05) of this Section.

(4) Interest amounting to less than $5 shall not be paid by the State, except for claims (i) to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services or the Department of Human Services, (ii) pursuant to Article V of the Illinois Public Aid Code, the Covering ALL KIDS Health Insurance Act, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program Act, and (iii) made (A) by pharmacies for prescriptive services or (B) by any federally qualified health center for prescriptive services or any other services.

30 ILCS 540/3-2.1: Interest Penalty Report

The State Comptroller, in conjunction with the Department of Central Management Services, shall submit a report to the General Assembly no later than January 31, 2011. The report shall include the following information, which shall be broken down by State agency and vendor:

(1) the number and total dollar amount of interest penalty payment vouchers submitted to the Comptroller’s office on or after August 18, 2009 and before January 1, 2011 for interest payments of less than $5;

(2)  the number and total dollar amount of interest penalty payment vouchers submitted to the Comptroller’s office on or after August 18, 2009 and before January 1, 2011 for interest payments of at least $5 but less than $50; the report shall indicate the number and total dollar amount of (i) those paid automatically and (ii) those initiated by written request of the vendor; and

(3) the aggregate cost of processing the interest penalty payment vouchers referenced in items (1) and (2).

The report shall also include recommendations regarding establishing a minimum threshold for payment of interest penalties to vendors and increased efficiencies, including, but not limited to, consolidation of multiple payments to the same vendor.

30 ILCS 540/3-2.5: Advance Payments Reimbursement and Interest

If a vendor provides goods or services to an individual and requires that individual to pay all or part of the cost of the goods or services in advance of the vendor being paid for those goods or services by the State, then the amount of the individual’s advance payment, and any interest under this Act attributable to the advance payment, that is paid by the State to the vendor is the property of the individual and, to the extent received by the vendor, must be promptly disbursed by the vendor to that individual.

30 ILCS 540/3-3: Promulgation of Rules and Policies

The State Comptroller and the Department of Central Management Services shall jointly promulgate rules and policies to govern the uniform application of this Act. These rules and policies shall include procedures and time frames for approving a bill or invoice from a vendor for goods or services furnished to the State. These rules and policies shall provide for procedures and time frames applicable to payment plans as may be agreed upon between State agencies and vendors. These rules and policies shall be binding on all officials and agencies under this Act’s jurisdiction. These rules and policies may be made effective no earlier than July 1, 1993.

30 ILCS 540/3-4: Specification of Manner for Recording Interest Penalty Payments

The State Comptroller must specify the manner in which State agencies shall record interest penalty payments made under this Act. The State Comptroller may require vouchers submitted for payment, including submission by electronic or other means approved by the Comptroller, to indicate the appropriate date from which interest penalties may be calculated as required under this Act.

30 ILCS 540/4: Examination of Vouchers

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to deprive the Comptroller of his power to examine vouchers as specified in the State Comptroller Act.

30 ILCS 540/5: Interest; Remittance

The State remittance shall indicate that payment of interest may be available for failure to comply with this Act.

30 ILCS 540/6: Vendor's Waiver of Penalty for Late Payment

A State official or agency may not request any vendor or contractor to waive his rights, under this Act, to recover a penalty for late payment as a condition of, or inducement to enter into, any contract for goods or services.

30 ILCS 540/7: Payments to Contractors and Material Suppliers

(a) When a State official or agency responsible for administering a contract submits a voucher to the Comptroller for payment to a contractor, that State official or agency shall promptly make available electronically the voucher number, the date of the voucher, and the amount of the voucher. The State official or agency responsible for administering the contract shall provide subcontractors and material suppliers, known to the State official or agency, with instructions on how to access the electronic information. When a contractor receives any payment, the contractor shall pay each subcontractor and material supplier in proportion to the work completed by each subcontractor and material supplier their application, plus interest received under this Act, less any retention. If the contractor receives less than the full payment due under the public construction contract, the contractor shall be obligated to disburse on a pro rata basis those funds received, plus interest received under this Act, with the contractor, subcontractors and material suppliers each receiving a prorated portion based on the amount of payment. When, however, the public owner does not release the full payment due under the contract because there are specific areas of work or materials the contractor is rejecting or because the contractor has otherwise determined such areas are not suitable for payment, then those specific subcontractors or suppliers involved shall not be paid for that portion of work rejected or deemed not suitable for payment and all other subcontractors and suppliers shall be paid in full, plus interest received under this Act.

(b) If the contractor, without reasonable cause, fails to make full payment of amounts due under subsection (a) to his subcontractors and material suppliers within 15 days after receipt of payment under the public construction contract, the contractor shall pay to his subcontractors and material suppliers, in addition to the payment due them, interest in the amount of 2% per month, calculated from the expiration of the 15-day period until fully paid. This subsection shall also apply to any payments made by subcontractors and material suppliers to their subcontractors and material suppliers and to all payments made to lower tier subcontractors and material suppliers throughout the contracting chain.

(1) If a contractor, without reasonable cause, fails to make payment in full as provided in subsection (a) within 15 days after receipt of payment under the public construction contract, any subcontractor or material supplier to whom payments are owed may file a written notice with the State official or agency setting forth the amount owed by the contractor and the contractor’s failure to timely pay the amount owed.

(2) The State official or agency, within 15 days after receipt of a subcontractor’s or material supplier’s written notice of the failure to receive payment from the contractor, shall hold a hearing convened by an administrative law judge to determine whether the contractor withheld payment, without reasonable cause, from the subcontractors and material suppliers and what amount, if any, is due to the subcontractors and material suppliers. The State official or agency shall provide appropriate notice to the parties of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Each contractor, subcontractor, and material supplier has the right to be represented by counsel at the hearing and to cross-examine witnesses and challenge documents.

(3) If there is a finding by the administrative law judge that the the contractor failed to make payment in full, without reasonable cause, as provided in subsection (a), then the administrative law judge shall, in writing, direct the contractor to pay the amount owed to the subcontractors and material suppliers plus interest within 15 days after the finding.

(4) If a contractor fails to make full payment within 15 days after the administrative law judge’s finding, then the contractor shall be barred from entering into a State public construction contract for a period of one year beginning on the date of the administrative law judge’s finding.

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