Liens were made to protect you, as the contractor. Exercising your construction lien rights is the best way to ensure you are properly compensated for the work you have done, and you can start by learning your state’s lien laws. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in Illinois and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of Illinois requires of you to properly file a valid lien or bond claim.

How to File a Lien in Illinois:

  • What a Place 1* Contractor needs to do to file a lien:
  • File a lien in the office of the recorder of deeds for the county where the property is located within four (4) months of completion of the project.
  • Must file suit to enforce the Lien within two (2) years of completion of the project.
  • What a Place 2* and below contractor needs to do to file a lien:
  • For a Homestead property: You must send notice via certified mail within sixty (60) days of first supplying work and/or materials.
  • You must file a lien within ninety (90) days after the last work was performed and/or materials supplied. 
  • You must send a notice that you are unpaid to: Owner, Place 1* Contractor, and Mortgage Company.
  • You must file a suit to enforce your lien within two years (2) years of the completion of the project.
  • Liens must be filed within four (4) months after the last work performed and/or materials supplied. 

How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in Illinois: 

  • On public projects Place 2* and below, Contractors have a lien on funds owed to the Place 1* Contractor in addition to their bond claim.
  • Any public project over $50,000 requires a payment bond.
  • Must send a verified notice of the amount you are owed within one hundred and eighty (180) days after your last work and/or materials were supplied.  
  • Notice must be sent to the department that hired the Place 1* Contractor, the Place 1* contractor, and Surety.

If you work in Illinois, it is important for you to remember the above rules when filing your liens and bond claims. These laws are your guide to filing a valid lien, and a valid construction lien is your golden ticket to getting paid. To master Illinois's Lien Laws, listen in to this episode from The Quit Getting Screwed Construction Podcast. If you want someone else to take care of filing your lien or bond claim, and do it the right way, contact a professional Illinois lien attorney who is experienced in construction law. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a lien and collections team ready to take care of it for you. Build a better future for your business by starting today.

*The “places” referenced in the rules above correlate to the Construction Food Chain Chart from Karalynn Cromeens’ book,
Quit Getting Stiffed. The chart can be found here to use when following these lien and bond rules.