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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Had a subcontractor file a lien on a customers property for

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Had a subcontractor file a lien on a customers property for more than the amount owed, hes been paid nearly half of the hours worked and the amount agreed upon for other installations. I have the final payment based on the agreed amount and hours agreed upon. I would like to pay him the final however his lien states he wants more than is owed. I have requested his times worked to verify his pay he is demanding, he never responded to the request. I live in Illinois
There are two ways this can go. He can be paid what you have calculated he is owed in exchange for a release of lien, or you (or your customer) may have to fight the lien.

You are saying that he is not being responsive at all to your attempts to contact him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I sent a letter to his attorney detailing the amount due, what I had paid and had requested detailed information about the hours he worked.


I had written in my notes he worked 70 hours at the agreed $22.00 and hour for a total of $1540.00. I had a budget of 4 days for the tile work which he wanted 5 days and I agreed which would be a total of $880.00. For a total bill of $2420.00. I have paid him $1100.00 and have cancelled checks. so my balance should be $1320.00. The job is now complete and I have the balance in my account ready to pay him. However his lien amount is $2992.00.


Do I enforce the lien and make him prove his time in court? I have witnesses to confirm our verbal agreement on the tile portion and witnesses to confirm the hourly wage set.

I'm going to review the Illinois Mechanic's Lien Statute and get back to you with my recommendation. Please do not respond and thank you for your patience.
I have reviewed the Illinois Mechnic's Lien Act, and it contains provisions which are different from other states and makes it peculiar.

Section 7(a) of the Illinois Mechanic's Lien Act states that the lien may not be defeated as to the proper amount because the contractor overcharged in the lien (unless you can show intent to defraud). What this means is that there is no statutory provision for simply cancelling the lien because he is not

The first thing you need to do is send another letter (by certified mail) that says the following:

Dear Sir:

I am writing to follow up with you regarding the mechanic's lien you have asserted in the amount of 2992.00 against the property located at_________________________________________.

As I have previously stated, according to our agreement, the total amount due for the work performed is $2420.00, of which I have already paid you $1,100.00. This leaves a balance of $1320.00 due. You have failed to provide any substantiation for the additional amount you state is due in your mechanic's lien despite my prior written request for such an accounting.

I am hereby tendering payment in the amount of $1,320.00 to completely pay the amount due to you for the work you have performed. I have also enclosed a release of lien. If you do not return this release of lien to me within 30 days, then pursuant to 770 ILCS 64/34 you must commence your suit to enforce this lien. Failure to respond to this notice within 30 days after receipt, as required by Section 34 of the Mechanics Lien Act [770 ILCS 60/34] shall result in forfeiture of the referenced lien.

_______________________ (your name).

You should send along with it a check for the amount you have calculated is due along with a the following form filled out|:

If after the 30 day deadline, he does not send this back to you within 10 days, you file suit for a release of lien under 770 ILCS 60/35 and ask for attorneys fees, costs, and a statutory penalty in the amount of $2,500 payable to you.

Please let me know if you have further questions regarding this matter. Please also consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated for my work on your question by the website.

Best Regards,
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