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30 Day Notice to Proceed
The Illinois Mechanics Lien Act contains traps for the wary, including Section 34 (770 ILCS 60/34), which provides that any person interested in real estate that is encumbered by a mechanics lien claim may send a notice to the lien claimant demanding that the lien claimant initiate a foreclosure lawsuit. If the lien claimant does not do so within 30 days of the notice, the lien claim is forever forfeited. Section 34 is, in many ways, a “put up or shut up” provision. An owner may be able to capitalize on a lien claimant’s lack of knowledge concerning Section 34 to cause an otherwise valid lien to become unenforceable. However, the converse is also true, as a notice pursuant to Section 34 may trigger the filing of a foreclosure action by a knowledgeable lien claimant. Similarly, those wishing to pursue a mechanics lien claim must be on alert for such notices, as receiving one begins a process which requires the filing of a lawsuit or forfeiture of the lien.