Notice, Mechanic’s Lien, and Bond Claim Legislative Updates 2021
In 2021, several states have enacted legislative updates to their mechanic’s lien and bond claim statutes. We’ve previously discussed some of the big changes (ahem, yes Arkansas, Iowa, and Texas – I’m looking at you), but here’s a quick recap of 2021 statute changes thus far.
New Form for the Affidavit of Non-Payment
Georgia SB143, effective 7-1-2021, provides a new form for the Affidavit of Non-Payment under O.C.G.A. 44-14-366. The form should be in at least 12-point font, and though statute presents the form in bold capital letters, it doesn’t have to be bold/capital.
AFFIDAVIT OF NONPAYMENT UNDER
STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF __________
THE UNDERSIGNED MECHANIC AND/OR MATERIALMAN HAS BEEN EMPLOYED BY ____________________________ (NAME OF CONTRACTOR) TO FURNISH _______________________ (DESCRIBE MATERIALS AND/OR LABOR) FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF IMPROVEMENTS KNOWN AS _______________________ (TITLE OF THE PROJECT OR BUILDING) WHICH IS LOCATED IN THE CITY OF ______________, COUNTY OF ________, AND IS OWNED BY _______________________ (NAME OF OWNER) AND MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS: _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________
(DESCRIBE THE PROPERTY UPON WHICH THE IMPROVEMENTS WERE MADE BY USING EITHER A METES AND BOUNDS DESCRIPTION, THE LAND LOT DISTRICT, BLOCK AND LOT NUMBER, OR STREET ADDRESS OF THE PROJECT.)
PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. 44-14-366 THE UNDERSIGNED EXECUTED A LIEN WAIVER AND RELEASE WITH RESPECT TO THIS PROPERTY DATED ______________, ____. THE AMOUNT SET FORTH IN SAID WAIVER AND RELEASE ($______) HAS NOT BEEN PAID IN FULL AND $_________________ OF THE AMOUNT SET FORTH IN SAID WAIVER AND RELEASE REMAINS UNPAID, AND THE UNDERSIGNED HEREBY GIVES NOTICE OF SUCH NONPAYMENT.
THE ABOVE FACTS ARE SWORN TRUE AND CORRECT BY THE UNDERSIGNED, THIS ______ DAY OF ______________, ____.
SWORN TO AND EXECUTED
IN THE PRESENCE OF:
Electronic Document Recording
Effective 7-1-2021, an electronic document must be certified by either a licensed attorney or the custodian of the original version of the electronic document and the signature of that person must be acknowledged by a notary public. The certification must be transmitted with the electronic document and recorded by the county register as a part of the document being registered. Legislation
ARKANSAS HB1835 & HB1855
HB1835: Residential Contractor’s Lien Notice Requirement & HB1855: Payment Bonds Issued for Construction Contracts
AR HB1835, effective 7-30-21, amends the residential contractor’s lien notice requirement and AR HB1855, also effective 7-30-21, requires a payment bond for public construction contracts exceeding $50,000 and for private religious or charitable organization projects, a payment bond is required for contracts exceeding $20,000. The deadline to serve a bond claim has been changed to 90 days from last furnishing materials and services, and the deadline to file suit to enforce a bond claim (on either public or private project) has also changed. Here’s a recent post about Arkansas’ changes.
Mechanic’s Liens Covering Multiple Counties
Effective 1-1-22, Iowa HF561 requires a mechanic’s lien involving property that covers multiple counties to be posted once on the Mechanics’ Notice and Lien Registry and indexed on all applicable counties. Additionally, in a court action to enforce or challenge a mechanic’s lien, or an action brought upon any bond given in lieu thereof, the updated statute allows for a prevailing plaintiff to be awarded attorney fees, and on a residential construction property, a person challenging the lien or defending an action against the bond may be awarded attorney fees.
Changes to Second Month Notice Requirements, Notice Delivery, New Forms, and More
Texas statute changes are for original contracts entered into ON or AFTER January 1, 2022. You should continue to serve second month notices for current contracts. Learn more in this blog post: Changes for Texas Mechanic’s Lien Claimants Effective January 1, 2022.
We’ll keep you posted on additional legislative updates as we progress through 2021.