Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lien Law Online eLert for 5/9/2012 - Iowa

May 8, 2012 The Iowa legislature recently adopted significant revisions to Iowa’s mechanics’ lien statute. These changes will take effect on January 1, 2013. Below are highlights of the major changes, which will be addressed in further detail in a revised Iowa section of LienLawOnLine. The first major change to Iowa’s mechanics’ lien law is the creation of a centralized online filing system for mechanics’ liens on both commercial and residential projects. Previously, liens were filed with the clerks of court in each of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties. Under the new system, the Iowa Secretary of State will administer a website for filing and posting of liens. The system will include the option of direct filing, or filing by mailing the lien to the Secretary of State’s office for posting within three (3) days of receipt. The state construction registry website will be accessible to the general public through the Secretary of State’s website. Other significant changes pertain solely to residential projects. Under the new law, general contractors and remodelers (who have utilized or will utilize subcontractors or material suppliers) on residential projects, must post a “Notice of Commencement” to the online registry system within ten (10) days of commencement of work on the project. If the required Notice is not posted within the required time period, the general contractor/remodeler loses all rights to later file a mechanic’s lien. Similar to the current statute, under the new law, subcontractors are still required to file preliminary notices. However, the notices must be posted to the online registry system. Jodie C. McDougal, Esquire ( Elizabeth R. Meyer, Esquire Davis Brown Law Firm (