Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation
Arkansas: House Bill 1255 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to regulate cross-collateralization clauses. The bill would provide requirements for an enforceable cross-collateralization clause in a security instrument, mortgage or deed of trust that secures indebtedness incurred for personal, family or household purposes. The bill was assigned to the House Insurance and Commerce Committee.
Arkansas: House Bill 1273 was introduced on 1/26/2021 to establish the Oil and Gas Owners Lien Act of 2021. If enacted, the bill would create a lien in favor of each owner of oil and gas to secure the obligations of a first purchaser to pay the sale price. The lien would be perfected automatically without the need to file a financing statement or other record and have a super-priority over other liens. The bill was assigned to the House Agricultural, Forestry and Economic Development Committee.
Iowa: House Study Bill 130 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to create a warehouse drying and storage lien, which would be an agricultural lien within the scope of UCC Article 9. In addition, the bill would create a central notification system under the federal Food Security Act to be certified by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The bill was assigned to the House State Government Committee. Similar study bills to implement a central notification system were introduced in the last two legislatures but none made it out of committee.
Kansas: Senate Bill 58 was introduced on 1/21/2021 to address fraudulent liens and UCC financing statements. The bill prohibits the filing of liens on real or personal property where (i) the claimant knows or reasonably should know is false; (ii) the lien is not expressly provided for by state or federal law; (iii) in the case of a UCC financing statement, the record was not based on a bona fide security agreement or was not authorized or authenticated by the debtor; (iv) the record is filed to harass a public official or obstruct government proceedings and the filer knows or reasonably should know the record contains false information; or (v) files a record in violation of a court order. A violation of the foregoing would be a felony. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
New York: Assembly Bill 3139 was introduced on 1/22/2021 and includes an amendment to UCC § 9-601 related to mezzanine debt taxation. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate on 1/27/2021 as SB 3074. See the full description in the Real-Estate-Recording Legislation section below.
New York: Senate Bill 2762 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to provide for an employee’s lien for wage claims. Claimant must file a notice of lien and a UCC financing statement to perfect the lien. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Virginia: HB 2099, which would reduce the statute of limitations for bringing an action to enforce a judgment from 20 to 10 years, passed the House on 1/27/2021. The bill would also reduce the period for enforcement of a judgment lien on real property in the absence of a lis pendens from 10 to 5 years. The bill also would allow a settlement agent or title insurance company to release a judgment lien in the same manner as a deed of trust. The bill is now pending in the Senate.
Washington: House Bill 1369 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to establish a wage lien for unpaid wages due an employee. The bill provides that wage liens against real property are perfected by recording a Claim of Wage Lien form with the applicable county and such liens against personal property are perfected by filing a UCC financing statement with the Department of Licensing. The bill also provides a Claim of Wage Lien form. The bill was assigned to the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate the same day as SB 5355. Senate committee assignment is pending.
Other Uniform Laws Legislation
Colorado: The governor signed HB 1004 on 1/21/2021 to adopt the Uniform Electronic Wills Act. The new law took effect immediately.
Emerging Technology Legislation (Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency, etc.)
Hawaii: House Bill 622 was introduced on 1/22/2021 to require the Hawaii technology development corporation to establish a blockchain working group to recommend a definition for blockchain technology and make recommendations for individuals, businesses, and state agencies to use blockchain technology. Committee assignment is pending.
New York: Assembly Bill 3099 was introduced on 1/22/2021, which would add a new section to the state banking law to establish the department of financial resilience. The new department would have the power to develop new programs and initiatives, including (i) creating community currencies; (ii) building blockchain solutions to support local growth; (iii) coordinating efforts to turn student debt into functioning currencies; and (iv) advocate on behalf of blockchain startups. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Banks Committee.
New York: Assembly Bill 3336 was introduced on 1/22/2021 to create a regulatory sandbox program for ”financial technology products and services.” The term is defined to include use of emerging technology and cryptocurrency business activities. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Banks Committee.
New York: Assembly Bill 3747 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to establish a task force that will study the potential designation of economic empowerment zones for the mining of cryptocurrencies. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee.
New York: Assembly Bill 3760 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to amend state technology law to add definitions of “blockchain technology” and “smart contracts” and provide that a signature obtained through blockchain technology is an electronic signature and that a record or smart contract obtained through blockchain technology is an electronic record. This bill appears similar to SB 1801, which was introduced in the Senate 2 weeks ago.
New York: Assembly Bill 3818 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to amend the economic development law by providing for the creation and development of distributed ledger technology and business entities. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee. This bill appears similar to SB 1800, which was introduced in the Senate 2 weeks ago.
New York: Assembly Bill 3862 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to establish a task force that will study and report on the potential implementation of blockchain technology in state record keeping, information storage, and service delivery. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee.
South Dakota: House Bill 1091 was introduced on 1/26/2021 to provide for transactions in virtual currencies and digital assets. The bill appears substantially the same as Nebraska LB 648, which was introduced last week. The bill (i) defines and categorizes various types of digital assets and virtual currency; (ii) provides for perfection of a security interest in digital assets by control; (iii) provides that a transferee takes a digital asset free of any security interest two years after the transferee takes the asset for value and does not have actual notice of an adverse claim, except for a security interest perfected by control; (iv) defines what constitutes control of a digital asset; and (v) authorizes banks to provide digital asset custodial services. The bill was assigned to the House Commerce and Energy Committee.
Business Organization Legislation
Hawaii: Senate Bill 498 was introduced on 1/22/2021 to provide for the formation and governance of Worker Cooperatives. A similar bill was introduced in the House on 1/27/2021 as HB 1303. Committee assignment is pending for both bills.
Maryland: House Bill 647 was introduced on 1/22/2021 to eliminate the fee for filing articles of dissolution with the state department of assessments and taxation for certain business entities. The bill was assigned to the House Economic Matters Committee.
Virginia: HB 2121, which would to amend business organization laws so certain provisions related to entity conversions, resignation of registered agent, name restrictions, cancellations, etc. are consistent for various kinds of entities, passed the House on 1/26/2021. The bill is now pending in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
Connecticut: House Bill 5556 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to permit the remote performance of any notarial act. The bill was assigned to the Joint Judiciary Committee.
Connecticut: House Bill 5929 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to permit the remote notarization of documents by a notary public or a commissioner of the Superior Court provided there is compliance with certain safeguards. The purpose of the bill is to codify the governor’s executive order 7k from March, 2020 related to the COVID-19 emergency. The bill was assigned to the Joint Judiciary Committee. This appears similar to HB 5374, which was introduced last week.
Kansas: Senate Bill 106 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to adopt the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. The bill text is not yet available so it is unclear if the bill includes remote notary provisions. Committee assignment is pending.
New York: Assembly Bill 3008 was introduced on 1/20/2021 and includes a provision to authorize and set the requirements for remote notarization. The bill appears to permit both remote online notarization and remote ink notarization. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. An identical companion bill was introduced in the Senate the same day as SB 2508. The Senate bill was assigned to the Finance Committee.
Arkansas: HB 1183, which would authorize county clerks to accept payment of recording and other fees by credit card and allow the clerk to assess a transaction fee to cover the costs, passed the House on 1/28/2021. The bill is now pending in the Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee.
Hawaii: Senate Bill 472 was introduced on 1/22/2021 to amend the data required for land recordation by the bureau of conveyances. Specifically, it amends the data required for a request to de-register registered land, including the requirement to include a map and description prepared by a licensed surveyor. Committee assignment is pending. This appears similar to HB 244, which was also introduced last week.
Minnesota: House Bill 361 was introduced on 1/28/2021 to repeal the mortgage registry tax and the additional mortgage and deed taxes imposed by certain counties. The bill was assigned to the House Taxes Committee.
New York: Assembly Bill 3139 was introduced on 1/21/2020 to require that whenever a mortgage instrument is recorded in the office of the recording officer of any county, any mezzanine debt related to the real property upon which the mortgage instrument is filed shall also be recorded with such mortgage instrument. The bill would also make the amount of the mezzanine debt subject to the mortgage tax. The bill also amends the state’s UCC § 9-601 to provide that a security interest in mezzanine debt related to real property upon which a mortgage has been filed may only be perfected by filing a UCC financing statement and only after the tax required by this bill has been paid. This bill was assigned to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. A Senate companion bill was introduced on 1/27/2021 as SB 3074 and is pending committee assignment. Similar bills were introduced in the Assembly and Senate last year but failed to pass before the legislature adjourned.
Utah: Senate Bill 129 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to amend the requirements for the legal description on documents to be recorded with the county recorder. Committee assignment is pending.
Virginia: HB 1882, which would amend content requirements for a refinance mortgage and clarify the effect of amendments to loan documents on recorded deed of trust, passed the House on 1/27/2021. The bill is now pending in the Senate.
Washington: House Bill 1376 was introduced on 1/25/2021 to repeal existing law regarding registered land and remove all lands from the title registration system. Committee assignment is pending.