Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation

Montana: Legislation Revises Tax Deed and Tax Lien Process House Bill 23 signed by the governor and effective February 23 revises the tax deed and tax lien process.  The bill text can be accessed at https://leg.mt.gov/bills/2021/billhtml/HB0023.htm

Georgia:  House Bill 480 was introduced on 2/16/2021 to amend the mechanics and materialmen lien law to provide a lien for the services of registered interior designers.  The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.   

Montana:  House Bill 411 was introduced on 2/12/2021 to require that the secretary of state accept paper forms of any record required to be filed under the UCC or business entity statutes.  In addition, the secretary of state must provide paper copies of filed records upon request, provide notice that paper copies of forms are available and accept checks in payment for UCC or business entity filing fees.  It is worth noting that Montana went to all electronic filing of UCC records in 2019 by administrative rule.  The bill was assigned to the House Business and Labor Committee.

New Mexico: HB 66, which would add definitions for “good faith” and “public-finance transaction” to the state’s UCC § 9-102, passed the House on 2/12/2021 and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill also contains a provision that would exclude public-finance transactions from the scope of Article 9 in § 9-109. 

Other Uniform Laws Legislation

Rhode Island:  House Bill 5511 was introduced on 2/12/2021 to correct some drafting oversights from the state’s adoption of UCC Article 7 by adding official text to certain UCC Article 1 definitions.  The bill amends the Article 1 definitions of “bearer” and “holder” to include a person in control of a negotiable electronic document of title.  The bill also defines “delivery” to include the transfer of control of a negotiable electronic document of title. Finally, the bill adds a definition for “document of title.”  The bill was assigned to the House Corporations Committee.   

Emerging Technology Legislation (Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency, etc.)

Idaho:  House Bill 181 was introduced on 2/16/2021 to enact the Digital Assets Act. The bill would(i) define and categorize various types of digital assets and virtual currency; (ii) provide for perfection of a security interest in digital assets by possession or control; (iii) provide that a transferee takes a digital asset free of any security interest perfected by filing two years after the transferee takes the asset for value and does not have actual notice of an adverse claim; (iv) define what constitutes control and possession of a digital asset; and (v) authorize banks to provide digital asset custodial services.  The bill would also enact the Idaho Utility Token Act. The bill was assigned to the House Business Committee.   

Iowa:  House Study Bill 212 was introduced on 2/15/2021 to amend the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act to clarify (i) that “contract” includes a smart contract or contract using distributed ledger technology; (ii) that “electronic record” includes a record secured using distributed ledger technology; and (iii) that “electronic signature” includes a signature secured using distributed ledger technology. The bill was assigned to the House Information Technology Committee.   It appears similar to SB 303, which was introduced last week.

Iowa: Senate Study Bill 1207 was introduced on 2/17/2021 to permit the use of smart contracts and distributed ledger technology in electronic transactions.  It appears similar to HSB 212 and SB 303 listed above.  The bill was assigned to the Senate Commerce Committee.

Business Organization Legislation   

Kansas:  House Bill 2391 was introduced on 2/12/2021 to provide that business entities shall file a written business information report biennially.  Current law requires annual reports. Committee assignment is pending.   

South Carolina: House Bill 3893 was introduced on 2/16/2021 to enact the Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act.  The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Notary Legislation

Indiana: SB 204, which would provide for remote notarization of advance healthcare directives, passed the Senate on 2/16/2021 and is now pending in the House.  The bill includes a provision that the presence before the notary requirement can be satisfied by telephonic interaction. 

Oregon: Senate Bill 765 was introduced on 2/18/2021 to make permanent provisions related to tangible copies of electronic records.  The bill would allow a notary to certify a tangible copy of an electronic record and authorize a county clerk to record a tangible copy of an electronic record certified by a notary. Committee assignment is pending.

Utah:  HB 276, which would extend eligibility requirements for a notary commission to persons employed in the state, passed the House on 2/16/2021 and is now assigned to the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.   

West Virginia:  Senate Bill 214 was introduced on 2/11/2021 to authorize the Secretary of State to promulgate a legislative rule relating to guidelines and standards for electronic notarization. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.   A similar bill was introduced on 2/13/2021 as HB 2478 and assigned to the House Government Operation Committee.

Real-Estate-Recording-Related Legislation

Illinois:  House Bill 2870 was introduced on 2/18/2021 to clarify that fees charged by a recorder for certified copies shall be the same regardless of the format in which the records are maintained.  The bill would also authorize recorders to charge a non-standard document fee notwithstanding the predictable fee schedule.  The bill only applies to counties of the Third Class, which are those that exceed 1 million in population. Committee assignment is pending.   

Indiana: HB 1056 passed the Senate on 2/15/2021 and then was signed by the governor on 2/18/2021.  This new law clarifies that the term “instrument” includes both electronic and paper documents and amends requirements for proof of notarial acts on instruments to be recorded.  The new law took effect upon passage.

Iowa:  House Bill 520 was introduced on 2/15/2021 to authorize the governing board of the county land record information system to collect a $3 fee per recorded document for using the system to process electronic documents for recording. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.   

Iowa: Senate Bill 347 was introduced on 2/16/2021 to grant counties the authority to amend their agreements with the Iowa County Recorders Association to provide for the ongoing implementation of the county land record information system. Committee assignment is pending.  A similar bill is pending in the House as HB 527 (formerly HSB 96).

Montana:  HB 49, which would amend the fees charged by county clerks for recordation of documents, passed the House on 2/18/2021. The bill is pending committee assignment in the Senate.

Tennessee:  House Bill 1326 was introduced on 2/11/2021 to require that all land sales contracts must be recorded in the county where the land lies. 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 Senate on 2/15/2021.  The bill is now awaiting action by the governor.

Virginia: HB 2064, which would require a clerk’s office to record a paper copy of an electronic document if the document otherwise meets the requirements for recordation, passed the Senate on 2/17/2021.  The bill is now awaiting action by the governor.

Other Items/Legislation of Interest

No developments to report this week.   

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Note that this update provides only a short summary of the listed bills, which are often lengthy and complex. It is not intended to include all potentially relevant provisions of each bill.  For full details, please review the bill on the applicable state legislative web site.

Legislative Developments 2-25-2021