Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation

Arkansas:  HB 1255, which would regulate cross-collateralization clauses, passed the Senate on 3/8/2021 and signed by the governor on 3/10/2021.  The bill provides 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 new law takes effect 91 days after adjournment.  

Arkansas:  The governor signed HB 1273 on 3/8/2021 to establish the Oil and Gas Owners Lien Act of 2021. The bill creates 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 will be perfected automatically without the need to file a financing statement or other record and have a super-priority over other liens.   The new law takes effect 91 days after adjournment.

Idaho:  HB 275, which would amend the content requirements for a claim of lien under the mechanics and materialmen lien law, passed the House on 3/11/2021 and is pending in the Senate.  The bill would require the claim of lien to include a copy of the applicable agreement between the claimant and owner and proof of service on the owner.

Iowa: House Study Bill 266, which contains fraudulent UCC filing provisions, was approved and then introduced in the House as HB 791 on 3/8/2021.  Contrary to expectations that the fraudulent UCC filing language in the study bill would be removed or replaced, the original text remains in the new bill.  This includes provisions that would require the filing office to reject a UCC record if the filing officer determines that the record was not created pursuant to the UCC, or was otherwise intended to hinder, harass or otherwise wrongfully interfere with any person.  In addition, the filing office would be required to reject a record where the same person is listed as debtor and secured party, if the record described collateral not within the scope of applicable law or was for a purpose other than a transaction within the scope of the UCC.  The provision also would require the filing office to remove a record that was wrongfully filed under the above criteria.  Committee assignment is pending.

Iowa: Senate Bill 476 was introduced on 3/8/2021 and contains the same fraudulent UCC filing provision and HSB 266/HB 791.  The senate promptly passed the bill the same day and it is now pending in the House Public Safety Committee.

Minnesota: HB 1869 was amended on 3/11/2021 to delete the fraudulent UCC filing provisions from the bill. 

Oklahoma:  SB 273, which would require persons who prepare certain tax lien notices related to personal property to register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission and pay a $50 annual fee, passed the Senate on 3/10/2021 and is pending in the House.     

Texas:  House Bill 3458 was introduced on 3/10/2021 to authorize a filing office to expunge a federal tax lien from county deed records after a certificate of release or withdrawal has been filed.  The bill would allow the filing office to remove all references to the federal lien, including references to the release or withdrawal of the lien.  Committee assignment is pending.   

Texas:  Senate Bill 1468 was introduced on 3/10/2021 to provide for an oil and gas lien.  The bill provides the lien to secure the obligations of a first purchaser to pay the sales price, each interest owner has an oil and gas lien to the extent of the interest owner’s interest in oil and gas rights.  The lien would be automatically perfected without the need to file a financing statement or other record.  A companion bill was introduced in the House on 3/11/2021 as HB 3794. Committee assignment is pending for both bills.   

Washington:  SB 5355, which would establish a wage lien for unpaid wages due an employee, passed the Senate on 3/9/2021.   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 is now pending in the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.

Other Uniform Laws Legislation

Alabama:  HB 177, which would amend the state’s UETA to permit a municipality to use electronic signatures and records in the conduct of its affairs, passed the House on 3/11/2021 and is pending in the Senate.   

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

California: Senate Bill 638, was amended on 3/10/2021 to address corporations’ use of blockchain technology.  The unrelated subject matter of the original bill was replaced with provisions that extend the existing authority of a corporation to use blockchain technology for recording shareholder information and stock transfers indefinitely.  That authority was due to expire on 1/1/2022.   The bill also redefines “blockchain.” The bill is pending committee assignment.

Connecticut:  Senate Bill 1039 was introduced on 3/10/2021 to explore the incorporation of blockchain technology to make a state administrative function more efficient or cost effective and develop a plan to promote existing remote work workspaces and incentivize the creation of new remote work workspaces.  The bill was assigned to the Joint Commerce Committee. 

Hawaii:  Senate Concurrent Resolution 93 was introduced on 3/10/2021 to request that the Office of Enterprise Technology Services conduct a study of the potential benefits and value of blockchain technology to state government administration and affairs.  Committee assignment is pending.   

Idaho:  House Bill 327 was introduced on 3/11/2021 to enact the Idaho Utility Token Act.  This bill would (i) define “open blockchain token;” (ii) provide that an open blockchain token is intangible personal property; (iii) require registration of an open blockchain token prior to sale; and (iv) establish a financial technology sandbox program.  Committee assignment is pending.   

Idaho:  House Bill 328 was introduced on 3/11/2021 to enact the Digital Assets Act.  This bill would (i) classify digital assets as intangible personal property and general intangibles under UCC § 9-102; (ii) provide that digital securities are investment property as defined by UCC § 9-102; (iii) provide that virtual currency is money for UCC purposes; (iv) provide for perfection of a security interest in digital assets by filing, possession or control; and (v) authorizes financial institutions to provide digital asset custodial services.  This appears similar to HB 181, which was introduced in January.  Committee assignment is pending.   

Iowa:  House Study Bill 212 was approved and introduced in the House as HB 799 on 3/8/2021. This bill would 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. Committee assignment is pending.

Iowa: SB 541, which would amend the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and appears similar to HB 799, passed the Senate on 3/9/2021.  This bill would 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.  Committee assignment is pending in the House.

South Dakota: The governor signed SB 55 on 3/8/2021.  The new law authorizes innovative insurance products using new and emerging technologies, including blockchain, through the use of insurance innovation waivers. The new law takes effect 7/1/2021.

Texas:  Senate Bill 1076 was introduced on 3/5/2021 to establish a work group on blockchain matters that will develop a master plan for the expansion of the blockchain industry in the state and recommend policies and state investments in connection with blockchain technology.  Committee assignment is pending.   

Texas:  Senate Bill 1077 was introduced on 3/5/2021 to establish the Digital Identity Workgroup.  This group shall develop recommendations for the use of digital identity in TX and identify optimal policies and state investments related to digital identity technology.  Committee assignment is pending.   This appears to be the Senate companion to HB 2199, which was introduced at the end of February.

Business Organization Legislation

Connecticut:  House Bill 6605 was introduced on 3/5/2021 to make numerous changes to the business organization, notary and real estate recording laws.  If enacted, this bill would (i) require business entities to provide an email address and NAICS Code for the entity at the time of formation or qualification; (ii) prohibit any business from operating under a name other than the real name of the entity or person unless a trade name certificate has been issued as provided in the act; (iii) authorize the filing of a commercial registered agent listing and central changes to registered agent information; (iv) authorizes notaries to perform remote notarial acts; and (v) require town clerks to accept for recording remotely notarized real estate documents.  The bill was assigned to the Joint Judiciary Committee. 

Maryland: HB 647, which would eliminate the fee for filing articles of dissolution with the state department of assessments and taxation for certain business entities, passed the House on 3/5/2021 and is pending in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Texas:  House Bill 3506 was introduced on 3/10/2021 to amend limited liability company law to provide for protected series and registered series.  A companion bill was introduced in the Senate on 3/11/2021 as SB 1523. Committee assignment is pending for both bills.   

Wyoming:  SB 36, which would authorize for-profit public benefit corporations, passed the Senate on 3/11/2021 and is pending committee assignment in the House. 

Notary Legislation

Alabama:  SB 275, which would ratify and validate all deeds, conveyances, deeds of trust, mortgages, mineral leases, marriage contracts, and other instruments in writing, affecting or purporting to affect title to any real estate or personal property that were acknowledged via remote notarization before July 1, 2021, passed the Senate on 3/11/2021.  The bill also authorizes the use of remote notarization for acknowledgements. The bill is now pending in the House State Government Committee.   

Arizona:  SB 1115, which would adopt the 2018 Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, passed the House on 3/11/2021 and is awaiting transmittal to the governor.    

Connecticut:  House Bill 6605 was introduced on 3/5/2021 and includes notary provisions.  See the entry under Business Organization Legislation above.

Illinois:  SB 72, which would adopt the Electronic Wills and Remote Witnessing Act, passed the Senate on 3/10/2021 and is pending in the House. Among other provisions, the bill provides that an electronic will is a digital asset.  In addition, it authorizes and establishes the requirements for remote witnessing of a document using AV technology.   

New Mexico:  SB 12, which would adopt the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, including the remote notary provisions, passed the Senate on 3/10/2021 and is now pending in the House.   

New York: Assembly Bill 6063 was introduced on 3/8/2021 to amend various laws to provide for remote notarization, remote witnessing, and to authorize certain government entities to accept electronic signatures. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee.

North Carolina:  The governor signed HB 196 on 3/11/2021 to extend the emergency authority for remote notarial acts through the end of 2021.  The new law took effect immediately.   

South Carolina: House Bill 4063 was introduced on 3/11/2021 to enact the South Carolina Electronic Notary Act.  The bill would (i) set qualifications for electronic notaries; (ii) provide procedures for electronic notarization; and (iii) require the electronic notary to keep a journal.  The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.  This appears similar to SB 631, which was introduced last week. 

West Virginia: SB 469, which would permit the personal appearance before a notary by video technology, passed the Senate on 3/8/2021 and is now assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Real-Estate-Recording-Related Legislation

Connecticut:  House Bill 6605 was introduced on 3/5/2021 and includes recording provisions.  See the entry under Business Organization Legislation above.

Illinois:  SB 46, which would provide the form of a special warranty deed, passed the Senate on 3/10/2021 and is now pending in the House.   

Mississippi: SB 2638, which would provide a procedure for recording a tangible copy of an electronic document in counties that lack eRecording capability, passed the House as amended on 3/9/2021.  The bill was returned to the Senate for concurrence.

Oklahoma:  HB 2397, which would provide that a lienholder is subject to the same release and satisfaction obligation upon payment in full of the obligation as would apply to a mortgagee, passed the House on 3/10/2021 and is now pending in the Senate.   

Oklahoma:  HB 2398, which is similar to HB 2397 and would provide that a judgment lienholder is subject to the same release and satisfaction obligation upon payment in full of the obligation as would apply to a mortgagee, passed the House on 3/10/2021 and is now pending in the Senate.   

Oklahoma:  SB 569, which would allow county clerks to provide certified copies of real estate records in paper or digital format in compliance with URPERA, passed the Senate on 3/8/2021.  The bill is pending committee assignment in the House.   

Texas:  House Bill 3278 was introduced on 3/9/2021 to require that a mortgage servicer or mortgagee deliver to the mortgagor, or file with the appropriate county clerk’s office, a release of the mortgage or deed of trust within 45 days after receipt of full payment of the loan.  Committee assignment is pending.  This bill appears similar to SB 360, which was introduced in January, except that the Senate bill sets a 45-day deadline.

Texas:  House Bill 3320 was introduced on 3/9/2021 to specify the effect of recording a quit claim deed on the question of good faith of a subsequent purchaser or creditor and as notice of any unrecorded conveyance, transfer or encumbrance.  Committee assignment is pending.   This bill is the same as SB 885, which was introduced last week.

Texas:  Senate Bill 1637 was introduced on 3/11/2021 to provide that a deed that conveys an interest in real property must be delivered to the grantee after it is executed. The bill would also require that the deed be recorded within 2 years of delivery to the grantee or it would be voidable.  Committee assignment is pending.   

Washington:  HB 1376, which would repeal existing law regarding registered land and remove all lands from the title registration system, passed the House on 3/5/2021.  The bill is now pending committee assignment in the Senate.   

Washington:  SB 5019, which would direct the secretary of state to establish regulations that will make recording standards uniform from county to county and revises law applicable to recording standards commission, passed the Senate on 3/8/2021. The bill is pending in the House Local Government Committee.

Other Items/Legislation of Interest

North Carolina:  Senate Bill 206 was introduced on 3/9/2021 to require that state agencies accept electronic signatures, notarization and seals with respect to a bonding requirement or bonding issuance.  Committee assignment is pending. 

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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 3-12-2021