Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation
Minnesota: Senate Bill 2106 was introduced on 3/12/2021 to address secretary of state matters. Section 11 of the bill includes fraudulent UCC filing provisions based on the hip-pocket amendments to UCC Article 9. Committee assignment is pending. This is the companion bill to HB 1869, which was introduced on 3/4/2021.
Mississippi: The governor signed HB 277 on 3/18/2021 to amend several state laws to recognize tribal identification cards as the equivalent of a state-issued driver’s license or ID card. The bill includes an amendment to the individual debtor name requirements for purposes of a financing statement in the state’s version of UCC § 9-503(a)(4). The amendment provides that if the debtor furnishes a valid identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe or band that contains a color photograph and the card holder’s legal name (note – it is not clear from the text how a lender could make that determination), residence address and date of birth that has not expired, then the financing statement is sufficient if it provides the name of the individual indicated on such tribal identification card. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2021.
North Dakota: HB 1251, which would extend the time limit for bringing an action upon a judgment or a contract contained in a mortgage and other real estate instrument from 10 to 20 years, passed the Senate on 3/17/2021. The bill also extends the duration and effectiveness of a judgment lien from 10 to 20 years. The bill is now awaiting transmission to the governor.
Other Uniform Laws Legislation
No developments to report.
Emerging Technology Legislation (Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency, etc.)
Kentucky: HB 230, which would add a new section to state law that provides tax breaks for commercial mining of cryptocurrency, passed the Senate on 3/15/2021 and is now under consideration by the governor. The purpose of the bill is to take advantage of the state’s affordable electricity supply to become a national leader in commercial mining of cryptocurrency.
Kentucky: SB 255, which, like HB 230, would provide incentives for commercial mining of cryptocurrency, passed the House on 3/15/2021 and is now awaiting action by the governor.
Nevada: Assembly Bill 324 was introduced on 3/17/2021 to address UCC treatment of digital assets. This bill (i) defines and categorizes various types of digital assets for purposes of UCC Articles 8 and 9; (ii) provides for perfection of a security interest in digital assets by control; (iii) defines what constitutes control of a digital asset; and (iv) authorizes banks to provide digital asset custodial services. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
New York: Senate Bill 5643 was introduced on 3/15/2021 to establish the office of financial resilience, which would develop and implement programs to assist local communities in creating community currencies, building blockchain-backed solutions, and coordinate efforts to turn student debt into functioning currencies. The bill was assigned to the Senate Banks Committee.
Texas: House Bill 4474 was introduced on 3/5/2021 to (i) define “virtual currency for purposes of UCC § 9-102; (ii) specify the conditions under which a purchaser has control of virtual currency; and (iii) provide the rights of a purchaser who has control of virtual currency. Committee assignment is pending.
Wyoming: SB 38, which would amend business entity laws to provide for the formation and management of LLCs as decentralized autonomous organizations using blockchain and smart contracts, passed the Senate on 3/17/2021 and is pending in the House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee.
Wyoming: SB 39, which would adopt the Digital Identity Act, passed the Senate on 3/17/2021 and is pending in the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would establish when the acts of a digital identity are attributable to the natural person or organization.
Business Organization Legislation
Indiana: HB 1464, which would prohibit the use of an entity name or assumed name that suggests the entity is affiliated with any state or federal government agency, passed the Senate as amended on 3/16/2021 and was returned to the House for concurrence. The bill would also amend provisions related to emergency by-laws and authorize a corporation to hold annual meeting of members by remote communications.
Iowa: House Bill 844 was introduced on 3/17/2021 to amend the Iowa Business Corporations Act. The bill is the successor to HB 681, which was introduced last month. The many amendment provisions include (i) revision of forms and filing fees; (ii) when resignation of a registered agent takes effect; (iii) provisions for domestication and conversion; and (iv) the establishment of benefit corporations. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.
North Carolina: House Bill 320 was introduced on 3/16/2021 to authorize business organizations to hold meetings remotely under certain conditions. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
Arizona: The governor signed SB 1115 on 3/18/2021 to adopt the 2018 Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. The new law takes effect on 6/30/2022.
Connecticut: House Bill 6651 was introduced on 3/17/2021 to extend the duration of executive orders, including authorization for a notary public to perform remote notarial acts using electronic communications technology and requiring clerks to accept remotely notarized documents for recording. A companion bill, SB 1074, was introduced the same day in the Senate. Both bills were assigned to the Joint Government Administration and Elections Committee.
Illinois: SB 72, which would adopt the Electronic Wills and Remote Witnessing Act, passed the House as amended on 3/18/2021 and was returned to the Senate for concurrence. 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.
Michigan: House Bill 4542 was introduced on 3/18/2021 to revise application requirements for a notary commission and create a journal requirement. The bill would (i) eliminate certain misdemeanors as a disqualification for a notary commission; (ii) require an applicant for commission to submit proof of having attended and education program specified in the statute and passed an examination; and (iii) require notaries to maintain an official journal of every notarial act. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
Nevada: Assembly Bill 245 was introduced on 3/12/2021 to increase the fees a notary may charge for certain acts. The bill also increases the fee a person who wishes to operate a document preparation service from $50 to $100. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Governmental Affairs Committee.
New Hampshire: SB 134, which would amend the state’s Uniform Law on Notarial Acts to provide for electronic signatures and electronic notarial acts, passed the Senate on 3/18/2021 and is pending in the House. The bill also enacts URPERA.
New Mexico: SB 12, which would adopt the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, including the remote notary provisions, passed the House on 3/15/2021.
South Dakota: The governor signed SB 193 on 3/18/2021 to amend certain remote notarization provisions in state law. The bill would clarify the meaning of “personal knowledge” and “video communication technology,” as well as provide a new certificate of acknowledgement for use with video communication technology. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2021.
Utah: The governor signed HB 276 on 3/16/2021 to extend eligibility requirements for a notary commission to persons employed in the state. The new law takes effect 60 days after adjournment.
West Virginia: House Bill 3209 was introduced on 3/16/2021 to exempt notaries commissioned before 1/1/2018 from the requirement that applicants have a high school diploma. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
Nevada: Assembly Bill 325 was introduced on 3/17/2021 to provide for the recording of a certified paper copy of an electronic record. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Government Affairs Committee.
Texas: Senate Bill 1639 was introduced on 3/11/2021 to provide treble damages for victims of fraud or duress in the conveyance of real property. Committee assignment is pending.
Texas: Senate Bill 1640 was introduced on 3/11/2021 to provide that an instrument intended as a conveyance of real property or an interest in real property is invalid unless the instrument is attested by two or more credible witnesses who subscribe their names to the instrument in their own handwriting in the grantor’s presence. Committee assignment is pending.
Texas: Senate Bill 1874 was introduced on 3/12/2021 to require that the clerk send a copy of a deed to the grantor after recording. Committee assignment is pending.
Texas: Senate Bill 1875 was introduced on 3/12/2021 to require that a deed conveying an interest in real estate must contain a statement listing fraudulent conveyance offenses and penalties in a form to be determined by supreme court rule. The bill also would provide that a deed may not be recorded without such statement. Committee assignment is pending.
Utah: The governor signed HB 107 on 3/11/2021 to amend the requirements for the recording of a subdivision plat. The new law takes effect 60 days after adjournment.
Virginia: The governor signed HB 2064 on 3/11/2021 to require a clerk’s office to record a paper copy of an electronic document if the document otherwise meets the requirements for recordation. The new law took effect upon passage.
Other Items/Legislation of Interest
Florida: HB 35, which would authorize web site publication of legal notices and require government agencies to notify residents concerning alternative legal notice delivery method, passed the House on 3/18/2021 and is now pending in the Senate.
Utah: The governor signed SB 201 on 3/17/2021 to eliminate the need to publish certain legal notices in a newspaper and instead to require posting to the Utah Public Notice Web Site. The new law takes effect 60 days after adjournment.
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.