Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation
Kansas: HB 2390, which originally addressed disclosure of public records, was amended in the Senate to include provisions to address fraudulent filing or recording of documents. The amendments make it a felony to file or record false liens or financing statements. The bill was approved by both chambers after conference committee and it was signed by the governor on 4/21/2021. The new law takes effect upon publication in the statute book.
Washington: The governor signed SB 5355 on 4/16/2021 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 new law takes effect on 1/1/2022.
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 Senate on 4/20/2021 and is pending action by the governor.
Illinois: SB 2176, which would adopt the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, passed the Senate on 4/22/2021 and is pending in the House.
Massachusetts: House Bill 1832 was filed on 4/17/2021 to adopt the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act. Committee assignment is pending.
Emerging Technology Legislation (Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency, etc.)
Arkansas: HB 1926, which would define “virtual currency” and clarify what constitutes control of virtual currency for purposes of the UCC, passed the House on 4/22/2021 and is now pending in the Senate. The bill adds new UCC “Chapter 11 – Virtual Currency of Arkansas” to existing law.
Illinois: HB 3968, which would amend the Corporate Fiduciary Act to create the Special Purpose Trust Company Authority, passed the House on 4/21/2021 and is pending in the Senate. This bill appears aimed at entities that provide custodial services for digital assets. The bill provides that an IL corporation formed for the special purpose of providing fiduciary custodial services or providing other similar services as specified by rule may be appointed to act as a fiduciary with respect to such services and shall be designated a special purpose trust company. The bill also amends the Blockchain Business Development Act to provide that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall have authority to adopt rules, opinions, or interpretive letters regarding the custody of digital assets, including digital consumer assets, digital securities, and virtual currency.
Louisiana: HB 482, which would create a financial technology regulatory sandbox program for innovative financial products and services, passed the House on 4/19/2021 and is now in the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs Committee. The term “innovative” is defined to include use of emerging technology, such as blockchain.
Massachusetts: Senate Bill 440 was introduced on 3/29/2021 to provide for blockchain signatures on election nomination papers. Committee assignment is pending.
North Carolina: House Bill 624 was introduced on 4/22/2021 to enact the North Carolina Regulatory Sandbox Act, which creates a program to promote innovative FinTech services using emerging technology and to explore use of blockchain in state government. Committee assignment is pending. This appears similar to SB 470, which was introduced at the beginning of April.
Wyoming: The governor signed SB 38 on 4/21/2021 to amend business entity laws to provide for the formation and management of LLCs as decentralized autonomous organizations using blockchain and smart contracts. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2021.
Business Organization Legislation
Alabama: The Senate concurred in House amendments to SB 96 on 4/20/2021. This bill would clarify when provisions of the Alabama Business and Nonprofit Code supersede the general provisions of Chapter 1 of the code. The bill is now awaiting consideration by the governor.
Arkansas: SB 601, which would adopt the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act and repeal the Small Business Entity Tax Pass Through Act, passed the Senate on 4/21/2021 and is now pending in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee.
Colorado: The governor signed HB 1124 on 4/19/2021 to facilitate electronic business activity. The bill includes numerous changes to the business organization laws for electronic meetings of the board of directors and shareholders. In addition, the bill amends existing laws to authorize delivery of notices by electronic means. The new law took effect immediately.
Delaware: Senate Bill 114 was introduced on 4/21/2021 to update the Limited Liability Company Act. The updates (i) provide a safe harbor procedure for ratifying acts or transactions; (ii) clarify when a member is entitled to obtain information for a certain purpose; (iii) provide authority for a member or manager to delegate irrespective of conflict of interest; (iv) provide manner in which an LLC may become a public benefit LLC; and (v) provide that the LLC agreement of a public benefit LLC must state the public benefit. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Delaware: Senate Bill 116 was introduced on 4/21/2021 to update the Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act. The updates (i) provide a safe harbor procedure for ratifying acts or transactions; (ii) clarify when a limited partner is entitled to obtain information for a certain purpose; (iii) provide authority for a general partner to delegate irrespective of conflict of interest; (iv) provide manner in which an LP may become a public benefit LP; and (v) provide that the LP agreement of a public benefit LP must state the public benefit. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kansas: The governor signed HB 2391 on 4/21/2021 to provide that business entities shall file a written business information report biennially. The new law takes effect upon publication in the statute book.
North Carolina: SB 410, which would authorize non-profit corporations to conduct business electronically to hold meetings remotely, passed the Senate on 4/22/2021 and is pending in the House.
Oklahoma: The governor signed SB 228 on 4/19/2021 to amend the state General Corporation Act. The amendments permit electronic transmission of consents and several other changes. The new law takes effect on 11/1/2021.
Washington: The governor signed HB 5005 on 4/16/2021 to amend business corporation laws to provide for electronic notices in certain circumstances. The new law takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.
Alabama: The Senate concurred in House amendments to SB 275 on 4/20/2021. This bill 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. The bill is now awaiting consideration by the governor.
Arkansas: House Bill 1952 was introduced on 4/20/2021 to regulate witnessing requirements for certain documents by a notary in response to the COVID-19 emergency. A similar bill, HB 275, already passed the Senate. Both bills are currently assigned to the House State Agencies and Government Affairs Committee.
Florida: HB 483, which would amend the notary law, passed the House on 4/21/2021 and then passed the Senate on 4/22/2021. The bill would change the notary law to (i) revise the definition of “online notarization;” (ii) provide that supervising the witnessing of an online electronic record by a notary is a notarial act that requires the notary to comply with the same procedures for online notarization by a principal; and (iii) revise various forms. The bill is pending delivery to the governor.
Illinois: Senate Bill 2664, which originally addressed construction matters, was amended in the Senate on 4/22/2021 to replace the original text with provisions that authorize electronic and remote notarization. The bill also provides for the regulation of electronic and remote notaries. The bill passed the Senate the same day and is now pending in the House.
Nevada: AB 245, which would increase the fees a notary may charge for certain acts, passed the Assembly on 4/20/2021. The bill also increases the fee a person who wishes to operate a document preparation service from $50 to $100. The bill is now assigned to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
Oregon: SB 765, which would make permanent provisions related to tangible copies of electronic records, passed the Senate on 4/19/2021 and is now pending in the House. 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.
Rhode Island: House Bill 6254 was introduced on 4/16/2021 to codify standards of conduct for notaries public. The bill was assigned to the House State Government and Elections Committee.
Arkansas: HB 1824, which would clarify when a county recorder may charge additional fees for multiple references to previously recorded documents, passed the Senate on 4/22/2021 and is now awaiting delivery to the governor.
Iowa: HB 527, which would 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, passed the Senate on 4/21/2021 and is now awaiting transmittal to the governor.
Massachusetts: Senate Bill 1060 was introduced on 3/29/2021 to require that each assignment of a mortgage secured by residential property must be forwarded to the appropriate registry district for recording within 30 days of execution. Similar bills were also introduced on 4/19/2021 as SB 1011 and HB 1576. Committee assignment is pending for all three bills.
Montana: The governor signed HB 49 on 4/15/2021 to amend the fees charged by county clerks for recordation of documents. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2021.
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 Senate on 4/21/2021 and is now awaiting delivery to the governor.
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 Senate on 4/21/2021 and is now awaiting delivery to the governor.
Tennessee: The governor signed HB 633 on 4/20/2021 to require that an electronic document must be certified by either a licensed attorney or the custodian of the original version of the electronic document. The bill also requires that the signature of that person must be acknowledged by a notary public. The certification must be transmitted with the electronic document and recorded by the county register as a part of the document being recorded. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2021.
Texas: SB 885, which would 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, passed the Senate on 4/21/2021 and is now pending in the House.
Other Items/Legislation of Interest
Louisiana: HB 140, which would amend the rules of civil procedure to allow for electronic service of process, passed the House on 4/19/2021 and is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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.