Iowa Electronic Filing Bill Signed Into Law: Changes Way Liens are Filed

In the last week of April, 2012, we posted a blog about proposed changes to the Iowa mechanics lien law that would require all mechanics lien documents to be electronically filed. At that time, the proposed bill had passed the House, and was on its way to the Senate.

Since then, the entire Iowa legislature approved the bill, and the Iowa Governor signed House File 675 into law.  The law enacts sweeping changes to how Iowa’s mechanics lien filing system will work. It also implements several amendments to Iowa’s mechanics lien law, putting further restrictions and requirements on the filing of construction liens on residential and commercial projects.

The biggest part of the law will result in a mandatory, State centralized filing system that will be online, electronic and statewide. All mechanics lien documents, notices of commencement, and Iowa prelien or preliminary notices will be required to be filed online on the system. County clerks will not longer be permitted to file mechanics liens.

The “Notice of Commencement” that Tools of the Trade blogged about a couple of weeks ago has been implement, and it requires that general contractors be required to file a Notice of Commencement electronically within 10 days of the commencement of the work on a residential project. Subcontractors and suppliers on a residential project must also file prelien or preliminary notices also.

Click here for the full text of Iowa House File 675: an Act concerning mechanics’ liens including the establishment of a state construction registry for residential construction property, and including effect date and applicability provisions.

The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2012.