Filing mechanics liens can be a tricky process. This area of the law is known for requiring rigorous attention to detail and for major consequences with the slightest hiccup. It’s common to see liens cancelled for typos and other common mistakes, so it is important to take note when the requirements for filing a lien change. Indiana lien laws may be moving toward making that process a little easier (albeit, more expensive) with Act No. 505. The bill was recently signed into law and calls for electronic recording and higher fees.
Indiana Lien Laws and Senate Bill 505
Act No. 505 calls for alterations to the current document recording process in Indiana. While this may not totally fall under “Indiana lien laws”, the Act directly affects laws dealing with mechanics liens. Here’s the full text of Act No. 505, but be warned – it spans nearly 250 pages.
Headlining the Act are three changes: (1) updating the fee structure for recording documents, (2) modernizing the bulk user statute, and (3) introducing electronic recording. We’re going to focus on (1) and (3).
Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
The bad news? Ok…
Here’s the full Indiana County Recorder’s Fee Schedule set to go into effect next month.
Under Indiana lien laws, it currently it costs $13 to file a mechanics lien (and send one mail out of the lien) and $2 for each additional copy mailed out. Beginning July 1, 2017, a mechanics lien (including one mail out) will cost $25 and additional mail outs will remain $2 each.
Now for the good news…
Beginning January 1, 2018, a document concerning real property that may be recorded with a county recorder may be recorded electronically. The Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act was added to Act No. 505 and pertains to all information eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the county recorder. Because Indiana lien laws require that liens and some notices (depending on the situation) must be filed with the recorder, contractors and subs should take notice. The Act does not require that these documents be filed electronically, but that option will be on the table for claimants.
The Act also established the Electronic Recording Commission which will adopt standards to implement over the next few months. The Commission will consider the standards and practices of other jurisdictions in creating and adopting standards for electronic filing.
This is a mixed bag for workers in Indiana. While the substance of Indiana lien laws were not really altered, the fee to file a lien nearly doubled. However, those availing themselves to Indiana lien laws will soon be able to record electronically, which may relieve some of the stress brought on by the logistics of filing a lien claim. Ultimately, this should be a net positive for those filing lien claims.