When filing a lien, even the smallest errors and typos can be fatal, which can really add stress when trying to recover payment. What’s more, filing isn’t free- in order to record, a party must pay recording fees to the county or parish recorder. These fees really add up when a number of projects are at play. In Louisiana, recording fees were bumped up when Senate Bill 236 passed. The new fees come into effect on August 1, 2017, but it’s not all doom and gloom! Recording Louisiana liens may be easier in a few years, as electronic recording will be coming to The Bayou State by 2022.

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Recording Louisiana Liens Under LA Senate Bill 236

Large portions of the previous rules have been gutted and replaced. In order to keep track of it all, we’ll look at the new prices and electronic recording separately. The full text of the bill with all of the additions and edits is also available here.

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Prices

The following prices go into effect tomorrow, August 1, 2017:

  • 1-5 page documents, $100
  • 6-25 page documents, $200
  • 26-50 page documents, $300
  • 51+ page documents, $300 for the first 50 pages and $5 for each subsequent page
  • For indexing of all documents filed for record for each name after the 10th name that is required to be indexed, $5 per name
  • Cancellation of single lien, mortgage, or privilege shall be $50, notwithstanding the above provisions

No “bundling” discounts are available when recording, so fees for documents filed in both the mortgage and conveyance records will be assessed separately. Also, when recording Louisiana liens, parties must pay attention to the document itself. Filed documents must be either 8.5 by 11 inches (standard printer paper) or 8.5 by 14 (legal paper). For any other sized paper, an additional fee of $20 per page (!!) will be assessed. Also, the first page of recorded documents must have 2 inch margins on the top and 1 inch margins on the bottom and sides, and the font must be at least 8 points.

Keep in mind that in addition to the above charges, the clerks of court may require other reasonable charges.

Electronic Filing

Pricing structures for recording documents may be dull, but technology is always exciting!  North Carolina, Iowa, and Pennsylvania have seen success in taking liens to the web, and it looks like Louisiana is almost ready to embrace technology. Under this legislation, each parish recorder must adopt and implement a plan for recording electronic documents in accordance with the other provisions of the bill by January 1, 2022. So while the price of recording Louisiana liens may have increased some, the headache of filing will be alleviated…at some point in the next 5 years.

For more on electronic recording, check out our post on the benefits and limitations on e-recording.

Takeaway

OK. It’s hard to get excited about electronic recording when it could be as far as 5 years down the road, but this is a hesitant step in the right direction. Simplifying the process will really help small businesses enforce their lien rights, so construction managers should be thrilled that some potential pitfalls may be more easily avoided. As for the filing fees, higher prices always sting. However, the fees are a drop in the bucket compared to payments being unjustifiably withheld from subcontractors and suppliers. If that’s the cost of enforcing lien rights, the juice will be worth the squeeze for those asserting their right to payment.

For more on recording Louisiana liens, head over to our Louisiana Construction Payment Resources or the Louisiana tag on the blog.

Summary
Recording Louisiana Liens Just Got More Expensive
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Recording Louisiana Liens Just Got More Expensive
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Filing a Louisiana mechanics lien just got more expensive. However, the same piece of legislation opened the door for electronic filing down the road. Senate Bill 236 goes into effect tomorrow, August 1, 2017, so Louisiana contractors, subs, and suppliers should take notice.
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Lien Law News
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