New Iowa Lien Filing System

Out with the old, and in with the new:  Iowa is set to dump their old paper lien filing system and install a new centralized,  online system. Its legislature has made major revisions to the Iowa mechanic’s lien law. Iowa will now centralize its lien filing through the establishment of an online registry for both commercial and residential projects. Under the old law, liens were filed with the clerk of court for projects located in any of Iowa’s 99 counties. Under the new centralized system—which takes effect on January 1, 2013—the Iowa Secretary of State will establish a website for the centralized filing and posting of liens and preliminary notices. Under the new system, the lien claimant will have the option of either filing online, or filing by mail through the Secretary of State’s office. If the claimant chooses to file by mail, the lien posting to the website will be delayed by up to three days from its receipt.

In other changes, general contractors (GCs)/remodelers on residential projects who use subs or suppliers must register a Notice of Commencement (NOC) on the online registry, within 10 days from the start of work at the project. The GC’s/remodeler’s failure to post a NOC will result in the loss of their lien rights.

Please contact a WFJ Construction attorney to discuss the impact of these changes on your business, and look to the Iowa section of the WFJ Client Extra Net, for a comprehensive explanation of the changes.

Attorney Michael J. Dupont