With Iowa’s recent passage of House File 675, requiring the creation of a computerized data base for residential mechanic’s liens, the state took a step forward in helping contractors and potential buyers determine if there are liens on residential property. Whether this will help contractors receive payment for the work they have provided on such properties is yet to be seen but it is a step in the right direction.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2013, and will for the first time create a centralized computer data base for all of Iowa’s residential mechanic’s liens. It is possible that this is the wave of the future for mechanic’s lien filings. We have seen other states such as Utah create a centralized data base for construction liens but most states have retained archaic systems for the filing of mechanic’s liens.
Pity the homebuyer hoping to navigate the morass of most states’ mechanic’s lien laws to determine if there is a lien their “dream home.” Hopefully Iowa’s utilization of computerized data systems will simplify the process for all involved and allow both contractors and homebuyers to get what they bargained for in the process.