Attorneys’ Fees Now Available for Residential Mechanics’ Lien Foreclosures
Posted on 06/16/2020 at 11:57 AM by William Reasoner
In early 2020, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that contractors who have a mechanics’ lien on a residential property cannot recover attorneys’ fees from the sale of the homestead. We explained in a prior blog about how that Supreme Court decision severely limited a contractor’s effective remedies under the mechanics’ lien statute. In our blog, we also noted that the ruling made clear that in the future, the legislature could address the issues with recovering attorneys’ fees from a mechanics’ lien on a residential property that is a homestead.
The legislature took note.
At the tail end of a unique session disrupted by COVID-19, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill that makes clear a contractor can recover its attorneys’ fees from the mechanics’ lien. Although this bill (SF 458) is not yet law, it is expected that Governor Reynolds will sign it into law soon. Once signed, new § 561.21 will provide a tool for Iowa’s contractors to adequately and effectively enforce mechanics’ liens on residential properties.
What has not changed, though, is the importance of contractors’ supplying the required notices to residential property owners. See our other blogs here (necessity of commencement notice), here (2013 changes to mechanics’ lien statute), and here (5 years later, a look at the 2013 changes) for additional information about Iowa’s mechanics’ lien statute for residential properties. After all, the Iowa legislature’s action will not help contractors who fail to properly protect their mechanics’ lien rights.
Categories: Construction Law, William Reasoner
Questions, Contact us today.
The material, whether written or oral (including videos) that is posted on the various blogs of Dickinson Law is not intended, nor should it be construed or relied upon, as legal advice. The opinions expressed in the various blog posting are those of the individual author, they may not reflect the opinions of the firm. Your use of the Dickinson Law blog postings does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between you and Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C. or any of its attorneys. If specific legal information is needed, please retain and consult with an attorney of your own selection.