Elimination of public notification requirement considered for certain liens

A bill to streamline the termination of certain liens was considered by the Judiciary Committee Jan. 22.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist02' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Robert Clements'>Sen. Robert Clements</a>
Sen. Robert Clements

Current law requires that the recording of a termination of a notice of commencement under the Nebraska Construction Lien Act be published at least once per week for three consecutive weeks in a general circulation newspaper.

LB844, sponsored by Elmwood Sen. Robert Clements, would eliminate this notification requirement.

Clements said the current law creates delays and adds extra expense to construction projects.

“The purpose of the notice of commencement is to notify property owners that their lien priority starts when this notice is filed—not earlier—if they have already done some work on the property,” he said. “This causes a delay in the termination of the notice.”

John Mueller, a constituent of Clements’, supported the bill. He brought the issue to the senator, he said, because often the person selling the land forgets about the publication requirement until new buyers close the sale on a property.

“Construction delays can be costly because of a delay in publication [of the notice],” Mueller said. “It also adds extra costs to the owner of the property to get that publication done.”

Representing the Nebraska State Bar Association, Luke Vavricek opposed LB844. He agreed that the publication requirement can cause delays, but said it remains an important part of the process.

“[Buyers] are not going to be getting any sort of direct notice from the project engineer, developer or owner,” Vavricek said. “A lot of the time, all they’re going to have to rely on is the published notice.”

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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