HARRISBURG, Pa. (7/14/14)--Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett last week signed into law a bill intended to protect homeowners from unfair mechanics' liens and eliminates mechanics' lien rights for subcontractors.
The legislation, known as Act 117, addresses concerns from a Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion that held a credit union's open-end mortgage was subordinate to a mechanics' lien, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) reported (
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Act 117 remedies this problem for credit unions in two ways:
- It amends the open-end mortgage statute to specifically allow proceeds to be used to fund soft costs, such as title insurance, transfer taxes, legal fees, engineering fees, accounting fees, architectural fees and management fees.
- Open-end mortgages will receive priority over a mechanics' lien only if more than 60% of the proceeds of the loan secured by the open-end mortgage are used to fund hard or soft construction costs.
"The association would like to thank bill sponsor Sen. Kim Ward (D-39), House companion bill sponsor Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Camp Hill) and Gov. Tom Corbett for their leadership on behalf of credit unions and consumers," said Patrick Conway, PCUA president. "Act 117 will ensure consumers aren't penalized from unscrupulous contractors while protecting Pennsylvania credit unions with respect to their lien priority for construction loans."
The act will go into effect in 60 days.