HBA-DMD H.B. 2054 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2054 By: Solomons Business & Industry 3/8/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE H.B. 2054 amends existing language in the Property Code in an attempt to clarify existing statutes concerning construction on residential properties and disclosure statements in residential construction contracts. The bill also requires a contractor to provide an owner with a list of all the subcontractors working on a residential project and a disbursement statement of all of the persons who subcontracted who will receive funds because of their work on the project. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 53.001, Property Code, by adding Subsection (15), to define "completion." SECTION 2. Amends Section 53.055(a), Property Code, to increase from one to five business days after filing an affidavit with the county clerk, the period during which a person who files an affidavit must send a copy of the affidavit by registered or certified mail to the owner or reputed owner at the owner's last known business or residence address. SECTION 3. Amends Section 53.158, Property Code, as follows: Sec. 53158. PERIOD FOR BRINGING SUIT TO FORECLOSE LIEN. (a) Establishes that a suit must be brought to foreclose the mechanic's lien, except as provided by Subsection (b), within the later of two years after filing the lien affidavit under Section 53.052 (Filing of Affidavit), Property Code, or one year after completion, termination, or abandonment of the work under the original contract under which the lien is claimed. (b) Provides that for a claim arising from a residential construction project, a suit must be brought to foreclose the mechanic's lien no later than the first anniversary of the date the lien affidavit is filed under Section 53.052. SECTION 4. Amends Section 53.205(a), Property Code, to provide that the bond protects all persons with a claim that is perfected in the manner prescribed for fixing a lien under Subchapter C (Procedure for Perfecting Lien), or, if the claim relates to a residential construction project, under Subchapter K (Residential Construction Projects). SECTION 5. Amends Sections 53.206(a) and (b), Property Code, to provide that to perfect a claim under this section, a person is not required to give notice to the surety under Section 53.058(b) (Derivative Claimant: Notice for Specially Fabricated Items), or if the claim relates to residential construction project under Section 53.253(c) (Derivative Claimant: Notice for Specially Fabricated Items). Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 6. Amends Section 53.207(a), Property Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 7. Amends Section 53.255(b), Property Code, by amending the disclosure statement that is required for a residential construction contract as follows: _New Subheading: CONVEYANCE TO CONTRACTOR NOT REQUIRED. Deletes "prohibited" from existing title. _GET A LIST OF SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS. Establishes that a contractor is not required to supply a list of subcontractors and suppliers used on a project if a person signs a written waiver of that person's rights to receive the information. _MONITOR PAYMENTS. Provides that each time a person's contractor requests payment from that person or that person's lender for work performed, that person's contractor is also required to furnish that person with a disbursement statement that lists the name and address of each subcontractor or supplier that the contractor intends to pay from the requested funds, rather than a statement at least once a month of money that is disbursed to subcontractors and suppliers for this project. Makes a conforming change. _CLAIMS BY SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS. Provides that in order to avoid liability for labor or materials that is not paid, Texas law allows a person to withhold or cause a lender to withhold 10 percent of the amount of payments made for the work performed by that person's contractor, during construction and for 30 days after final completion, termination, or abandonment of the contract by the contractor. Provides that unless that person withholds, rather than fails to withhold, the 10 percent for at least 30 days after final completion, termination, or abandonment of the contract by the contractor and if a valid claim is timely made by a claimant, that person may be personally liable and that person's property may be subject to a lien up to the amount that a person failed to withhold. SECTION 8. Amends Section 53.256, Property Code, by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and by adding Subsection (d), as follows: (a) Requires the contractor for the construction of improvements under a residential construction contract to furnish to the owner, rather than attaching to the disclosure statement required by Section 53.255, a written list before commencing construction that identifies each subcontractor and supplier by name, address, and telephone number that the contractor intends to use in the work to be performed, except as provided by Subsection (d). Makes conforming changes. (b) Includes in the notice listing subcontractors and suppliers, unless a person signs a waiver of that person's right to receive updated information, that the contractor is required by law to supply updated information, as the information becomes available, for each subcontractor or supplier used in the work performed on that person's residence. (d) Authorizes an owner to waive the right to receive the list of subcontractors and suppliers or any updated information required by this section only as provided by this subsection. Authorizes the waiver to be included in the residential construction contract and provides that the waiver must be in writing. Provides that if the waiver is not included as a provision of the residential construction contract, the separate waiver statement must be signed by the owner. Sets forth language for the waiver which must be conspicuously printed in at least 10-point bold-faced type. SECTION 9. Amends Sections 53.258(a), (b), and (e), Property Code, as follows: (a) Requires the original contractor to provide the owner with a disbursement statement, at the time the original contractor requests payment from the owner or the owner's lender for the construction of improvements under a residential construction contract. Authorizes the statement to include any information agreed to by the owner and the original contractor, including at least the name and address of each person who subcontracted directly with the original contractor and who the original contractor intends to pay from the requested funds. Requires the original contractor to provide the disbursement statement: (1) in the manner agreed to in writing by the owner and original contractor; or (2) if no agreement exists, by depositing the statement in the United States mail, first class, postage paid, and properly addressed to the owner or by hand delivering the statement to the owner before the original contractor receives the requested funds. Deletes text requiring the original contractor to provide to the owner a signed periodic statement, for the construction of improvements under a residential construction contract, that lists the bills or expenses that the original contractor represents will be paid or that have been paid and for which the original contractor is requesting payment. Deletes text specifying that the original contractor is not required to include in the statement the bills or expenses for which the original contractor has obtained a valid lien release or waiver from the subcontractor or supplier to whom the bills or expenses are owed provided that the statement includes a written representation that the balance of any funds that are not itemized in the statement will be paid to the subcontractor or supplier who provided the lien release or waiver, or the original contractor as reimbursement for expenses incurred, profit, or overhead. (b) Requires the lender, if the owner finances the construction of improvements through a third party that advances loan proceeds directly to the original contractor, to obtain from the original contractor the signed disbursement, rather than periodic, statement required by Subsection (a) that covers the funds for which the original contractor is requesting payment. (e) Provides that the failure of an original contractor to comply with this section does not invalidate a lien under this chapter, a contract lien, or a deed of trust. SECTION 10. Amends Section 53.260, Property Code, to revise the existing title as follows: Sec. 53.260. New Title: CONVEYANCE TO CONTRACTOR NOT REQUIRED. SECTION 11. Repealer: Section 53.106(e), Property Code, which defines "completion." SECTION 12.Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 13.Emergency clause.