Senators Wyss and Arnold have introduced SB 134 which, I believe, is attempting to address the problem of “paper terrorism.” (Not their term) This is where people will file liens and whatnot just to mess with you. The paperwork is relatively easy to file and occasionally causes headaches, particularly where a lender or other third party would simply rather not bother dealing with you because of the frivolous paperwork. Such paper terrorism is a tactic among anti-government groups such as “sovereign citizens.” (Also, related, see my old post “Redemption Song” and this one about HB 1054 from 2013).
SB 134 would allow the victim of a frivolous lien to file a motion with the court to review the lien or encumbrance and, if the court determines the filing is fraudulent, award costs and attorney’s fees, determine that the filing is void, and instruct the office where the matter is filed to purge the record.
The bill would also make false filing a felony.
The main problem with the bill is that many times, parties have a legitimate difference of opinion about a debt or obligation that involves a security interest. With this legislation in place, I would expect a lot of litigation over these honest differences of opinion to turn into a sideshow about whether the lien was filed fraudulently.