Apr 292021

The Utah Governor signed a Bill to potentially eliminate newspaper advertising.  In March 2021, the Utah Governor signed a Bill which appears to under certain circumstances eliminate the requirement of newspaper advertising for lien sales.  This law goes into effect on May 4, 2021 and appears to impact lien sales which notices would have begun only after May 4, 2021.  The impact of this law depends upon the proper sending and service of your lien sale notices.  That is, the change to the law, provides specifically that the newspaper advertising requirements no longer applies if the Owner “provides the lien sale notice described in sub section (1)(b) by email and received a response or return receipt from the email address to which the notice was sent; or the Owner provided the notice described in subsection (1)(b) by certified mail; and has evidence of providing the notice by certified mail.”  

You will need to understand exactly what this means and there are important implications to this requirement.  If you are properly serving your Occupants their lien notice under the Statute, then it appears that you no longer have to advertise the sale in the newspaper.  It is a big “if” you have to serve your notice(s) properly, then you also have to maintain appropriate records/proof of service of these notices.  

Further, it is not that advertising has been eliminated.  You still have to advertise.  It is just that if you notice properly you do not have to advertise in a newspaper any more.  You do not automatically get relief from newspaper advertising.  Even if you are serving your notices properly, the advertisement still has to be run, you simply are not required to advertise in a newspaper.  You may select where you advertise. The advertisement content has not changed and remember, you will still ultimately be required to show proof, if a claim is made against you, that your advertisement properly ran.  Since you are not given any guidance as to what a proper advertisement is in the Statute, it will ultimately be up to you, to decide what makes your ad the best ad it can be, and what will bring the most bidders to create the best results for the best sale.  

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