The House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee heard SB 180 sponsored by Rep. Foley and Rep. L. Lawson concerning limited partnerships and liability companies. The bill requires the Indiana Business Law Survey Commission to conduct a study concerning the desirability of enacting: (1) the uniform limited partnership act; and (2) the revised uniform limited liability company act. The bill passed 9-0.
The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 215 sponsored by Rep. Foley regarding forfeiture. The bill determines the distribution of the proceeds in a civil forfeiture action. An amendment was adopted by consent that changes the distribution of the proceeds to include the deposit of 12% of the proceeds in the county school security fund rather than the common school fund as required in criminal forfeiture actions. Testimony in support of the bill was heard from representatives of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Public Defender Council. Several concerns were brought to the committee’s attention and some of the committee members expressed a number of reservations regarding the distribution of the proceeds. The amended bill passed 10-1.
The House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee heard SB 411, sponsored by Rep. Eberhart and Rep. Burton on disclosure of firearm or ammunition information. The bill prohibits public or private employers from requiring employees or applicants for employment to disclose information about their ownership, possession, use, or transportation of firearms or ammunition, unless the disclosure concerns a firearm or ammunition “used in fulfilling the duties of the employment of the individual.” The bill creates a civil cause of action against a private employer or “public official” defined as including an elected or appointed official in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch, who violates the prohibition and allows damages, costs and attorney fees, and punitive damages for a knowing and willful violation of this prohibition. Testimony was heard in favor of and against the bill. The bill passed 11-1.
The House Financial Institutions Committee heard SB 582 concerning settlement conferences in residential foreclosures sponsored by Rep. Burton. Sen. Tallian testified to several concerns with the current foreclosure settlement conference process and provided an overview of the mortgage foreclosure trial assistance project. The bill: (1) provides that the notice of settlement conference must be on the summons; (2) defines a “loss mitigation package” as a set of documents the debtor must bring to the settlement conference; (3) authorizes an appearance at a settlement conference to constitute the filing of an appearance in the case; (4) authorizes the court to issue an order requiring the debtor to continue to make monthly payments with respect to the mortgage if the debtor continues to occupy the mortgaged dwelling; (5) authorizes payments to be held in trust for the parties by the clerk of the court or in an attorney trust account and only disbursed upon order of the court; (6) protects “good Samaritans” from liability if in good faith they enter private property believed to be abandoned to clean it up or mow the lawn; and (7) establishes a study committee to review abandoned property and short sale procedures as well as non-judicial foreclosure procedures. Mr. Mark St. John, representing the Indiana Association of Community Economic Development and Mr. Tom Dinwiddie, representing the Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. David Miller of the Office of the Attorney General testified that the attorney general’s office has a mortgage foreclosure best practices petition pending with the Indiana Supreme Court which incorporates several provisions in the bill, and provided the committee with a comparison chart. An amendment containing substantial provisions of Rep. Burton’s HB 1181 concerning residential foreclosures was adopted by consent. The amended bill passed 9-0.
The Senate Judiciary heard HB 1321 sponsored by Sen. Bray and Sen. Simpson concerning secured transactions. The bill makes changes to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code to provide conformity and make technical corrections. Rep. Foley introduced the bill and answered questions from the committee members. The bill passed 8-0.