May 22, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

In re Construction Supervision Services, Inc. (Branch Banking & Trust Company v Construction Supervision Services, Inc.)

After Services filed for bankruptcy, several subcontractors moved to be allowed to perfect their state law materialman liens. Company objected. The bankruptcy court allowed the perfection and the district court affirmed on appeal. The panel affirmed. It held that “interest in property” in 11 USC 362(b)(3) and 546(b) includes any claim on specific property and is thus different from a lien which is a mechanism to secure the claim. Here, North Carolina law controls. Under North Carolina General Statutes 44A-18, the materialman liens vested at the moment of delivery of goods and thus the 362(b)(3) exception for perfecting interests in property applied. As all other requirements of 44A-18 were met, the subcontractors were free to file their notices and secure their interests.

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