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Bill Number: 157 Ratification Number: 188 Act Number 134 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Assessment of attorney fees and interest
(A134, R188, S157)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-1-15 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR ASSESSMENT OF ATTORNEY FEES AND INTEREST AGAINST PERSONS LIABLE FOR CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT FOR PERMANENT IMPROVEMENT TO REAL ESTATE WHO DO NOT INVESTIGATE THE MERITS OF A CLAIM AND PAY IT WITHIN FORTY-FIVE DAYS OF DEMAND IF IT IS DETERMINED TO BE VALID.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Payment of attorney fees and interest on claims for improvements of real estate
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 27-1-15. Whenever a contractor, laborer, design professional, or materials supplier has expended labor, services, or materials under contract for the improvement of real property, and where due and just demand has been made by certified or registered mail for payment for the labor, services, or materials under the terms of any regulation, undertaking, or statute, it is the duty of the person upon whom the claim is made to make a reasonable and fair investigation of the merits of the claim and to pay it, or whatever portion of it is determined as valid, within forty-five days from the date of mailing the demand. If the person fails to make a fair investigation or otherwise unreasonably refuses to pay the claim or proper portion, he is liable for reasonable attorney's fees and interest at the judgment rate from the date of the demand."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.