What are the UCC Filing Guidelines?

Daphne Mallory
Daphne Mallory
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

UCC filing guidelines are specific rules for completing and submitting UCC forms to the secretary of state. They provide instructions on how to complete sections of the forms that pertain to the individual or organization debtor name, the secured party name, and collateral. The guidelines are commonly derived from Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and some guidelines are slightly modified to meet the online and mail filing needs of the state. Each state requires individuals and businesses to submit UCC code 1 forms or UCC code 9 forms that comply with these guidelines, or else those forms are often rejected. The forms are provided by the state where the individual wants to submit a UCC filing, but the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) also offers national forms that most states accept.

The organization or individual name has to be the exact full legal name in order to meet the requirements of the UCC filing guidelines. The reason is that the debtor may be confused with another debt, which will eliminate the effectiveness of the UCC filing. The debtor’s social security number is only required for certain types of liens, and therefore confusion of debtors can occur if the name is not filed properly. The purpose of the UCC filing is for the creditor to notify the public of a security interest in the debtor’s collateral. It often has the effect of a lien, although the creditor has to perfect the lien separately.

The secured party name is the creditor’s legal name. It can also be the name of the assignee, which is the individual or organization to which the creditor transfers the security interest. When a new creditor purchases the secured loan from the old security, the transfer of the loan is often referred to as an assignment. The new creditor becomes the assignee, and the UCC filing guidelines that pertain to secured party also apply to the assignee.

One the most important aspects of the forms is the list of the debtor collateral. The collateral is the personal property that the debtor uses to secure the loan, and he cannot sell, transfer, or get rid of it because the creditor has an interest in it. The UCC filing guidelines for listing the collateral are often straightforward. The debtor has to list only the collateral and not extraneous information, and it should include a brief description of each item. For example, the creditor should not use that section of the form to list the name and addresses of the assignee for each of the items. That information does not get entered into the public records and is often not searchable by the public.

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