UCC Searches and Filings
A UCC-1 financing statement (an abbreviation for Uniform Commercial Code-1) is a legal form that a creditor files to give notice that it has or may have an interest in the personal property of a debtor (a person who owes a debt to the creditor as typically specified in the agreement creating the debt). This form is filed in order to “perfect” a creditor’s security interest by giving public notice that there is a right to take possession of and sell certain assets for repayment of a specific debt with a certain priority.
Such notices of sale are often found in the local newspapers. Once the form has been filed, the creditor establishes a relative priority with other creditors of the debtor. This process is also called “perfecting the security interest” in the property, and this type of loan is a secured loan. A financing statement may also be filed in the real estate records by a lessor of fixtures to establish the priority of the lessor’s rights against a holder of a mortgage or other lien on the real property. The creditor’s rights against the debtor and the lessor’s rights against the lessee are based on the credit documents and the lease, respectively, and not the financing statement.