UCC Filings FAQ
What is the Uniform Commercial Code or UCC?
What is a debtor?
A debtor is a borrower who owes a debt. More specifically, a debtor means the person who owes payment against a secured obligation.
What is a secured party?
A secured party means a lender, seller or other person in whose favor there is a security interest.
How does the search work?
What rules are applied to searches?
• No distinction is made between upper and lower case letters.
• Punctuation marks and accents are disregarded.
• All spaces are disregarded.
• Searches for individuals should be entered as Last Name First Name Middle Name or Initial (i.e., Doe John)
• If, first name is provided, a match will be found on that name and also return results with any middle name
• If only an initial is provided, a match will be found on any first name starting with the
• If a middle name is provided, a match will be found on the middle name.
• If only an initial is given, a match will be found on any middle name starting with the
Examples are as follows:
A search for Bank of America will retrieve:
• Bank of America Home Loans
• Bank of America Corporate Center
• Bank of America N.A.
• John A. Smith
• John Alexander Smith
• John Adam Smith
• John Smith
• John A. Smith
• Johnnie Smith
• John Robert Smith
A search request for Smith, J M will retrieve:
• John M. Smith
• John Michael Smith
• Johnnie Smith
• John Matthew Smith
How long does a financing statement last?
Where should I file?
The Uniform Commercial Code designates where to file based on the location of the debtor. The collateral location no longer determines where to file. Filings for organizations are made in the state where the organization is registered. Filings for individuals are made in the state of residence. Filing in the wrong office is not a rejection reason listed in the statute.
Within the state of organization or residence, mortgages, fixtures, minerals and timber are filed with the County Clerks of Court or Register of Deeds. All other types of collateral, including transmitting utilities and manufactured homes, are filed in the central filing office.
How will I receive my filed copy?
When you file electronically, you receive your filed copy immediately upon filing. If you choose not to file electronically, the central filing office may process your request within two business days after receipt.
How will I receive my copies of searched documents?
If you use the online search option, your search results are immediately available for you to print. The online search option also offers the online option of receiving certified search results. If you choose not to file electronically, the central filing office may process your request within two business days after receipt.
My filing relates to real estate. Should I file with the county or in the central filing office?
Title liens on automobiles or other title property are filed with the County Clerks of Court or Register of Deeds.
What is an “in lieu of” filing?
When a continuation statement needs to be filed for financing statements formerly filed in the county or in another state, an "in lieu of" filing must be made by the secured party. It will be in the form of an initial financing statement and it will cross reference the original statement filed in the county or other state.
Where are tax liens filed?
What if I conduct a search and do not receive the results I expect?
The same database is used by both the external, web user and the internal filing officer. The responsibility for accurately searching names rests with the user. Search results are determined by the search criteria you choose. Therefore, if you do not see the results you expect, check the spelling of the information entered and/or choose different search criteria.
Are paper filings still accepted?
Can the Secretary of State’s Office provide me with legal assistance in completing UCC filings?