A FULL SEARCH includes any currently effective UCC, State and Federal Tax Liens, Judgments, Bankruptcy Filings, as well as a Patriot Search for individuals.
Use our convenient online worksheet to customize the indexes you need searched, and we will provide you with a full report of what is public record in the jurisdiction you need searched. Need a definition of the different types of liens and public information filings?
Here is a brief description for your reference:
The Uniform Commercial Code is a comprehensive set of laws governing commercial transactions between U.S. states and territories. These transactions include borrowing money, leases, contracts, and the sale of goods. The UCC is not a federal law, but a product of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Law Institute, private organizations that recommend the adopting of the UCC by state governments. State legislatures may either adopt the UCC verbatim or may modify to meet the state’s needs. Once a state’s legislature adopts and enacts the UCC it becomes a state law and is codified in the state’s statutes. All 50 states and territories have enacted some version of the UCC.
The most important UCC regulation affecting small businesses is the UCC-1 form, also known as a Financial Statement. When a lender secures interest in a borrower’s personal property used as collateral, the lender files form UCC-1 with the Secretary of State (or equivalent state records office). Lenders can also file UCC-1 forms in multiple states if a borrower has business locations in multiple states, or moves from one state to another. “Personal property” means non-real property used in operating a business, such as equipment, furniture, and inventory.
The UCC-1 form serves as a public notice of a lender’s interest in the assets for a business. All information on a UCC-1 form is public information. Before a lender makes a secured loan, it does a lien search in the state’s UCC filings database to make sure no other UCC-1 form has been filed against the borrower’s collateral. If more than one lender files a UCC-1 against the same collateral, the one filed first has a priority claim should the borrower default or go bankrupt.
Once a loan is paid off, the borrower should ask the lender to terminate the UCC-1 filing. Lenders will not proactively terminate these filings.
A Lien is a means of securing, restricting the use of, or encumbering property if a debt is outstanding or not paid on time. A Tax Lien refers to the State or Federal Government’s right to encumber property when a person or business is delinquent in payment of taxes. A State or Federal Tax Lien search is useful to prove creditworthiness, or to investigate whether a business is worth purchasing, and is debt-free. County and State indexes may contain a State and/or Federal Tax Lien.
If a collection agency, lawyer, or individual sues another party and wins, a JUDGMENT is filed against the defendant. Usually the judgment is a monetary amount and is considered a debt and is public record. The judgment may be rendered against indiividuals and organized businesses. A search of the County Clerk’s records will determine if there are any unsatisfied judgments currently of record against a person or business.
A business or individual may file for bankruptcy with the U.S. District, Bankruptcy and Appellate Courts. The U.S. Party/Case index records will list infomration regarding any parties involved in a bankruptcy transaction.
This type of search is relatively new. The government has developed an index of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons”, which is published by the Office of Foreign Asset Control of the U.S. Dept. of Treasury. As of September 24, 2001, President Bush issued executive order 13224 requiring anyone conducting a financial transaction to determine if the person(s) they are doing business with is listed on the blocked persons list. The USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001 requires similar procedures. As a result, Lenders, including financial institutions, consider this search a loan requirement for individuals.