An Alabama UCC (Uniform Commercial Code), also known as a UCC-1 Financing Statement, is a lien filed by a creditor to protect their interest when making a loan. This lien exists until the debt is paid for and can be placed on any personal property such as vehicles, equipment and more. The UCC does not apply for real estate transactions. UCC filings protect lenders should the borrower stop paying on the debt or declare bankruptcy. The UCC provides documentation for the lender and allows the ability to foreclose or force the sale of the property to pay back the debt.
UCC filings are public record and in Alabama, the Secretary of State has an online UCC database. This database includes both the state UCC and Federal Tax Lien index. Since some UCC images contain personal information such as social security numbers, federal identification numbers and bank account numbers, images of the UCC documents are only available by completing a UCC-11 information request.
The ability to do a UCC search is important because provides creditors proof of any liens borrowers have on existing collateral and to ensure there aren’t multiple loans on one asset.
How does the UCC filing process work?
Once approved for secured financing, a creditor files a UCC-1 Financing Statement with the Alabama Secretary of State which creates a lien against the collateral.
The Alabama UCC Financing Statement contains:
- The borrower’s name and address
- The lender’s name and address
- Information about the collateral.
All UCC filings in Alabama will go through the Secretary of State’s office except for collateral that is collateral pertaining to real estate such as crops, timber, gas, minerals, etc. These filings are done through the Probate Office in the county where the collateral is located.
UCC filings are active in Alabama for 5 years from the date of filing in most cases. Filings are renewable for long-term debts and filings can be amended to update lender’s position of the secured collateral.
How much does an Alabama UCC search cost?
A UCC-1 Financing Statement request is free if only doing a simple search by name, filing number or date. If images of the statement are needed an advanced search will need to be done. Costs start at $15 per filing.
How to search for a UCC filing in Alabama
- Visit – https://sos.alabama.gov/government-records/ucc-records
- On this screen we can search by the debtor’s name, filing number or date of filing. In this example, we will search by the debtor’s name.
- We will search by the last name of search. To narrow down the results, you can also search by first and last name or the business name.
- These are the results for the name of search for the name of smith in the Alabama Secretary of State’s UCC filing database.