Last Updated on December 25, 2021
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 various types of collateral such as vehicles, equipment, and more. The UCC does not apply for real estate transactions. UCC filings protect lenders should the borrower stop paying 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 an Alabama UCC search is important because it provides creditors proof of any liens borrowers have on existing collateral and 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 name of the debtor
- The name of the secured party
- 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 five years from the date of filing in most cases. Filings are renewable for long-term debts, and filings can be amended to update the 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 the debtor. To narrow down the results, you can also search by filing number 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.