To date, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have enacted the 2010 Amendments to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). However, the U.S. Virgin Islands is still the only jurisdiction not to enact those amendments, an issue that has drawn criticism over the past several years.
The final jurisdiction to enact the amendments was Oklahoma, back in June 2015. Since then, the U.S. Virgin Islands has been the sole remaining American jurisdiction to not make the amendments official.
Article 9 of the UCC regulates secured transactions of personal property, including the granting of credit that is secured by the applicant’s personal property. Every year, there are hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer and commercial credit granted by use of secured transactions under rules specifically outlined in UCC Article 9. These rules could apply if a manufacturer finances its purchase of new equipment, a retailer applies for financing of additional inventory or if a consumer gets financing for upgrades to a home.
There are rules in the UCC-9 that govern any transaction — aside from financial leases — that involve granting credit paired with potential creditor interest in the debtor’s property. In the event that the debtor defaults on the loan, the creditor could take possession of that property and sell it to repay the debt. This is called a “security interest.” UCC Article 9 outlines who has the first rights to this collateral if there are multiple creditors competing for having their loans repaid.
Amendments to UCC9
The 2010 amendments to UCC-9 made some changes to respond to various filing issues and a number of other matters that arose since the most recent revisions in 1998. The most important update is that now there is greater guidance regarding the name of debtors that will be provided on financing statements. As a result, each state has two choices:
- Alternative A: If the debtor has a state-issued driver’s license where the financing statement is filed, the debtor’s name as it is included on the license will be included on the financing statement in the exact same format. If the debtor does not have a license, either the debtor’s surname and first personal name or the debtor’s actual name may be used in financing.
- Alternative B: The debtor’s name as indicated on the driver’s license, the debtor’s actual name or the debtor’s surname and first personal name are all allowed to be used on the financing statement.
These amendments make the filing system for financing statements easier to understand and more organized. By not having approved these amendments yet, the U.S. Virgin Islands is allowing this process to be more complicated than it needs to be.
For more information on UCC-9, its amendments and the potential changes that could result from them here in our territory, consult a skilled corporate planning attorney.
Attorney Tom Bolt, Managing Attorney of BoltNagi, a widely respected and established business and corporate law firm offering counsel to a wide range of clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands is also a Commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.