Amendments to Art. 9 Impact Names and Organizational Numbers Listed on Financing Statements

November 14, 2013

The UCC in Wisconsin has been amended to clarify the proper individual name to be listed on financing statements for perfecting a lender’s security interest. Identifying an individual’s proper name for a financing statement can be challenging where an individual has used a married name, maiden name, or combination of married and maiden names.

Prior to July 1, 2013, the law provided scant guidance on the subject. The recent amendments clarify that an individual is properly identified on a financing statement if the name listed is the name identified on an unexpired Wisconsin issued driver’s license or identification card. If neither of these documents exist, the financing statement should include the debtor’s individual name, or the surname and first personal name.

For practical purposes, there is no additional fee for listing alternative names on the same financing statement to ensure the individual is sufficiently identified. Lenders should note that these changes also impact continuations of existing financing statements.

The recent amendments also eliminated an entity’s organizational number listing on the financing statement form. Some lenders use a mortgage form that contains a provision that essentially allows the mortgage to also serve as the UCC financing statement for a fixture filing on the land records. The previous versions of those forms listed the entity’s organizational number. Because that information is no longer required to be listed but is not prohibited from being listed, lenders have a choice to remove that information. This information is public, and is available on the WI DFI website listing for such entity. I am advising clients that because the information is already public and it could help identify your borrower, there is no reason to eliminate it from the mortgage form. In addition, if there is any reason to think that there would be some confusion over the identity of your entity debtor, lenders may wish to list the organizational number on the UCC financing statement to ensure that the entity is sufficiently identified.

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