Two common reasons liens are filedWhen you are a borrower and receive financing backed by an asset that you pledged as collateral on the loan, a creditor needs legal documentation of its claim to that collateral. As such, the creditor may file a lien against you to help secure the asset you pledged as collateral on the loan. This way, the lender’s loan is perfected by the UCC financing statement. They file the UCC financing statement (the lien), so they have legal standing and priority over other creditors should bankruptcy occur. Liens are filed on high-value assets such as machinery, cars, homes, and other items people finance.
It is also possible for a lender to pre-file a financing statement with the borrower’s written authorization. A lender may want to pre-file a UCC financing statement because there may be a gap of time between the purchase of the collateral and when the lien will be filed. This can happen when an individual is financing a very high-value item.
Keep in mind that there may be other reasons a lien is filed.
What can you do if a lien was filed against you?
There are four typical actions that can take place:
- If the terms of the loan have not been fulfilled, the lender still has an interest in the collateral. In this instance, there is no action you need to take. The lien should remain in place until you have paid off the loan.
- If the lien is older than five years and the debt was repaid during that timeframe, the lien likely expired. Unless the secured party filed a UCC-3 Continuation statement to extend the lien, there is no need for action. The lien terminated naturally.
- If the lien is less than five years old and the debt was repaid, you can request that the secured party terminate the lien.
- If the lien was created by a lender through an authorization to pre-file a financing statement, you should review your paperwork to see if it is your responsibility to terminate the lien at your expense. Otherwise, you can request that the secured party terminate the lien.
How to determine the secured party
Once you obtain a copy of the lien, you need to review the different sections of the UCC financing statement. There are three sections that you should review:
- Name & Phone of Contact at Filer – This is the name of the entity that filed the lien on behalf of the secured party
- Debtor's Name – This is the name of the person that owes the debt
- Secured Party's Name – This is the actual entity that has an interest in the collateral. It is this entity with whom you should inquire about your lien.
If the secured party’s name is C T Corporation as representative, send an email to [email protected].
How to find the contact information of the secured party
You may need to reach out to the secured party. We recommend two different sources for you to find the contact information:
- SuperPages.com – This is an online resource of many businesses and their contact information. Search for the secured party, and then contact the secured party.
- Google.com – Search for the secured party’s name and contact the secured party.
You now know a few reasons why your name may be on a lien and how you can find the secured party, and we have shared a few tips on how you can find the contact information on the secured party. If you need additional assistance, you may want to reach out to legal counsel.
Wolters Kluwer Lien Solutions is not a law firm and does not provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice.
Customers should consult with their legal counsel and other advisors regarding their use of the products and services offered by Wolters Kluwer Lien Solutions.