(a) In this article:
(1) “Accession” means goods that are physically united with other goods in such a manner that the identity of the original goods is not lost.
(2) “Account” except as used in “account for” means a right to payment of a monetary obligation, whether or not earned by performance, (i) for property that has been or is to be sold, leased, licensed, assigned, or otherwise disposed of, (ii) for services rendered or to be rendered, (iii) for a policy of insurance issued or to be issued, (iv) for a secondary obligation incurred or to be incurred, (v) for energy provided or to be provided, (f) for the use or hire of a vessel under a charter or other contract, (vi) arising out of the use of a credit or charge card or information contained on or for use with the card, or (vii) as winnings in a lottery or other game of chance operated or sponsored by a State, governmental unit of a State, or person licensed or authorized to operate the game by a State or governmental unit of a State. The term includes health-care-insurance receivables. The term does not include (i) rights to payment evidenced by chattel paper or an instrument, (ii) commercial tort claims, (iii) deposit accounts, (iv) investment property, (v) letter-of-credit rights or letters of credit, or (vi) rights to payment for money or funds advanced or sold, other than rights arising out of the use of a credit or charge card or information contained on or for use with the card.
(3) “Account debtor” means a person obligated on an account, chattel paper, or general intangible. The term does not include persons obligated to pay a negotiable instrument, even if the instrument constitutes part of chattel paper.
(4) “Accounting”, except as used in “accounting for”, means a record:
(A) Authenticated by a secured party;
(B) Indicating the aggregate unpaid secured obligations as of a date not more than 35 days earlier or 35 days later than the date of the record; and
(C) Identifying the components of the obligations in reasonable detail.
(5) “Agricultural lien” means an interest in farm products:
(A) Which secures payment or performance of an obligation for:
(i) Goods or services furnished in connection with a debtor’s farming operation; or
(ii) Rent on real property leased by a debtor in connection with its farming operation;
(B) Which is created by statute in favor of a person that:
(i) In the ordinary course of its business furnished goods or services to a debtor in connection with a debtor’s farming operation; or
(ii) Leased real property to a debtor in connection with the debtor’s farming operation; and
(C) Whose effectiveness does not depend on the person’s possession of the personal property.
(6) “As-extracted collateral” means:
(A) Oil, gas, or other minerals that are subject to a security interest that:
(i) Is created by a debtor having an interest in the minerals before extraction; and
(ii) Attaches to the minerals as extracted; or
(B) Accounts arising out of the sale at the wellhead or minehead of oil, gas, or other minerals in which the debtor had an interest before extraction.
(7) “Authenticate” means:
(A) To sign; or
(B) With present intent to adopt or accept a record, to attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic sound, symbol, or process.
(8) “Bank” means an organization that is engaged in the business of banking. The term includes savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and trust companies.
(9) “Cash proceeds” means proceeds that are money, checks, deposit accounts, or the like.
(10) “Certificate of title” means a certificate of title with respect to which a statute provides for the security interest in question to be indicated on the certificate as a condition or result of the security interest’s obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor with respect to the collateral. The term includes another record maintained as an alternative to a certificate of title by the governmental unit that issues certificates of title if a statute permits the security interest in question to be indicated on the record as a condition or result of the security interest’s obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor with respect to the collateral.
(11) “Chattel paper” means a record or records that evidence both a monetary obligation and a security interest in specific goods, a security interest in specific goods and software used in the goods, a security interest in specific goods and license of software used in the goods, a lease of specific goods, or a lease of specific goods and license of software used in the goods. In this paragraph, “monetary obligation” means a monetary obligation secured by the goods or owed under a lease of the goods and includes a monetary obligation with respect to software used in the goods. The term does not include (i) charters or other contracts involving the use or hire of a vessel or (ii) records that evidence a right to payment arising out of the sue or a credit or charge card or information contained on or for use with the card. If a transaction is evidenced both by records that include an instrument or series of instruments, the group of records taken together constitutes chattel paper.
(12) “Collateral” means the property subject to a security interest or agricultural lien. The term includes:
(A) Proceeds to which a security interest attaches;
(B) Accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, and promissory notes that have been sold; and
(C) Goods that are the subject of a consignment.
(13) “Commercial tort claim” means a claim arising in tort with respect to which:
(A) The claimant is an organization; or
(B) The claimant is an individual and the claim:
(i) Arose in the course of the claimant’s business or profession; and
(ii) Does not include damages arising out of personal injury to or the death of an individual.
(14) “Commodity account” means an account maintained by a commodity intermediary in which a commodity contract is carried for a commodity customer.
(15) “Commodity contract” means a commodity futures contract, an option on a commodity futures contract, a commodity option, or another contract if the contract or option is:
(A) Traded on or subject to the rules of a board of trade that has been designated as a contract market for such a contract pursuant to federal commodities laws; or
(B) Traded on a foreign commodity board of trade, exchange, or market, and is carried on the books of a commodity intermediary for a commodity customer.
(16) “Commodity customer” means a person for which a commodity intermediary carries a commodity contract on its books.
(17) “Commodity intermediary” means a person that:
(A) Is registered as a futures commission merchant under federal commodities law; or
(B) In the ordinary course of its business provides clearance or settlement services for a board of trade that has been designated as a contract market pursuant to federal commodities law.
(18) “Communicate” means:
(A) To send a written or other tangible record;
(B) To transmit a record by any means agreed upon by the persons sending and receiving the record; or
(C) In the case of transmission of a record to or by a filing office, to transmit a record by any means prescribed by filing-office rule.
(19) “Consignee” means a merchant to which goods are delivered in a consignment.
(20) “Consignment” means a transaction, regardless of its form, in which a person delivers goods to a merchant for the purpose of sale and:
(A) The merchant:
(i) Deals in goods of that kind under a name other than the name of the person making delivery;
(ii) Is not an auctioneer; and
(iii) Is not generally known by its creditors to be substantially engaged in selling the goods of others;
(B) With respect to each delivery, the aggregate value of the goods is $1,000 or more at the time of delivery;
(C) The goods are not consumer goods immediately before delivery; and
(D) The transaction does not create a security interest that secures an obligation.
(21) “Consignor” means a person that delivers goods to a consignee in a consignment.
(22) “Consumer debtor” means a debtor in a consumer transaction.
(23) “Consumer goods” means goods that are used or bought for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
(24) “Consumer-goods transaction” means a consumer transaction in which:
(A) An individual incurs an obligation primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; and
(B) A security interest in consumer goods secures the obligation.
(25) “Consumer obligor” means an obligor who is an individual and who incurred the obligation as part of a transaction entered into primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
(26) “Consumer transaction” means a transaction in which (i) an individual incurs an obligation primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, (ii) a security interest secures the obligation, and (iii) the collateral is held or acquired primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. The term includes consumer-goods transactions.
(27) “Continuation statement” means an amendment of a financing statement which:
(A) Identifies, by its file number, the initial financing statement to which it relates; and
(B) Indicates that it is a continuation statement for, or that it is filed to continue the effectiveness of, the identified financing statement.
(28) “Debtor” means:
(A) A person having an interest, other than a security interest or other lien, in the collateral, whether or not the person is an obligor;
(B) A seller of accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes; or
(C) A consignee.
(29) “Deposit account” means a demand, time, savings, passbook, or similar account maintained with a bank. The term does not include investment property or accounts evidenced by an instrument.
(30) “Document” means a document of title or a receipt of the type described in § 28:7-201(b).
(31) “Electronic chattel paper” means chattel paper evidenced by a record or records consisting of information stored in an electronic medium.
(32) “Encumbrance” means a right, other than an ownership interest, in real property. The term includes mortgages and other liens on real property.
(33) “Equipment” means goods other than inventory, farm products, or consumer goods.
(34) “Farm products” means goods, other than standing timber, with respect to which the debtor is engaged in a farming operation and which are:
(A) Crops grown, growing, or to be grown, including:
(i) Crops produced on trees, vines, and bushes; and
(ii) Aquatic goods produced in aquacultural operations;
(B) Livestock, born or unborn, including aquatic goods produced in aquacultural operations;
(C) Supplies used or produced in a farming operation; or
(D) Products of crops or livestock in their unmanufactured states.
(35) “Farming operation” means raising, cultivating, propagating, fattening, grazing, or any other farming, livestock, or aquacultural operation.
(36) “File number” means the number assigned to an initial financing statement pursuant to § 28:9-519(a).
(37) “Filing office” means an office designated in § 28:9-501 as the place to file a financing statement.
(38) “Filing-office rule” means a rule adopted pursuant to § 28:9-526.
(39) “Financing statement” means a record or records composed of an initial financing statement and any filed record relating to the initial financing statement.
(40) “Fixture filing” means the filing of a financing statement covering goods that are or are to become fixtures and satisfying § 28:9-502(a) and (b). The term includes the filing of a financing statement covering goods of a transmitting utility which are or are to become fixtures.
(41) “Fixtures” means goods that have become so related to particular real property that an interest in them arises under real property law.
(42) “General intangible” means any personal property, including things in action, other than accounts, chattel paper, commercial tort claims, deposit accounts, documents, goods, instruments, investment property, letter-of-credit rights, letters of credit, money, and oil, gas, or other minerals before extraction. The term includes payment intangibles and software.
(44) “Goods” means all things that are movable when a security interest attaches. The term includes (i) fixtures, (ii) standing timber that is to be cut and removed under a conveyance or contract for sale, (iii) the unborn young of animals, (iv) crops grown, growing, or to be grown, even if the crops are produced on trees, vines, or bushes, and (v) manufactured homes. The term also includes a computer program embedded in goods and any supporting information provided in connection with a transaction relating to the program if (i) the program is associated with the goods in such a manner that it customarily is considered part of the goods, or (ii) by becoming the owner of the goods, a person acquires a right to use the program in connection with the goods. The term does not include a computer program embedded in goods that consist solely of the medium in which the program is embedded. The term also does not include accounts, chattel paper, commercial tort claims, deposit accounts, documents, general intangibles, instruments, investment property, letter-of-credit rights, letters of credit, money, or oil, gas, or other minerals before extraction.
(45) “Governmental unit” means a subdivision, agency, department, county, parish, municipality, or other unit of the government of the United States, a State, or a foreign country. The term includes an organization having a separate corporate existence if the organization is eligible to issue debt on which interest is exempt from income taxation under the laws of the United States.
(46) “Health-care-insurance receivable” means an interest in or claim under a policy of insurance which is a right to payment of a monetary obligation for health-care goods or services provided or to be provided.
(47) “Instrument” means a negotiable instrument or any other writing that evidences a right to the payment of a monetary obligation, is not itself a security agreement or lease, and is of a type that in ordinary course of business is transferred by delivery with any necessary indorsement or assignment. The term does not include (i) investment property, (ii) letters of credit, or (iii) writings that evidence a right to payment arising out of the use of a credit or charge card or information contained on or for use with the card.
(48) “Inventory” means goods, other than farm products, which:
(A) Are leased by a person as lessor;
(B) Are held by a person for sale or lease or to be furnished under a contract of service;
(C) Are furnished by a person under a contract of service; or
(D) Consist of raw materials, work in process, or materials used or consumed in a business.
(49) “Investment property” means a security, whether certificated or uncertificated, security entitlement, securities account, commodity contract, or commodity account.
(50) “Jurisdiction of organization”, with respect to a registered organization means the jurisdiction under whose law the organization is organized.
(51) “Letter-of-credit right” means a right to payment or performance under a letter of credit, whether or not the beneficiary has demanded or is at the time entitled to demand payment or performance. The term does not include the right of a beneficiary to demand payment or performance under a letter of credit.
(52) “Lien creditor” means:
(A) A creditor that has acquired a lien on the property involved by attachment, levy, or the like;
(B) An assignee for benefit of creditors from the time of assignment;
(C) A trustee in bankruptcy from the date of the filing of the petition; or
(D) A receiver in equity from the time of appointment.
(53) “Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is 8 body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein. The term includes any structure that meets all of the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and complies with the standards established under Title 42 of the United States Code.
(54) “Manufactured-home transaction” means a secured transaction:
(A) That creates a purchase-money security interest in a manufactured home, other than a manufactured home held as inventory; or
(B) In which a manufactured home, other than a manufactured home held as inventory, is the primary collateral.
(55) “Mortgage” means a consensual interest in real property, including fixtures, which secures payment or performance of an obligation.
(56) “New debtor” means a person that becomes bound as debtor under § 28:9-203(d) by a security agreement previously entered into by another person.
(57) “New value” means (i) money, (ii) money’s worth in property, services, or new credit, or (iii) release by a transferee of an interest in property previously transferred to the transferee. The term does not include an obligation substituted for another obligation.
(58) “Noncash proceeds” means proceeds other than cash proceeds.
(59) “Obligor” means a person that, with respect to an obligation secured by a security interest in or an agricultural lien on the collateral, (i) owes payment or other performance of the obligation, (ii) has provided property other than the collateral to secure payment or other performance of the obligation, or (iii) is otherwise accountable in whole or in part for payment or other performance of the obligation. The term does not include issuers or nominated persons under a letter of credit.
(61) “Payment intangible” means a general intangible under which the account debtor’s principal obligation is a monetary obligation.
(62) “Person related to,” with respect to an individual, means:
(A) The spouse of the individual;
(B) A brother, brother-in-law, sister, or sister-in-law of the individual;
(C) An ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or the individual’s spouse; or
(D) Any other relative, by blood or marriage, of the individual or the individual’s spouse who shares the same home with the individual.
(63) “Person related to,” with respect to an organization, means:
(A) A person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with, the organization;
(B) An officer or director of, or a person performing similar functions with respect to, the organization;
(C) An officer or director of, or a person performing similar functions with respect to, a person described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;
(D) The spouse of an individual described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of this paragraph; or
(E) An individual who is related by blood or marriage to an individual described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this paragraph and shares the same home with the individual.
(64) “Proceeds”, except as used in § 28:9-609(b), means the following property:
(A) Whatever is acquired upon the sale, lease, license, exchange, or other disposition of collateral;
(B) Whatever is collected on, or distributed on account of, collateral;
(C) Rights arising out of collateral;
(D) To the extent of the value of collateral, claims arising out of the loss, nonconformity, or interference with the use of, defects or infringement of rights in, or damage to, the collateral; or
(E) To the extent of the value of collateral and to the extent payable to the debtor or the secured party, insurance payable by reason of the loss or nonconformity of, defects or infringement of rights in, or damage to, the collateral.
(65) “Promissory note” means an instrument that evidences a promise to pay a monetary obligation, does not evidence an order to pay, and does not contain an acknowledgment by a bank that the bank has received for deposit a sum of money or funds.
(66) “Proposal” means a record authenticated by a secured party which includes the terms on which the secured party is willing to accept collateral in full or partial satisfaction of the obligation it secures pursuant to §§ 28:9-620, 28:9-621, and 28:9-622.
(67) “Public-finance transaction” means a secured transaction in connection with which:
(A) Debt securities are issued;
(B) All or a portion of the securities issued have an initial stated maturity of at least 20 years; and
(C) The debtor, obligor, secured party, account debtor or other person obligated on collateral, assignor or assignee of a secured obligation, or assignor or assignee of a security interest is a State or a governmental unit of a State.
(69) “Pursuant to commitment,” with respect to an advance made or other value given by a secured party, means pursuant to the secured party’s obligation, whether or not a subsequent event of default or other event not within the secured party’s control has relieved or may relieve the secured party from its obligation.
(70) “Record,” except as used in “for record,” “of record,” “record or legal title,” and “record owner,” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or which is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
(71) “Registered organization” means an organization formed or organized solely under the law of a single state or the United States by the filing of a public organic record with the issuance of a public organic record by, or the enactment of legislation by, the state or the United States. The term includes a business trust that is formed or organized under the law of a single state if a statute of the state governing business trusts requires that the business trust’s organic record be filed with the state.
(72) “Secondary obligor” means an obligor to the extent that:
(A) The obligor’s obligation is secondary; or
(B) The obligor has a right of recourse with respect to an obligation secured by collateral against the debtor, another obligor, or property of either.
(73) “Secured party” means:
(A) A person in whose favor a security interest is created or provided for under a security agreement, whether or not any obligation to be secured is outstanding;
(B) A person that holds an agricultural lien;
(C) A consignor;
(D) A person to which accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes have been sold;
(E) A trustee, indenture trustee, agent, collateral agent, or other representative in whose favor a security interest or agricultural lien is created or provided for; or
(F) A person that holds a security interest arising under § 28:2-401, 2-505, 2-711(3), 2A-508(5), 4-210, or 5-118.
(74) “Security agreement” means an agreement that creates or provides for a security interest.
(75) “Send,” in connection with a record or notification, means:
(A) To deposit in the mail, deliver for transmission, or transmit by any other usual means of communication, with postage or cost of transmission provided for, addressed to any address reasonable under the circumstances; or
(B) To cause the record or notification to be received within the time that it would have been received if properly sent under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.
(76) “Software” means a computer program and any supporting information provided in connection with a transaction relating to the program. The term does not include a computer program that is included in the definition of goods.
(77) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(78) “Supporting obligation” means a letter-of-credit right or secondary obligation that supports the payment or performance of an account, chattel paper, a document, a general intangible, an instrument, or investment property.
(79) “Tangible chattel paper” means chattel paper evidenced by a record or records consisting of information that is inscribed on a tangible medium.
(80) “Termination statement” means an amendment of a financing statement which:
(A) Identifies, by its file number, the initial financing statement to which it relates; and
(B) Indicates either that it is a termination statement or that the identified financing statement is no longer effective.
(81) “Transmitting utility” means a person primarily engaged in the business of:
(A) Operating a railroad, subway, street railway, or trolley bus;
(B) Transmitting communications electrically, electromagnetically, or by light;
(C) Transmitting goods by pipeline or sewer; or
(D) Transmitting or producing and transmitting electricity, steam, gas, or water.
(68) “Public organic record” means a record that is available to the public for inspection and is:
(A) A record consisting of the record initially filed with or issued by a state or the United States to form or organize an organization and any record filed with or issued by the state or the United States which amends or restates the initial record;
(B) An organic record of a business trust consisting of the record initially filed with a state and any record filed with the state which amends or restates the initial record, if a statute of the state governing business trusts requires that the record be filed with the state; or
(C) A record consisting of legislation enacted by the legislature of a state or the Congress of the United States which forms or organizes an organization, any record amending the legislation, and any record filed with or issued by the state or the United States which amends or restates the name of the organization.
(b) “Control” as provided in § 28:7-106 and the following definitions in other articles apply to this article:
“Applicant” § 28:5-102.
“Beneficiary” § 28:5-102.
“Broker” § 28:8-102.
“Certificated security” § 28:8-102.
“Check” § 28:3-104.
“Clearing corporation” § 28:8-102.
“Contract for sale” § 28:2-106.
“Customer” § 28:4-104.
“Entitlement holder” § 28:8-102.
“Financial asset” § 28:8-102.
“Holder in due course” § 28:3-302.
“Issuer” (with respect to a letter of credit or letter-of-credit right) § 28:5-102.
“Issuer” (with respect to a security) § 28:8-201.
“Issuer” (with respect to documents of title) § 28:7-102.
“Lease” § 28:2A-103.
“Lease agreement” § 28:2A-103.
“Lease contract” § 28:2A-103.
“Leasehold interest” § 28:2A-103.
“Lessee” § 28:2A-103.
“Lessee in ordinary course of business” § 28:2A-103.
“Lessor” § 28:2A-103.
“Lessor’s residual interest” § 28:2A-103.
“Letter of credit” § 28:5-102.
“Merchant” § 28:2-104.
“Negotiable instrument” § 28:3-104.
“Nominated person” § 28:5-102.
“Note” § 28:3-104.
“Proceeds of a letter of credit” § 28:5-114.
“Prove” § 28:3-103.
“Sale” § 28:2-106.
“Securities account” § 28:8-501.
“Securities intermediary” § 28:8-102.
“Security” § 28:8-102.
“Security certificate” § 28:8-102.
“Security entitlement” § 28:8-102.
“Uncertificated security” § 28:8-102.
(c) Article 1 contains general definitions and principles of construction and interpretation applicable throughout this article.
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-299 deleted “other than a security interest” following “interest” in the opening language of (a)(5); substituted “§ 28:7-201(b)” for “§ 28:7-201(2)” in (a)(30); repealed (a)(43) defining “Good faith”; added “or to be provided” at the end of (a)(46); in (b), added “’Control’ as provided in § 28:7-106 and” at the beginning of the introductory language, and added the definition of “Issuer” (with respect to documents of title)“; and made related changes.
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-302 rewrote (a)(7)(B); added the last sentence in (a)(10); added (a)(68); redesignated former (a)(68) through (a)(80) as (a)(69) through (a)(81), respectively; and rewrote (a)(71) defining “Registered organization”.
Uniform Commercial Code Comment
1. Source. All terms that are defined in Article 9 and used in more than one section are consolidated in this section. Note that the definition of “security interest” is found in Section 1-201, not in this Article, and has been revised. See Appendix I. Many of the definitions in this section are new; many others derive from those in former Section 9-105. The following Comments also indicate other sections of former Article 9 that defined (or explained) terms.
2. Parties to Secured Transactions.
a. “Debtor”; “Obligor”; “Secondary Obligor.” Determining whether a person was a “debtor” under former Section 9-105(1)(d) required a close examination of the context in which the term was used. To reduce the need for this examination, this Article redefines “debtor” and adds new defined terms, “secondary obligor” and “obligor.” In the context of Part 6 (default and enforcement), these definitions distinguish among three classes of persons: (i) those persons who may have a stake in the proper enforcement of a security interest by virtue of their non-lien property interest (typically, an ownership interest) in the collateral, (ii) those persons who may have a stake in the proper enforcement of the security interest because of their obligation to pay the secured debt, and (iii) those persons who have an obligation to pay the secured debt but have no stake in the proper enforcement of the security interest. Persons in the first class are debtors. Persons in the second class are secondary obligors if any portion of the obligation is secondary or if the obligor has a right of recourse against the debtor or another obligor with respect to an obligation secured by collateral. One must consult the law of suretyship to determine whether an obligation is secondary. The Restatement (3d), Suretyship and Guaranty s 1 (1996), contains a useful explanation of the concept. Obligors in the third class are neither debtors nor secondary obligors. With one exception ( Section 9-616, as it relates to a consumer obligor), the rights and duties provided by Part 6 affect non-debtor obligors only if they are “secondary obligors.”
By including in the definition of “debtor” all persons with a property interest (other than a security interest in or other lien on collateral), the definition includes transferees of collateral, whether or not the secured party knows of the transfer or the transferee’s identity. Exculpatory provisions in Part 6 protect the secured party in that circumstance. See Sections 9-605 and 9-628. The definition renders unnecessary former Section 9-112, which governed situations in which collateral was not owned by the debtor. The definition also includes a “consignee,” as defined in this section, as well as a seller of accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes.
Secured parties and other lienholders are excluded from the definition of “debtor” because the interests of those parties normally derive from and encumber a debtor’s interest. However, if in a separate secured transaction a secured party grants, as debtor, a security interest in its own interest (i.e., its security interest and any obligation that it secures), the secured party is a debtor in that transaction. This typically occurs when a secured party with a security interest in specific goods assigns chattel paper.
Consider the following examples:
Example 1: Behnfeldt borrows money and grants a security interest in her Miata to secure the debt. Behnfeldt is a debtor and an obligor.
Example 2: Behnfeldt borrows money and grants a security interest in her Miata to secure the debt. Bruno co-signs a negotiable note as maker. As before, Behnfeldt is the debtor and an obligor. As an accommodation party (see Section 3-419), Bruno is a secondary obligor. Bruno has this status even if the note states that her obligation is a primary obligation and that she waives all suretyship defenses.
Example 3: Behnfeldt borrows money on an unsecured basis. Bruno co-signs the note and grants a security interest in her Honda to secure her obligation. Inasmuch as Behnfeldt does not have a property interest in the Honda, Behnfeldt is not a debtor. Having granted the security interest, Bruno is the debtor. Because Behnfeldt is a principal obligor, she is not a secondary obligor. Whatever the outcome of enforcement of the security interest against the Honda or Bruno’s secondary obligation, Bruno will look to Behnfeldt for her losses. The enforcement will not affect Behnfeldt’s aggregate obligations.
When the principal obligor (borrower) and the secondary obligor (surety) each has granted a security interest in different collateral, the status of each is determined by the collateral involved.
Example 4: Behnfeldt borrows money and grants a security interest in her Miata to secure the debt. Bruno co-signs the note and grants a security interest in her Honda to secure her obligation. When the secured party enforces the security interest in Behnfeldt’s Miata, Behnfeldt is the debtor, and Bruno is a secondary obligor. When the secured party enforces the security interest in the Honda, Bruno is the “debtor.” As in Example 3, Behnfeldt is an obligor, but not a secondary obligor.
b. “Secured Party.” The secured party is the person in whose favor the security interest has been created, as determined by reference to the security agreement. This definition controls, among other things, which person has the duties and potential liability that Part 6 imposes upon a secured party. The definition of “secured party” also includes a “consignee,” a person to which accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes have been sold, and the holder of an agricultural lien.
The definition of “secured party” clarifies the status of various types of representatives. Consider, for example, a multi-bank facility under which Bank A, Bank B, and Bank C are lenders and Bank A serves as the collateral agent. If the security interest is granted to the banks, then they are the secured parties. If the security interest is granted to Bank A as collateral agent, then Bank A is the secured party.
c. Other Parties. A “consumer obligor” is defined as the obligor in a consumer transaction. Definitions of “new debtor” and “original debtor” are used in the special rules found in Sections 9-326 and 9-508.
3. Definitions Relating to Creation of a Security Interest.
a. “Collateral.” As under former Section 9-105, “collateral” is the property subject to a security interest and includes accounts and chattel paper that have been sold. It has been expanded in this Article. The term now explicitly includes proceeds subject to a security interest. It also reflects the broadened scope of the Article. It includes property subject to an agricultural lien as well as payment intangibles and promissory notes that have been sold.
b. “Security Agreement.” The definition of “security agreement” is substantially the same as under former Section 9-105-an agreement that creates or provides for a security interest. However, the term frequently was used colloquially in former Article 9 to refer to the document or writing that contained a debtor’s security agreement. This Article eliminates that usage, reserving the term for the more precise meaning specified in the definition.
Whether an agreement creates a security interest depends not on whether the parties intend that the law characterize the transaction as a security interest but rather on whether the transaction falls within the definition of “security interest” in Section 1-201. Thus, an agreement that the parties characterize as a “lease” of goods may be a “security agreement,” notwithstanding the parties’ stated intention that the law treat the transaction as a lease and not as a secured transaction.
4. Goods-Related Definitions.
a. “Goods”; “Consumer Goods”; “Equipment”; “Farm Products”; “Farming Operation”; “Inventory.” The definition of “goods” is substantially the same as the definition in former Section 9-105. This Article also retains the four mutually-exclusive “types” of collateral that consist of goods: “consumer goods,” “equipment,” “farm products,” and “inventory.” The revisions are primarily for clarification.
The classes of goods are mutually exclusive. For example, the same property cannot simultaneously be both equipment and inventory. In borderline cases-a physician’s car or a farmer’s truck that might be either consumer goods or equipment-the principal use to which the property is put is determinative. Goods can fall into different classes at different times. For example, a radio may be inventory in the hands of a dealer and consumer goods in the hands of a consumer. As under former Article 9, goods are “equipment” if they do not fall into another category.
The definition of “consumer goods” follows former Section 9-109. The classification turns on whether the debtor uses or bought the goods for use “primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.”
Goods are inventory if they are leased by a lessor or held by a person for sale or lease. The revised definition of “inventory” makes clear that the term includes goods leased by the debtor to others as well as goods held for lease. (The same result should have obtained under the former definition.) Goods to be furnished or furnished under a service contract, raw materials, and work in process also are inventory. Implicit in the definition is the criterion that the sales or leases are or will be in the ordinary course of business. For example, machinery used in manufacturing is equipment, not inventory, even though it is the policy of the debtor to sell machinery when it becomes obsolete or worn. Inventory also includes goods that are consumed in a business (e.g., fuel used in operations). In general, goods used in a business are equipment if they are fixed assets or have, as identifiable units, a relatively long period of use, but are inventory, even though not held for sale or lease, if they are used up or consumed in a short period of time in producing a product or providing a service.
Goods are “farm products” if the debtor is engaged in farming operations with respect to the goods. Animals in a herd of livestock are covered whether the debtor acquires them by purchase or as a result of natural increase. Products of crops or livestock remain farm products as long as they have not been subjected to a manufacturing process. The terms “crops” and “livestock” are not defined. The new definition of “farming operations” is for clarification only.
Crops, livestock, and their products cease to be “farm products” when the debtor ceases to be engaged in farming operations with respect to them. If, for example, they come into the possession of a marketing agency for sale or distribution or of a manufacturer or processor as raw materials, they become inventory. Products of crops or livestock, even though they remain in the possession of a person engaged in farming operations, lose their status as farm products if they are subjected to a manufacturing process. What is and what is not a manufacturing operation is not specified in this Article. At one end of the spectrum, some processes are so closely connected with farming-such as pasteurizing milk or boiling sap to produce maple syrup or sugar-that they would not constitute manufacturing. On the other hand an extensive canning operation would be manufacturing. Once farm products have been subjected to a manufacturing operation, they normally become inventory.
The revised definition of “farm products” clarifies the distinction between crops and standing timber and makes clear that aquatic goods produced in aquacultural operations may be either crops or livestock. Although aquatic goods that are vegetable in nature often would be crops and those that are animal would be livestock, this Article leaves the courts free to classify the goods on a case-by-case basis. See Section 9-324, Comment 11.
The definitions of “goods” and “software” are also mutually exclusive. Computer programs usually constitute “software,” and, as such, are not “goods” as this Article uses the terms. However, under the circumstances specified in the definition of “goods,” computer programs embedded in goods are part of the “goods” and are not “software.”
b. “Accession”; “Manufactured Home”; “Manufactured-Home Transaction.” Other specialized definitions of goods include “accession” (see the special priority and enforcement rules in Section 9-335), and “manufactured home” (see Section 9-515, permitting a financing statement in a “manufactured-home transaction” to be effective for 30 years). The definition of “manufactured home” borrows from the federal Manufactured Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5401 et seq., and is intended to have the same meaning.
c. “As-Extracted Collateral.” Under this Article, oil, gas, and other minerals that have not been extracted from the ground are treated as real property, to which this Article does not apply. Upon extraction, minerals become personal property (goods) and eligible to be collateral under this Article. See the definition of “goods,” which excludes “oil, gas, and other minerals before extraction.“ To take account of financing practices reflecting the shift from real to personal property, this Article contains special rules for perfecting security interests in minerals which attach upon extraction and in accounts resulting from the sale of minerals at the wellhead or minehead. See, e.g., Sections 9-301(4) (law governing perfection and priority); 9-501 (place of filing), 9-502 (contents of financing statement), 9-519 (indexing of records). The new term, “as-extracted collateral,” refers to the minerals and related accounts to which the special rules apply. The term “at the wellhead” encompasses arrangements based on a sale of the produce at the moment that it issues from the ground and is measured, without technical distinctions as to whether title passes at the “Christmas tree” of a well, the far side of a gathering tank, or at some other point. The term “at ... the minehead“ is comparable.
The following examples explain the operation of these provisions.
Example 5: Debtor owns an interest in oil that is to be extracted. To secure Debtor’s obligations to Lender, Debtor enters into an authenticated agreement granting Lender an interest in the oil. Although Lender may acquire an interest in the oil under real-property law, Lender does not acquire a security interest under this Article until the oil becomes personal property, i.e., until is extracted and becomes “goods” to which this Article applies. Because Debtor had an interest in the oil before extraction and Lender’s security interest attached to the oil as extracted, the oil is “as-extracted collateral.”
Example 6: Debtor owns an interest in oil that is to be extracted and contracts to sell the oil to Buyer at the wellhead. In an authenticated agreement, Debtor agrees to sell to Lender the right to payment from Buyer. This right to payment is an account that constitutes “as-extracted collateral.” If Lender then resells the account to Financer, Financer acquires a security interest. However, inasmuch as the debtor-seller in that transaction, Lender, had no interest in the oil before extraction, Financer’s collateral (the account it owns) is not “as-extracted collateral.”
Example 7: Under the facts of Example 6, before extraction, Buyer grants a security interest in the oil to Bank. Although Bank’s security interest attaches when the oil is extracted, Bank’s security interest is not in “as-extracted collateral,” inasmuch as its debtor, Buyer, did not have an interest in the oil before extraction.
5. Receivables-related Definitions.
a. “Account”; “Health-Care-Insurance Receivable”; “As-Extracted Collateral.” The definition of “account” has been expanded and reformulated. It is no longer limited to rights to payment relating to goods or services. Many categories of rights to payment that were classified as general intangibles under former Article 9 are accounts under this Article. Thus, if they are sold, a financing statement must be filed to perfect the buyer’s interest in them. Among the types of property that are expressly excluded from the definition is “a right to payment for money or funds advanced or sold.” As defined in Section 1-201, “money” is limited essentially to currency. As used in the exclusion from the definition of “account,” however, “funds” is a broader concept (although the term is not defined). For example, when a bank-lender credits a borrower’s deposit account for the amount of a loan, the bank’s advance of funds is not a transaction giving rise to an account.
The definition of “health-care-insurance receivable” is new. It is a subset of the definition of “account.” However, the rules generally applicable to account debtors on accounts do not apply to insurers obligated on health-care-insurance receivables. See Sections 9-404(e), 9-405(d), 9-406(i).
Note that certain accounts also are “as-extracted collateral.” See Comment 4.c., Examples 6 and 7.
b. “Chattel Paper”; “Electronic Chattel Paper”; “Tangible Chattel Paper.” “Chattel paper” consists of a monetary obligation together with a security interest in or a lease of specific goods if the obligation and security interest or lease are evidenced by “a record or records.” The definition has been expanded from that found in former Article 9 to include records that evidence a monetary obligation and a security interest in specific goods and software used in the goods, a security interest in specific goods and license of software used in the goods, or a lease of specific goods and license of software used in the goods. The expanded definition covers transactions in which the debtor’s or lessee’s monetary obligation includes amounts owed with respect to software used in the goods. The monetary obligation with respect to the software need not be owed under a license from the secured party or lessor, and the secured party or lessor need not be a party to the license transaction itself. Among the types of monetary obligations that are included in “chattel paper” are amounts that have been advanced by the secured party or lessor to enable the debtor or lessee to acquire or obtain financing for a license of the software used in the goods. The definition also makes clear that rights to payment arising out of credit-card transactions are not chattel paper.
Charters of vessels are expressly excluded from the definition of chattel paper; they are accounts. The term “charter” as used in this section includes bareboat charters, time charters, successive voyage charters, contracts of affreightment, contracts of carriage, and all other arrangements for the use of vessels.
Under former Section 9-105, only if the evidence of an obligation consisted of “a writing or writings” could an obligation qualify as chattel paper. In this Article, traditional, written chattel paper is included in the definition of “tangible chattel paper.“ ‘’Electronic chattel paper“ is chattel paper that is stored in an electronic medium instead of in tangible form. The concept of an electronic medium should be construed liberally to include electrical, digital, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, or any other current or similar emerging technologies.
The definition of electronic chattel paper does not dictate that it be created in any particular fashion. For example, a record consisting of a tangible writing may be converted to electronic form (e.g., by creating electronic images of a signed writing). Or, records may be initially created and executed in electronic form (e.g., a lessee might authenticate an electronic record of a lease that is then stored in electronic form). In either case the resulting records are electronic chattel paper.
c. “Instrument”; “Promissory Note.” The definition of “instrument” includes a negotiable instrument. As under former Section 9-105, it also includes any other right to payment of a monetary obligation that is evidenced by a writing of a type that in ordinary course of business is transferred by delivery (and, if necessary, an indorsement or assignment). Except in the case of chattel paper, the fact that an instrument is secured by a security interest or encumbrance on property does not change the character of the instrument as such or convert the combination of the instrument and collateral into a separate classification of personal property. The definition makes clear that rights to payment arising out of credit-card transactions are not instruments. The definition of “promissory note” is new, necessitated by the inclusion of sales of promissory notes within the scope of Article 9. It explicitly excludes obligations arising out of “orders” to pay (e.g., checks) as opposed to “promises” to pay. See Section 3-104.
d. “General Intangible”; “Payment Intangible.” “General intangible” is the residual category of personal property, including things in action, that is not included in the other defined types of collateral. Examples are various categories of intellectual property and the right to payment of a loan of funds that is not evidenced by chattel paper or an instrument. As used in the definition of “general intangible,” “things in action” includes rights that arise under a license of intellectual property, including the right to exploit the intellectual property without liability for infringement. The definition has been revised to exclude commercial tort claims, deposit accounts, and letter-of-credit rights. Each of the three is a separate type of collateral.
One important consequence of this exclusion is that tortfeasors (commercial tort claims), banks (deposit accounts), and persons obligated on letters of credit (letter-of-credit rights) are not “account debtors” having the rights and obligations set forth in Sections 9-404, 9-405, and 9-406. In particular, tortfeasors, banks, and persons obligated on letters of credit are not obligated to pay an assignee (secured party) upon receipt of the notification described in Section 9-404(a). See Comment 5.h. Another important consequence relates to the adequacy of the description in the security agreement. See Section 9-108.
“Payment intangible” is a subset of the definition of “general intangible.” The sale of a payment intangible is subject to this Article. See Section 9-109(a)(3). Virtually any intangible right could give rise to a right to payment of money once one hypothesizes, for example, that the account debtor is in breach of its obligation. The term “payment intangible,” however, embraces only those general intangibles “under which the account debtor’s principal obligation is a monetary obligation.”
In classifying intangible collateral, a court should begin by identifying the particular rights that have been assigned. The account debtor (promisor) under a particular contract may owe several types of monetary obligations as well as other, nonmonetary obligations. If the promisee’s right to payment of money is assigned separately, the right is an account or payment intangible, depending on how the account debtor’s obligation arose. When all the promisee’s rights are assigned together, an account, a payment intangible, and a general intangible all may be involved, depending on the nature of the rights.
A right to the payment of money is frequently buttressed by ancillary covenants, such as covenants in a purchase agreement, note, or mortgage requiring insurance on the collateral or forbidding removal of the collateral, or covenants to preserve the creditworthiness of the promisor, such as covenants restricting dividends and the like. This Article does not treat these ancillary rights separately from the rights to payment to which they relate. For example, attachment and perfection of an assignment of a right to payment of a monetary obligation, whether it be an account or payment intangible, also carries these ancillary rights.
Every “payment intangible” is also a “general intangible.” Likewise, “software” is a “general intangible” for purposes of this Article. See Comment 25. Accordingly, except as otherwise provided, statutory provisions applicable to general intangibles apply to payment intangibles and software.
e. “Letter-of-Credit Right.” The term “letter-of-credit right” embraces the rights to payment and performance under a letter of credit (defined in Section 5-102). However, it does not include a beneficiary’s right to demand payment or performance. Transfer of those rights to a transferee beneficiary is governed by Article 5. See Sections 9-107, Comment 4, and 9-329, Comments 3 and 4.
f. “Supporting Obligation.” This new term covers the most common types of credit enhancements-suretyship obligations (including guarantees) and letter-of-credit rights that support one of the types of collateral specified in the definition. As explained in Comment 2.a., suretyship law determines whether an obligation is “secondary” for purposes of this definition. Section 9-109 generally excludes from this Article transfers of interests in insurance policies. However, the regulation of a secondary obligation as an insurance product does not necessarily mean that it is a “policy of insurance” for purposes of the exclusion in Section 9-109. Thus, this Article may cover a secondary obligation (as a supporting obligation), even if the obligation is issued by a regulated insurance company and the obligation is subject to regulation as an “insurance” product.
This Article contains rules explicitly governing attachment, perfection, and priority of security interests in supporting obligations. See Sections 9-203, 9-308, 9-310, and 9-322. These provisions reflect the principle that a supporting obligation is an incident of the collateral it supports.
Collections of or other distributions under a supporting obligation are “proceeds” of the supported collateral as well as “proceeds” of the supporting obligation itself. See Section 9-102 (defining “proceeds”) and Comment 13.b. As such, the collections and distributions are subject to the priority rules applicable to proceeds generally. See Section 9-322. However, under the special rule governing security interests in a letter-of-credit right, a secured party’s failure to obtain control ( Section 9-107) of a letter-of-credit right supporting collateral may leave its security interest exposed to a priming interest of a party who does take control. See Section 9-329 (security interest in a letter-of-credit right perfected by control has priority over a conflicting security interest).
g. “Commercial Tort Claim.” This term is new. A tort claim may serve as original collateral under this Article only if it is a “commercial tort claim.” See Section 9-109(d). Although security interests in commercial tort claims are within its scope, this Article does not override other applicable law restricting the assignability of a tort claim. See Section 9-401. A security interest in a tort claim also may exist under this Article if the claim is proceeds of other collateral.
h. “Account Debtor.” An “account debtor” is a person obligated on an account, chattel paper, or general intangible. The account debtor’s obligation often is a monetary obligation; however, this is not always the case. For example, if a franchisee uses its rights under a franchise agreement (a general intangible) as collateral, then the franchisor is an “account debtor.” As a general matter, Article 3, and not Article 9, governs obligations on negotiable instruments. Accordingly, the definition of “account debtor“ excludes obligors on negotiable instruments constituting part of chattel paper. The principal effect of this change from the definition in former Article 9 is that the rules in Sections 9-403, 9-404, 9-405, and 9-406, dealing with the rights of an assignee and duties of an account debtor, do not apply to an assignment of chattel paper in which the obligation to pay is evidenced by a negotiable instrument. ( Section 9-406(d), however, does apply to promissory notes, including negotiable promissory notes.) Rather, the assignee’s rights are governed by Article 3. Similarly, the duties of an obligor on a nonnegotiable instrument are governed by non-Article 9 law unless the nonnegotiable instrument is a part of chattel paper, in which case the obligor is an account debtor.
i. Receivables Under Government Entitlement Programs. This Article does not contain a defined term that encompasses specifically rights to payment or performance under the many and varied government entitlement programs. Depending on the nature of a right under a program, it could be an account, a payment intangible, a general intangible other than a payment intangible, or another type of collateral. The right also might be proceeds of collateral (e.g., crops).
6. Investment-Property-Related Definitions: “Commodity Account”; “Commodity Contract”; “Commodity Customer”; “Commodity Intermediary“; ‘’Investment Property.“ These definitions are substantially the same as the corresponding definitions in former Section 9-115. “Investment property” includes securities, both certificated and uncertificated, securities accounts, security entitlements, commodity accounts, and commodity contracts. The term investment property includes a “securities account” in order to facilitate transactions in which a debtor wishes to create a security interest in all of the investment positions held through a particular account rather than in particular positions carried in the account. Former Section 9-115 was added in conjunction with Revised Article 8 and contained a variety of rules applicable to security interests in investment property. These rules have been relocated to the appropriate sections of Article 9. See, e.g., Sections 9-203 (attachment), 9-314 (perfection by control), 9-328 (priority).
The terms “security,” “security entitlement,” and related terms are defined in Section 8-102, and the term “securities account” is defined in Section 8-501. The terms “commodity account,” “commodity contract,” “commodity customer,” and “commodity intermediary“ are defined in this section. Commodity contracts are not ‘’securities“ or ‘’financial assets“ under Article 8. See Section 8-103(f). Thus, the relationship between commodity intermediaries and commodity customers is not governed by the indirect-holding-system rules of Part 5 of Article 8. For securities, Article 9 contains rules on security interests, and Article 8 contains rules on the rights of transferees, including secured parties, on such matters as the rights of a transferee if the transfer was itself wrongful and gives rise to an adverse claim. For commodity contracts, Article 9 establishes rules on security interests, but questions of the sort dealt with in Article 8 for securities are left to other law.
The indirect-holding-system rules of Article 8 are sufficiently flexible to be applied to new developments in the securities and financial markets, where that is appropriate. Accordingly, the definition of “commodity contract” is narrowly drafted to ensure that it does not operate as an obstacle to the application of the Article 8 indirect-holding-system rules to new products. The term “commodity contract” covers those contracts that are traded on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market and foreign commodity contracts that are carried on the books of American commodity intermediaries. The effect of this definition is that the category of commodity contracts that are excluded from Article 8 but governed by Article 9 is essentially the same as the category of contracts that fall within the exclusive regulatory jurisdiction of the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Commodity contracts are different from securities or other financial assets. A person who enters into a commodity futures contract is not buying an asset having a certain value and holding it in anticipation of increase in value. Rather the person is entering into a contract to buy or sell a commodity at set price for delivery at a future time. That contract may become advantageous or disadvantageous as the price of the commodity fluctuates during the term of the contract. The rules of the commodity exchanges require that the contracts be marked to market on a daily basis; that is, the customer pays or receives any increment attributable to that day’s price change. Because commodity customers may incur obligations on their contracts, they are required to provide collateral at the outset, known as “original margin,” and may be required to provide additional amounts, known as “variation margin,” during the term of the contract.
The most likely setting in which a person would want to take a security interest in a commodity contract is where a lender who is advancing funds to finance an inventory of a physical commodity requires the borrower to enter into a commodity contract as a hedge against the risk of decline in the value of the commodity. The lender will want to take a security interest in both the commodity itself and the hedging commodity contract. Typically, such arrangements are structured as security interests in the entire commodity account in which the borrower carries the hedging contracts, rather than in individual contracts.
One important effect of including commodity contracts and commodity accounts in Article 9 is to provide a clearer legal structure for the analysis of the rights of commodity clearing organizations against their participants and futures commission merchants against their customers. The rules and agreements of commodity clearing organizations generally provide that the clearing organization has the right to liquidate any participant’s positions in order to satisfy obligations of the participant to the clearing corporation. Similarly, agreements between futures commission merchants and their customers generally provide that the futures commission merchant has the right to liquidate a customer’s positions in order to satisfy obligations of the customer to the futures commission merchant.
The main property that a commodity intermediary holds as collateral for the obligations that the commodity customer may incur under its commodity contracts is not other commodity contracts carried by the customer but the other property that the customer has posted as margin. Typically, this property will be securities. The commodity intermediary’s security interest in such securities is governed by the rules of this Article on security interests in securities, not the rules on security interests in commodity contracts or commodity accounts.
Although there are significant analytic and regulatory differences between commodities and securities, the development of commodity contracts on financial products in the past few decades has resulted in a system in which the commodity markets and securities markets are closely linked. The rules on security interests in commodity contracts and commodity accounts provide a structure that may be essential in times of stress in the financial markets. Suppose, for example that a firm has a position in a securities market that is hedged by a position in a commodity market, so that payments that the firm is obligated to make with respect to the securities position will be covered by the receipt of funds from the commodity position. Depending upon the settlement cycles of the different markets, it is possible that the firm could find itself in a position where it is obligated to make the payment with respect to the securities position before it receives the matching funds from the commodity position. If cross-margining arrangements have not been developed between the two markets, the firm may need to borrow funds temporarily to make the earlier payment. The rules on security interests in investment property would facilitate the use of positions in one market as collateral for loans needed to cover obligations in the other market.
7. Consumer-Related Definitions: “Consumer Debtor”; “Consumer Goods”; “Consumer-goods transaction”; “Consumer Obligor“; ‘’Consumer Transaction.“ The definition of ‘’consumer goods“ (discussed above) is substantially the same as the definition in former Section 9-109. The definitions of “consumer debtor,” “consumer obligor,” “consumer-goods transaction,” and “consumer transaction” have been added in connection with various new (and old) consumer-related provisions and to designate certain provisions that are inapplicable in consumer transactions.
“Consumer-goods transaction” is a subset of “consumer transaction.” Under each definition, both the obligation secured and the collateral must have a personal, family, or household purpose. However, “mixed” business and personal transactions also may be characterized as a consumer-goods transaction or consumer transaction. Subparagraph (A) of the definition of consumer-goods transactions and clause (i) of the definition of consumer transaction are primary purposes tests. Under these tests, it is necessary to determine the primary purpose of the obligation or obligations secured. Subparagraph (B) and clause (iii) of these definitions are satisfied if any of the collateral is consumer goods, in the case of a consumer-goods transaction, or “is held or acquired primarily for personal, family, or household purposes,“ in the case of a consumer transaction. The fact that some of the obligations secured or some of the collateral for the obligation does not satisfy the tests (e.g., some of the collateral is acquired for a business purpose) does not prevent a transaction from being a “consumer transaction” or “consumer-goods transaction.”
8. Filing-Related Definitions: “Continuation Statement”; “File Number”; “Filing Office”; “Filing-office Rule”; “Financing Statement“; ‘’Fixture Filing“; ‘’Manufactured-Home Transaction“; ‘’New Debtor“; ‘’Original Debtor“; ‘’Public-Finance Transaction“; “Termination Statement”; “Transmitting Utility.” These definitions are used exclusively or primarily in the filing-related provisions in Part 5. Most are self-explanatory and are discussed in the Comments to Part 5. A financing statement filed in a manufactured-home transaction or a public-finance transaction may remain effective for 30 years instead of the 5 years applicable to other financing statements. See Section 9-515(b). The definitions relating to medium neutrality also are significant for the filing provisions. See Comment 9.
The definition of “transmitting utility” has been revised to embrace the business of transmitting communications generally to take account of new and future types of communications technology. The term designates a special class of debtors for whom separate filing rules are provided in Part 5, thereby obviating the many local fixture filings that would be necessary under the rules of Section 9-501 for a far-flung public-utility debtor. A transmitting utility will not necessarily be regulated by or operating as such in a jurisdiction where fixtures are located. For example, a utility might own transmission lines in a jurisdiction, although the utility generates no power and has no customers in the jurisdiction.
9. Definitions Relating to Medium Neutrality.
a. “Record.” In many, but not all, instances, the term “record” replaces the term “writing” and “written.” A “record” includes information that is in intangible form (e.g., electronically stored) as well as tangible form (e.g., written on paper). Given the rapid development and commercial adoption of modern communication and storage technologies, requirements that documents or communications be “written,” “in writing,” or otherwise in tangible form do not necessarily reflect or aid commercial practices.
A “record” need not be permanent or indestructible, but the term does not include any oral or other communication that is not stored or preserved by any means. The information must be stored on paper or in some other medium. Information that has not been retained other than through human memory does not qualify as a record. Examples of current technologies commercially used to communicate or store information include, but are not limited to, magnetic media, optical discs, digital voice messaging systems, electronic mail, audio tapes, and photographic media, as well as paper. “Record” is an inclusive term that includes all of these methods of storing or communicating information. Any “writing” is a record. A record may be authenticated. See Comment 9.b. A record may be created without the knowledge or intent of a particular person.
Like the terms “written” or “in writing,” the term “record” does not establish the purposes, permitted uses, or legal effect that a record may have under any particular provision of law. Whatever is filed in the Article 9 filing system, including financing statements, continuation statements, and termination statements, whether transmitted in tangible or intangible form, would fall within the definition. However, in some instances, statutes or filing-office rules may require that a paper record be filed. In such cases, even if this Article permits the filing of an electronic record, compliance with those statutes or rules is necessary. Similarly, a filer must comply with a statute or rule that requires a particular type of encoding or formatting for an electronic record.
This Article sometimes uses the terms “for record,” “of record,” “record or legal title,” and “record owner.” Some of these are terms traditionally used in real-property law. The definition of “record” in this Article now explicitly excepts these usages from the defined term. Also, this Article refers to a record that is filed or recorded in real-property recording systems to record a mortgage as a “record of a mortgage.” This usage recognizes that the defined term “mortgage” means an interest in real property; it does not mean the record that evidences, or is filed or recorded with respect to, the mortgage.
b. “Authenticate”; “Communicate”; “Send.” The terms “authenticate” and “authenticated” generally replace “sign” and “signed.” “Authenticated” replaces and broadens the definition of “signed,” in Section 1-201, to encompass authentication of all records, not just writings. (References to authentication of, e.g., an agreement, demand, or notification mean, of course, authentication of a record containing an agreement, demand, or notification.) The terms “communicate” and “send” also contemplate the possibility of communication by nonwritten media. These definitions include the act of transmitting both tangible and intangible records. The definition of “send” replaces, for purposes of this Article, the corresponding term in Section 1-201. The reference to “usual means of communication” in that definition contemplates an inquiry into the appropriateness of the method of transmission used in the particular circumstances involved.
10. Scope-Related Definitions.
a. Expanded Scope of Article: “Agricultural Lien”; “Consignment”; “Payment Intangible”; “Promissory Note.” These new definitions reflect the expanded scope of Article 9, as provided in Section 9-109(a).
b. Reduced Scope of Exclusions: “Governmental Unit”; “Health-Care-Insurance Receivable”; “Commercial Tort Claims.” These new definitions reflect the reduced scope of the exclusions, provided in Section 9-109(c) and (d), of transfers by governmental debtors and assignments of interests in insurance policies and commercial tort claims.
11. Choice-of-Law-Related Definitions: “Certificate of Title”; “Governmental Unit”; “Jurisdiction of Organization”; “Registered Organization”; “State.” These new definitions reflect the changes in the law governing perfection and priority of security interests and agricultural liens provided in Part 3, Subpart 1.
Not every organization that may provide information about itself in the public records is a “registered organization.” For example, a general partnership is not a “registered organization,” even if it files a statement of partnership authority under Section 303 of the Uniform Partnership Act (1994) or an assumed name (“dba”) certificate. This is because the State under whose law the partnership is organized is not required to maintain a public record showing that the partnership has been organized. In contrast, corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships are “registered organizations.”
12. Deposit-Account-Related Definitions: “Deposit Account”; “Bank.” The revised definition of “deposit account” incorporates the definition of “bank,” which is new. The definition derives from the definitions of “bank” in Sections 4-105(1) and 4A-105(a)(2), which focus on whether the organization is “engaged in the business of banking.”
Deposit accounts evidenced by Article 9 “instruments” are excluded from the term “deposit account.” In contrast, former Section 9-105 excluded from the former definition “an account evidenced by a certificate of deposit.” The revised definition clarifies the proper treatment of nonnegotiable or uncertificated certificates of deposit. Under the definition, an uncertificated certificate of deposit would be a deposit account (assuming there is no writing evidencing the bank’s obligation to pay) whereas a nonnegotiable certificate of deposit would be a deposit account only if it is not an “instrument” as defined in this section (a question that turns on whether the nonnegotiable certificate of deposit is “of a type that in ordinary course of business is transferred by delivery with any necessary indorsement or assignment.“)
A deposit account evidenced by an instrument is subject to the rules applicable to instruments generally. As a consequence, a security interest in such an instrument cannot be perfected by “control” (see Section 9-104), and the special priority rules applicable to deposit accounts (see Sections 9-327 and 9-340) do not apply.
The term “deposit account” does not include “investment property,” such as securities and security entitlements. Thus, the term also does not include shares in a money-market mutual fund, even if the shares are redeemable by check.
13. Proceeds-Related Definitions: “Cash Proceeds”; “Noncash Proceeds”; “Proceeds.” The revised definition of “proceeds” expands the definition beyond that contained in former Section 9-306 and resolves ambiguities in the former section.
a. Distributions on Account of Collateral. The phrase “whatever is collected on, or distributed on account of, collateral,” in subparagraph (B), is broad enough to cover cash or stock dividends distributed on account of securities or other investment property that is original collateral. Compare former Section 9-306 (“Any payments or distributions made with respect to investment property collateral are proceeds.“). This section rejects the holding of Hastie v. FDIC, 2 F.3d 1042 (10th Cir.1993) (postpetition cash dividends on stock subject to a prepetition pledge are not “proceeds” under Bankruptcy Code Section 552(b)), to the extent the holding relies on the Article 9 definition of “proceeds.”
b. Distributions on Account of Supporting Obligations. Under subparagraph (B), collections on and distributions on account of collateral consisting of various credit-support arrangements (“supporting obligations,” as defined in Section 9-102) also are proceeds. Consequently, they are afforded treatment identical to proceeds collected from or distributed by the obligor on the underlying (supported) right to payment or other collateral. Proceeds of supporting obligations also are proceeds of the underlying rights to payment or other collateral.
c. Proceeds of Proceeds. The definition of “proceeds” no longer provides that proceeds of proceeds are themselves proceeds. That idea is expressed in the revised definition of “collateral” in Section 9-102. No change in meaning is intended.
d. Proceeds Received by Person Who Did Not Create Security Interest. When collateral is sold subject to a security interest and the buyer then resells the collateral, a question arose under former Article 9 concerning whether the “debtor” had “received” what the buyer received on resale and, therefore, whether those receipts were “proceeds” under former Section 9-306(2). This Article contains no requirement that property be “received” by the debtor for the property to qualify as proceeds. It is necessary only that the property be traceable, directly or indirectly, to the original collateral.
e. Cash Proceeds and Noncash Proceeds. The definition of “cash proceeds” is substantially the same as the corresponding definition in former Section 9-306. The phrase “and the like” covers property that is functionally equivalent to “money, checks, or deposit accounts,” such as some money-market accounts that are securities or part of securities entitlements. Proceeds other than cash proceeds are noncash proceeds.
14. Consignment-Related Definitions: “Consignee”; “Consignment”; “Consignor.” The definition of “consignment” excludes, in subparagraphs (B) and (C), transactions for which filing would be inappropriate or of insufficient benefit to justify the costs. A consignment excluded from the application of this Article by one of those subparagraphs may still be a true consignment; however, it is governed by non-Article 9 law. The definition also excludes, in subparagraph (D), what have been called “consignments intended for security.“ These ‘’consignments“ are not bailments but secured transactions. Accordingly, all of Article 9 applies to them. See Sections 1-201(37), 9-109(a)(1). The “consignor” is the person who delivers goods to the “consignee” in a consignment.
The definition of “consignment” requires that the goods be delivered “to a merchant for the purpose of sale.” If the goods are delivered for another purpose as well, such as milling or processing, the transaction is a consignment nonetheless because a purpose of the delivery is “sale.” On the other hand, if a merchant-processor-bailee will not be selling the goods itself but will be delivering to buyers to which the owner-bailor agreed to sell the goods, the transaction would not be a consignment.
15. “Accounting.” This definition describes the record and information that a debtor is entitled to request under Section 9-210.
16. “Document.” The definition of “document” is unchanged in substance from the corresponding definitions in former Section 9-105. See Section 1-201(15) and Comment 15.
17. “Encumbrance”; “Mortgage.” The definitions of “encumbrance” and “mortgage” are unchanged in substance from the corresponding definitions in former Section 9-105. They are used primarily in the special real-property-related priority and other provisions relating to crops, fixtures, and accessions.
18. “Fixtures.” This definition is unchanged in substance from the corresponding definition in former Section 9-313. See Section 9-334 (priority of security interests in fixtures and crops).
19. “Good Faith.” This Article expands the definition of “good faith” to include “the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing.“ The definition in this section applies when the term is used in this Article, and the same concept applies in the context of this Article for purposes of the obligation of good faith imposed by Section 1-203. See subsection (c).
20. “Lien Creditor” This definition is unchanged in substance from the corresponding definition in former Section 9-301.
21. “New Value.” This Article deletes former Section 9-108. Its broad formulation of new value, which embraced the taking of after-acquired collateral for a pre-existing claim, was unnecessary, counterintuitive, and ineffective for its original purpose of sheltering after-acquired collateral from attack as a voidable preference in bankruptcy. The new definition derives from Bankruptcy Code Section 547(a). The term is used with respect to temporary perfection of security interests in instruments, certificated securities, or negotiable documents under Section 9-312(e) and with respect to chattel paper priority in Section 9-330.
22. “Person Related To.” Section 9-615 provides a special method for calculating a deficiency or surplus when “the secured party, a person related to the secured party, or a secondary obligor“ acquires the collateral at a foreclosure disposition. Separate definitions of the term are provided with respect to an individual secured party and with respect to a secured party that is an organization. The definitions are patterned on the corresponding definition in Section 1.301(32) of the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (1974).
23. “Proposal.” This definition describes a record that is sufficient to propose to retain collateral in full or partial satisfaction of a secured obligation. See Sections 9-620, 9-621, 9-622.
24. “Pursuant to Commitment.” This definition is unchanged in substance from the corresponding definition in former Section 9-105. It is used in connection with special priority rules applicable to future advances. See Section 9-323.
25. “Software.” The definition of “software” is used in connection with the priority rules applicable to purchase-money security interests. See Sections 9-103, 9-324. Software, like a payment intangible, is a type of general intangible for purposes of this Article. See Comment 4.a., above, regarding the distinction between “goods” and “software.”
26. Terminology: “Assignment” and “Transfer.” In numerous provisions, this Article refers to the “assignment” or the “transfer” of property interests. These terms and their derivatives are not defined. This Article generally follows common usage by using the terms “assignment” and “assign” to refer to transfers of rights to payment, claims, and liens and other security interests. It generally uses the term “transfer” to refer to other transfers of interests in property. Except when used in connection with a letter-of-credit transaction (see Section 9-107, Comment 4), no significance should be placed on the use of one term or the other. Depending on the context, each term may refer to the assignment or transfer of an outright ownership interest or to the assignment or transfer of a limited interest, such as a security interest.