Code of the District of Columbia

§ 28:9-207. Rights and duties of secured party having possession or control of collateral.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), a secured party shall use reasonable care in the custody and preservation of collateral in the secured party’s possession. In the case of chattel paper or an instrument, reasonable care includes taking necessary steps to preserve rights against prior parties unless otherwise agreed.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), if a secured party has possession of collateral:

(1) Reasonable expenses, including the cost of insurance and payment of taxes or other charges, incurred in the custody, preservation, use, or operation of the collateral are chargeable to the debtor and are secured by the collateral;

(2) The risk of accidental loss or damage is on the debtor to the extent of a deficiency in any effective insurance coverage;

(3) The secured party shall keep the collateral identifiable, but fungible collateral may be commingled; and

(4) The secured party may use or operate the collateral:

(A) For the purpose of preserving the collateral or its value;

(B) As permitted by an order of a court having competent jurisdiction; or

(C) Except in the case of consumer goods, in the manner and to the extent agreed by the debtor.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), a secured party having possession of collateral or control of collateral under § 28:7-106, 28:9-104, 28:9-105, 28:9-106, or 28:9-107:

(1) May hold as additional security any proceeds, except money or funds, received from the collateral;

(2) Shall apply money or funds received from the collateral to reduce the secured obligation, unless remitted to the debtor; and

(3) May create a security interest in the collateral.

(d) If the secured party is a buyer of accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes or a consignor:

(1) Subsection (a) does not apply unless the secured party is entitled under an agreement:

(A) To charge back uncollected collateral; or

(B) Otherwise to full or limited recourse against the debtor or a secondary obligor based on the nonpayment or other default of an account debtor or other obligor on the collateral; and

(2) Subsections (b) and (c) do not apply.

(Oct. 26, 2000, D.C. Law 13-201, § 101, 47 DCR 7576; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-299, § 11(c), 60 DCR 2634.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:9-601 and § 28:9-602.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-299 inserted “28:7-106” following “under § ” in (c).

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

1. Source. Former Section 9-207.

2. Duty of Care for Collateral in Secured Party’s Possession. Like former section 9-207, subsection (a) imposes a duty of care, similar to that imposed on a pledgee at common law, on a secured party in possession of collateral. See Restatement, Security §§ 17, 18. In many cases a secured party in possession of collateral may satisfy this duty by notifying the debtor of action that should be taken and allowing the debtor to take the action itself. If the secured party itself takes action, its reasonable expenses may be added to the secured obligation. The revised definitions of “collateral,” “debtor,” and “secured party” in Section 9-102 make this section applicable to collateral subject to an agricultural lien if the collateral is in the lienholder’s possession. Under Section 1-102 the duty to exercise reasonable care may not be disclaimed by agreement, although under that section the parties remain free to determine by agreement standards that are not manifestly unreasonable as to what constitutes reasonable care. Unless otherwise agreed, for a secured party in possession of chattel paper or an instrument, reasonable care includes the preservation of rights against prior parties. The secured party’s right to have instruments or documents indorsed or transferred to it or its order is dealt with in the relevant sections of Articles 3, 7, and 8. See Sections 3-201, 7-506, 8-304(d).

3. Specific Rules When Secured Party in Possession or Control of Collateral. Subsections (b) and (c) provide rules following common-law precedents which apply unless the parties otherwise agree. The rules in subsection (b) apply to typical issues that may arise while a secured party is in possession of collateral, including expenses, insurance, and taxes, risk of loss or damage, identifiable and fungible collateral, and use or operation of collateral. Subsection (c) contains rules that apply in certain circumstances that may arise when a secured party is in either possession or control of collateral. These circumstances include the secured party’s receiving proceeds from the collateral and the secured party’s creation of a security interest in the collateral.

4. Applicability Following Default. This section applies when the secured party has possession of collateral either before or after default. See Sections 9-601(b), 9-609. Subsection (b)(4)(C) limits agreements concerning the use or operation of collateral to collateral other than consumer goods. Under Section 9-602(1), a debtor cannot waive or vary that limitation.

5. “Repledges” and Right of Redemption. Subsection (c)(3) eliminates the qualification in former Section 9-207 to the effect that the terms of a “repledge” may not “impair” a debtor’s “right to redeem” collateral. The change is primarily for clarification. There is no basis on which to draw from subsection (c)(3) any inference concerning the debtor’s right to redeem the collateral. The debtor enjoys that right under Section 9-623; this section need not address it. For example, if the collateral is a negotiable note that the secured party (SP-1) repledges to SP-2, nothing in this section suggests that the debtor (D) does not retain the right to redeem the note upon payment to SP-1 of all obligations secured by the note. But, as explained below, the debtor’s unimpaired right to redeem as against the debtor’s original secured party nevertheless may not be enforceable as against the new secured party.

In resolving questions that arise from the creation of a security interest by SP-1, one must take care to distinguish D’s rights against SP-1 from D’s rights against SP-2. Once D discharges the secured obligation, D becomes entitled to the note; SP-1 has no legal basis upon which to withhold it. If, as a practical matter, SP-1 is unable to return the note because SP-2 holds it as collateral for SP-1’s unpaid debt, then SP-1 is liable to D under the law of conversion.

Whether SP-2 would be liable to D depends on the relative priority of SP-2’s security interest and D’s interest. By permitting SP-1 to create a security interest in the collateral (repledge), subsection (c)(3) provides a statutory power for SP-1 to give SP-2 a security interest (subject, of course, to any agreement by SP-1 not to give a security interest). In the vast majority of cases where repledge rights are significant, the security interest of the second secured party, SP-2 in the example, will be senior to the debtor’s interest. By virtue of the debtor’s consent or applicable legal rules, SP-2 typically would cut off D’s rights in investment property or be immune from D’s claims. See Sections 9-331, 3-306 (holder in due course), 8-303 (protected purchaser), 8-502 (acquisition of a security entitlement), 8-503(e) (action by entitlement holder). Moreover, the expectations and business practices in some markets, such as the securities markets, are such that D’s consent to SP-2’s taking free of D’s rights inheres in D’s creation of SP-1’s security interest which gives rise to SP-1’s power under this section. In these situations, D would have no right to recover the collateral or recover damages from SP-2. Nevertheless, D would have a damage claim against SP-1 if SP-1 had given a security interest to SP-2 in breach of its agreement with D. Moreover, if SP-2’s security interest secures an amount that is less than the amount secured by SP-1’s security interest (granted by D), then D’s exercise of its right to redeem would provide value sufficient to discharge SP-1’s obligations to SP-2.

For the most part this section does not change the law under former Section 9-207, although eliminating the reference to the debtor’s right of redemption may alter the secured party’s right to repledge in one respect. Former Section 9-207 could have been read to limit the secured party’s statutory right to repledge collateral to repledge transactions in which the collateral did not secure a greater obligation than that of the original debtor. Inasmuch as this is a matter normally dealt with by agreement between the debtor and secured party, any change would appear to have little practical effect.

6. “Repledges” of Investment Property. The following example will aid the discussion of “repledges” of investment property.

Example. Debtor grants Alpha Bank a security interest in a security entitlement that includes 1000 shares of XYZ Co. stock that Debtor holds through an account with Able & Co. Alpha does not have an account with Able. Alpha uses Beta Bank as its securities custodian. Debtor instructs Able to transfer the shares to Beta, for the account of Alpha, and Able does so. Beta then credits Alpha’s account. Alpha has control of the security entitlement for the 1000 shares under Section 8-106(d). (These are the facts of Example 2, Section 8-106, Comment 4.) Although, as between Debtor and Alpha, Debtor may have become the beneficial owner of the new securities entitlement with Beta, Beta has agreed to act on Alpha’s entitlement orders because, as between Beta and Alpha, Alpha has become the entitlement holder.

Next, Alpha grants Gamma Bank a security interest in the security entitlement with Beta that includes the 1000 shares of XYZ Co. stock. In order to afford Gamma control of the entitlement, Alpha instructs Beta to transfer the stock to Gamma’s custodian, Delta Bank, which credits Gamma’s account for 1000 shares. At this point Gamma holds its securities entitlement for its benefit as well as that of its debtor, Alpha. Alpha’s derivative rights also are for the benefit of Debtor.

In many, probably most, situations and at any particular point in time, it will be impossible for Debtor or Alpha to “trace” Alpha’s “repledge” to any particular securities entitlement or financial asset of Gamma or anyone else. Debtor would retain, of course, a right to redeem the collateral from Alpha upon satisfaction of the secured obligation. However, in the absence of a traceable interest, Debtor would retain only a personal claim against Alpha in the event Alpha failed to restore the security entitlement to Debtor. Moreover, even in the unlikely event that Debtor could trace a property interest, in the context of the financial markets, normally the operation of this section, Debtor’s explicit agreement to permit Alpha to create a senior security interest, or legal rules permitting Gamma to cut off Debtor’s rights or become immune from Debtor’s claims would effectively subordinate Debtor’s interest to the holder of a security interest created by Alpha. And, under the shelter principle, all subsequent transferees would obtain interests to which Debtor’s interest also would be subordinate.

7. Buyers of Chattel Paper and Other Receivables; Consignors. This section has been revised to reflect the fact that a seller of accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes retains no interest in the collateral and so is not disadvantaged by the secured party’s noncompliance with the requirements of this section. Accordingly, subsection (d) provides that subsection (a) applies only to security interests that secure an obligation and to sales of receivables in which the buyer has recourse against the debtor. (Of course, a buyer of accounts or payment intangibles could not have “possession” of original collateral, but might have possession of proceeds, such as promissory notes or checks.) The meaning of “recourse” in this respect is limited to recourse arising out of the account debtor’s failure to pay or other default.

Subsection (d) makes subsections (b) and (c) inapplicable to buyers of accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes and consignors. Of course, there is no reason to believe that a buyer of receivables or a consignor could not, for example, create a security interest or otherwise transfer an interest in the collateral, regardless of who has possession of the collateral. However, this section leaves the rights of those owners to law other than Article 9.