(a) A person may file an initial financing statement, amendment that adds collateral covered by a financing statement, or amendment that adds a debtor to a financing statement only if:
(1) The debtor authorizes the filing in an authenticated record or pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section; or
(2) The person holds an agricultural lien that has become effective at the time of filing and the financing statement covers only collateral in which the person holds an agricultural lien.
(b) By authenticating or becoming bound as debtor by a security agreement, a debtor or new debtor authorizes the filing of an initial financing statement, and an amendment, covering:
(1) The collateral described in the security agreement; and
(2) Property that becomes collateral under § 28:9-315(a)(2), whether or not the security agreement expressly covers proceeds.
(c) By acquiring collateral in which a security interest or agricultural lien continues under § 28:9-315(a)(1), a debtor authorizes the filing of an initial financing statement, and an amendment, covering the collateral and property that becomes collateral under § 28:9-315(a)(2).
(d) A person may file an amendment other than an amendment that adds collateral covered by a financing statement or an amendment that adds a debtor to a financing statement only if:
(1) The secured party of record authorizes the filing; or
(2) The amendment is a termination statement for a financing statement as to which the secured party of record has failed to file or send a termination statement as required by § 28:9-513(a) or (c), the debtor authorizes the filing, and the termination statement indicates that the debtor authorized it to be filed.
(e) If there is more than one secured party of record for a financing statement, each secured party of record may authorize the filing of an amendment under subsection (d).
Uniform Commercial Code Comment
1. Source. New.
2. Scope and Approach of This Section. This section collects in one place most of the rules determining whether a record may be filed. Section 9-510 explains the extent to which a filed record is effective. Under these sections, the identity of the person who effects a filing is immaterial. The filing scheme contemplated by this Part does not contemplate that the identity of a “filer” will be a part of the searchable records. This is consistent with, and a necessary aspect of, eliminating signatures or other evidence of authorization from the system. (Note that the 1972 amendments to this Article eliminated the requirement that a financing statement contain the signature of the secured party.) As long as the appropriate person authorizes the filing, or, in the case of a termination statement, the debtor is entitled to the termination, it is insignificant whether the secured party or another person files any given record. The question of authorization is one for the court, not the filing office. However, a filing office may choose to employ authentication procedures in connection with electronic communications, e.g., to verify the identity of a filer who seeks to charge the filing fee.
3. Unauthorized Filings. Records filed in the filing office do not require signatures for their effectiveness. Subsection (a)(1) substitutes for the debtor’s signature on a financing statement the requirement that the debtor authorize in an authenticated record the filing of an initial financing statement or an amendment that adds collateral. Also, under subsection (a)(1), if an amendment adds a debtor, the debtor who is added must authorize the amendment. A person who files an unauthorized record in violation of subsection (a)(1) is liable under Section 9-625 for actual and statutory damages. Of course, a filed financing statement is ineffective to perfect a security interest if the filing is not authorized. See Section 9-510(a). Law other than this Article, including the law with respect to ratification of past acts, generally determines whether a person has the requisite authority to file a record under this section. See Sections 1-103, 9-502, Comment 3.
4. Ipso Facto Authorization. Under subsection (b), the authentication of a security agreement ipso facto constitutes the debtor’s authorization of the filing of a financing statement covering the collateral described in the security agreement. The secured party need not obtain a separate authorization. Similarly, a new debtor’s becoming bound by a security agreement ipso facto constitutes the new debtor’s authorization of the filing of a financing statement covering the collateral described in the security agreement by which the new debtor has become bound. And, under subsection (c), the acquisition of collateral in which a security interest continues after disposition under Section 9-315(a)(1) ipso facto constitutes an authorization to file an initial financing statement against the person who acquired the collateral. The authorization to file an initial financing statement also constitutes an authorization to file a record covering actual proceeds of the original collateral, even if the security agreement is silent as to proceeds.
Example 1: Debtor authenticates a security agreement creating a security interest in Debtor’s inventory in favor of Secured Party. Secured Party files a financing statement covering inventory and accounts. The financing statement is authorized insofar as it covers inventory and unauthorized insofar as it covers accounts. (Note, however, that the financing statement will be effective to perfect a security interest in accounts constituting proceeds of the inventory to the same extent as a financing statement covering only inventory.)
Example 2: Debtor authenticates a security agreement creating a security interest in Debtor’s inventory in favor of Secured Party. Secured Party files a financing statement covering inventory. Debtor sells some inventory, deposits the buyer’s payment into a deposit account, and withdraws the funds to purchase equipment. As long as the equipment can be traced to the inventory, the security interest continues in the equipment. See Section 9-315(a)(2). However, because the equipment was acquired with cash proceeds, the financing statement becomes ineffective to perfect the security interest in the equipment on the 21st day after the security interest attaches to the equipment unless Secured Party continues perfection beyond the 20-day period by filing a financing statement against the equipment or amending the filed financing statement to cover equipment. See Section 9-315(d). Debtor’s authentication of the security agreement authorizes the filing of an initial financing statement or amendment covering the equipment, which is “property that becomes collateral under Section 9-315(a)(2).” See Section 9-509(b)(2).
5. Agricultural Liens. Under subsection (a)(2), the holder of an agricultural lien may file a financing statement covering collateral subject to the lien without obtaining the debtor’s authorization. Because the lien arises as matter of law, the debtor’s consent is not required. A person who files an unauthorized record in violation of this subsection is liable under Section 9-625(e) for a statutory penalty and damages.
6. Amendments; Termination Statements Authorized by Debtor. Most amendments may not be filed unless the secured party of record, as determined under Section 9-511, authorizes the filing. See subsection (d)(1). However, under subsection (d)(2), the authorization of the secured party of record is not required for the filing of a termination statement if the secured party of record failed to send or file a termination statement as required by Section 9-513, the debtor authorizes it to be filed, and the termination statement so indicates.
7. Multiple Secured Parties of Record. Subsection (e) deals with multiple secured parties of record. It permits each secured party of record to authorize the filing of amendments. However, Section 9-510(b) protects the rights and powers of one secured party of record from the effects of filings made by another secured party of record. See Section 9-510, Comment 3.
8. Successor to Secured Party of Record. A person may succeed to the powers of the secured party of record by operation of other law, e.g., the law of corporate mergers. In that case, the successor has the power to authorize filings within the meaning of this section.