(a) A secured party shall cause the secured party of record for a financing statement to file a termination statement for the financing statement if the financing statement covers consumer goods and:
(1) There is no obligation secured by the collateral covered by the financing statement and no commitment to make an advance, incur an obligation, or otherwise give value; or
(2) The debtor did not authorize the filing of the initial financing statement.
(b) To comply with subsection (a), a secured party shall cause the secured party of record to file the termination statement:
(1) Within one month after there is no obligation secured by the collateral covered by the financing statement and no commitment to make an advance, incur an obligation, or otherwise give value; or
(2) If earlier, within 20 days after the secured party receives an authenticated demand from a debtor.
(c) In cases not governed by subsection (a), within 20 days after a secured party receives an authenticated demand from a debtor, the secured party shall cause the secured party of record for a financing statement to send to the debtor a termination statement for the financing statement or file the termination statement in the filing office if:
(1) Except in the case of a financing statement covering accounts or chattel paper that has been sold or goods that are the subject of a consignment, there is no obligation secured by the collateral covered by the financing statement and no commitment to make an advance, incur an obligation, or otherwise give value;
(2) The financing statement covers accounts or chattel paper that has been sold but as to which the account debtor or other person obligated has discharged its obligation;
(3) The financing statement covers goods that were the subject of a consignment to the debtor but are not in the debtor’s possession; or
(4) The debtor did not authorize the filing of the initial financing statement.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in § 28:9-510, upon the filing of a termination statement with the filing office, the financing statement to which the termination statement relates ceases to be effective. Except as otherwise provided in § 28:9-510, for purposes of §§ 28:9-519(g), 28:9-522(a), and 28:9-523(c), the filing with the filing office of a termination statement relating to a financing statement that indicates that the debtor is a transmitting utility also causes the effectiveness of the financing statement to lapse.
Uniform Commercial Code Comment
1. Source. Former Section 9-404.
2. Duty to File or Send. This section specifies when a secured party must cause the secured party of record to file or send to the debtor a termination statement for a financing statement. Because most financing statements expire in five years unless a continuation statement is filed ( Section 9-515), no compulsion is placed on the secured party to file a termination statement unless demanded by the debtor, except in the case of consumer goods. Because many consumers will not realize the importance to them of clearing the public record, an affirmative duty is put on the secured party in that case. But many purchase-money security interests in consumer goods will not be filed, except for motor vehicles. See Section 9-309(1). Under Section 9-311(b), compliance with a certificate-of-title statute is “equivalent to the filing of a financing statement under this article.” Thus, this section applies to a certificate of title unless the section is superseded by a certificate-of-title statute that contains a specific rule addressing a secured party’s duty to cause a notation of a security interest to be removed from a certificate of title. In the context of a certificate of title, however, the secured party could comply with this section by causing the removal itself or providing the debtor with documentation sufficient to enable the debtor to effect the removal.
Subsections (a) and (b) apply to a financing statement covering consumer goods. Subsection (c) applies to other financing statements. Subsection (a) and (c) each makes explicit what was implicit under former Article 9: If the debtor did not authorize the filing of a financing statement in the first place, the secured party of record should file or send a termination statement. The liability imposed upon a secured party that fails to comply with subsection (a) or (c) is identical to that imposed for the filing of an unauthorized financing statement or amendment. See Section 9-625(e).
3. “Bogus” Filings. A secured party’s duty to send a termination statement arises when the secured party “receives” an authenticated demand from the debtor. In the case of an unauthorized financing statement, the person named as debtor in the financing statement may have no relationship with the named secured party and no reason to know the secured party’s address. Inasmuch as the address in the financing statement is “held out by [the person named as secured party in the financing statement] as the place for receipt of such communications [i.e., communications relating to security interests],“ the putative secured party is deemed to have “received” a notification delivered to that address. See Section 1-201(26). If a termination statement is not forthcoming, the person named as debtor itself may authorize the filing of a termination statement, which will be effective if it indicates that the person authorized it to be filed. See Sections 9-509(d)(2), 9-510(c).
4. Buyers of Receivables. Applied literally, former Section 9-404(1) would have required many buyers of receivables to file a termination statement immediately upon filing a financing statement because “there is no outstanding secured obligation and no commitment to make advances, incur obligations, or otherwise give value.“ Subsections (c)(1) and (2) remedy this problem. While the security interest of a buyer of accounts or chattel paper (B-1) is perfected, the debtor is not deemed to retain an interest in the sold receivables and thus could transfer no interest in them to another buyer (B-2) or to a lien creditor (LC). However, for purposes of determining the rights of the debtor’s creditors and certain purchasers of accounts or chattel paper from the debtor, while B-1’s security interest is unperfected, the debtor-seller is deemed to have rights in the sold receivables, and a competing security interest or judicial lien may attach to those rights. See Sections 9-318, 9-109, Comment 5. Suppose that B-1’s security interest in certain accounts and chattel paper is perfected by filing, but the effectiveness of the financing statement lapses. Both before and after lapse, B-1 collects some of the receivables. After lapse, LC acquires a lien on the accounts and chattel paper. B-1’s unperfected security interest in the accounts and chattel paper is subordinate to LC’s rights. See Section 9-317(a)(2). But collections on accounts and chattel paper are not “accounts” or “chattel paper.” Even if B-1’s security interest in the accounts and chattel paper is or becomes unperfected, neither the debtor nor LC acquires rights to the collections that B-1 collects (and owns) before LC acquires a lien.
5. Effect of Filing. Subsection (d) states the effect of filing a termination statement: the related financing statement ceases to be effective. If one of several secured parties of record files a termination statement, subsection (d) applies only with respect to the rights of the person who authorized the filing of the termination statement. See Section 9-510(b). The financing statement remains effective with respect to the rights of the others. However, even if a financing statement is terminated (and thus no longer is effective) with respect to all secured parties of record, the financing statement, including the termination statement, will remain of record until at least one year after it lapses with respect to all secured parties of record. See Section 9-519(g).