Last week, we wrapped up our discussion on state direct database searches with an overview of some drawbacks associated with using the UCC search feature on a state’s website. Now we are ready to enter the final stretch of the Evaluating State UCC Search Options blog series by turning our attention to proprietary databases. Herein, we will look at the benefits of using a proprietary database to perform state UCC searches.
What is a Proprietary Database Search?
A proprietary database is a UCC search system that is owned and operated by a private service company; it is not affiliated with any state agency. A proprietary search system is created when a service company purchases UCC data in bulk, then builds an interface where users can perform password protected online UCC searches.
Broad-Based Name Searching
One of the primary benefits of using a proprietary search system is the broad-based name searching capabilities. Search systems that use broad-based name searching offer flexible search logic by incorporating special features such as wildcard characters, truncated name searching and fuzzy word searching. These features are designed to produce a more inclusive search result to help searchers identify similar names and locate critical filings that might be missed using exact name search methodology.
Online Image Library
Another advantage of using a private search system is the availability of document images. Proprietary search systems typically have an expansive library of document images that users can download instantly while conducting their search. While a search report can show you party names, addresses and maybe even collateral type, it is usually necessary to view an image of the filed document to see what a given financing statement specifically secures. A database that does not offer online images is providing only a piece of the puzzle.
Lastly, using a proprietary search system brings consistency to a user’s searching practices. For searchers using numerous state direct online databases, it can be cumbersome to maintain separate accounts and log in credentials for the different systems for each. Furthermore, keeping track of the various systems’ search logic parameters and learning to interpret search results in a variety of different formats can be confusing. Those using a private search system to satisfy their UCC search requirements enjoy consistent search logic, easy-to-read results and a support staff to provide training and ongoing support.
Be sure to check back next week for the final installment of the Evaluating State UCC Search Options blog series where we discuss the drawbacks of a proprietary database search!