As we have discussed here on the FCS blog in several posts, one of the main things to consider when deciding whether to use a proprietary online search system is the source of the data.

In short, there are two sources from which a private service company can purchase UCC and Lien data for their online search system. The first is directly from the state, which is the most accurate and up-to-date information; the second is from a third party source, usually a vendor who attempts to recreate the filing office’s official index.

You can read our recent post, “Watch out for Third Party Data in Proprietary Online UCC Search Systems” here to learn about data source issues in state-level lien searches. In this week’s post we want to offer our readers a word of caution about searching county records on a private online search system.

Very few counties across the country actually make their lien indexes available for purchase. Consequently, if you are performing county lien searches using a privately maintained online search system, then you are likely searching third party data. Since the data does not come directly from the filing office, it may contain errors or omissions that compromise the integrity of your final search result.

Additionally, many online search systems combine records from all counties within a state into a single searchable index. Combined county indexes can be problematic in that every county has a different currency date associated with its index, but when they are consolidated, only a single index date can be assigned, making it difficult to know exactly how current the records are that you are searching.

For the highest quality, most reliable county lien searches, place your service request with a service provider who will perform a search of the actual county index.

Looking for an online state lien search solution? FCS has just launched a new version of its online system for lien searching, UCC filing & portfolio management, and monitoring. Our search system features only the highest quality state-direct UCC and lien data. Visit us at to learn more and request a free system demonstration!


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