Today we dip into our past to revisit a key and popular topic here at the ficoso blog:  the importance of broad based UCC and lien searching. Give it a read and share your thoughts and experiences below.

Broad Based UCC and Lien Name Searching: What is it? Why is it Important?

Various options exist to fulfill UCC and lien search requirements. Certified searches come directly from the filing office, state direct database searches are available on a state’s website, and proprietary search systems run by private service companies are another popular option. A while back, First Corporate Solutions published a blog series on evaluating state search options where we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of each of these search sources.

In the post titled, “Evaluating State UCC Search Options Series # 5: Benefits of a Proprietary Database Search” among other things we note that one primary benefit of using a private search system is its use of broad based search logic. So what is that?

What is broad based name searching?

Search systems that use broad based name searching offer flexible search logic designed to produce broad based search results that capture name variations. As opposed to the strict, exact name search logic used to generate a certified search at the filing office, broad based name searching refers to features such as wildcard characters and truncated search strings specifically created to produce a more inclusive search result.

Why is broad based name searching important?

The main reason is that it helps searchers locate filings under similar names. Locating filings under similar names and identifying name variations is critical, especially when it comes to finding state and federal tax liens. When tax liens are mixed in with UCC records at a filing office, they can be difficult to locate; the strict debtor naming standards that a secured party is held to do not apply to those filing tax liens. A tax lien is often considered active and enforceable even if it is not filed under the taxpayer’s exact legal name as defined for voluntary lien holders in the Uniform Commercial Code. An exact name search cannot reveal tax liens filed under a name variation; only a broad based search solution can locate a tax lien under a name variation.

Another great benefit of using search systems that employ broad based search logic is that they help reduce search costs by allowing searchers to combine associated names of interest onto a single search report rather than paying separately for each. For example, imagine a search for a prospect named Robert McDonald. Using a search system’s wildcard feature, a searcher can draw results for McDonald, Mc Donald, MacDonald and Mac Donald as well as Robert, Rob, Bob, Bobby, Robbie and more all onto a single search report.


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