(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), the filing of a financing statement is not necessary or effective to perfect a security interest in property subject to:
(1) A statute, regulation, or treaty of the United States whose requirements for a security interest’s obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor with respect to the property preempt § 28:9-310(a);
(2) The provisions of section 50-1201 et seq.; or
(3) A statute of another jurisdiction which provides for a security interest to be indicated on a certificate of title as a condition or result of the security interest’s obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor with respect to the property.
(b) Compliance with the requirements of a statute, regulation, or treaty described in subsection (a) for obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor is equivalent to the filing of a financing statement under this article. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) and §§ 28:9-313 and 28:9-316(d) and (e) for goods covered by a certificate of title, a security interest in property subject to a statute, regulation, or treaty described in subsection (a) may be perfected only by compliance with those requirements, and a security interest so perfected remains perfected notwithstanding a change in the use or transfer of possession of the collateral.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) and § 28:9-316(d) and (e), duration and renewal of perfection of a security interest perfected by compliance with the requirements prescribed by a statute, regulation, or treaty described in subsection (a) are governed by the statute, regulation, or treaty. In other respects, the security interest is subject to this article.
(d) During any period in which collateral subject to a statute specified in subsection (a)(2) is inventory held for sale or lease by a person or leased by that person as lessor and that person is in the business of selling goods of that kind, this section does not apply to a security interest in that collateral created by that person.
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-302 substituted “certificate-of-title statute” for “statute” in (a)(3).
Uniform Commercial Code Comment
1. Source. Former Section 9-302(3), (4).
2. Federal Statutes, Regulations, and Treaties. Subsection (a)(1) exempts from the filing provisions of this Article transactions as to which a system of filing-state or federal-has been established under federal law. Subsection (b) makes clear that when such a system exists, perfection of a relevant security interest can be achieved only through compliance with that system (i.e., filing under this Article is not a permissible alternative).
An example of the type of federal statute referred to in subsection (a)(1) is 49 U.S.C. §§ 44107- 11, for civil aircraft of the United States. The Assignment of Claims Act of 1940, as amended, provides for notice to contracting and disbursing officers and to sureties on bonds but does not establish a national filing system and therefore is not within the scope of subsection (a)(1). An assignee of a claim against the United States may benefit from compliance with the Assignment of Claims Act. But regardless of whether the assignee complies with that Act, the assignee must file under this Article in order to perfect its security interest against creditors and transferees of its assignor.
Subsection (a)(1) provides explicitly that the filing requirement of this Article defers only to federal statutes, regulations, or treaties whose requirements for a security interest’s obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor preempt Section 9-310(a). The provision eschews reference to the term “perfection,” inasmuch as Section 9-308 specifies the meaning of that term and a preemptive rule may use other terminology.
3. State Statutes. Subsections (a)(2) and (3) exempt from the filing requirements of this Article transactions covered by State certificate-of-title statutes covering motor vehicles and the like. The description of certificate-of-title statutes in subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3) tracks the language of the definition of “certificate of title” in Section 9-102. For a discussion of the operation of state certificate-of-title statutes in interstate contexts, see the Comments to Section 9-303.
Some states have enacted central filing statutes with respect to secured transactions in kinds of property that are of special importance in the local economy. Subsection (a)(2) defers to these statutes with respect to filing for that property.
4. Inventory Covered by Certificate of Title. Under subsection (d), perfection of a security interest in the inventory of a person in the business of selling goods of that kind is governed by the normal perfection rules, even if the inventory is subject to a certificate-of-title statute. Compliance with a certificate-of-title statute is both unnecessary and ineffective to perfect a security interest in inventory to which this subsection applies. Thus, a secured party who finances an automobile dealer that is in the business of selling and leasing its inventory of automobiles can perfect a security interest in all the automobiles by filing a financing statement but not by compliance with a certificate-of-title statute.
Subsection (d), and thus the filing and other perfection provisions of this Article, does not apply to inventory that is subject to a certificate-of-title statute and is of a kind that the debtor is not in the business of selling. For example, if goods are subject to a certificate-of-title statute and the debtor is in the business of leasing but not of selling, goods of that kind, the other subsections of this section govern perfection of a security interest in the goods. The fact that the debtor eventually sells the goods does not, of itself, mean that the debtor “is in the business of selling goods of that kind.”
The filing and other perfection provisions of this Article apply to goods subject to a certificate-of-title statute only “during any period in which collateral is inventory held for sale or lease or leased.“ If the debtor takes goods of this kind out of inventory and uses them, say, as equipment, a filed financing statement would not remain effective to perfect a security interest.
5. Compliance with Perfection Requirements of Other Statute. Subsection (b) makes clear that compliance with the perfection requirements (i.e., the requirements for obtaining priority over a lien creditor), but not other requirements, of a statute, regulation, or treaty described in subsection (a) is sufficient for perfection under this Article. Perfection of a security interest under such a statute, regulation, or treaty has all the consequences of perfection under this Article.
The interplay of this section with certain certificate-of-title statutes may create confusion and uncertainty. For example, statutes under which perfection does not occur until a certificate of title is issued will create a gap between the time that the goods are covered by the certificate under Section 9-303 and the time of perfection. If the gap is long enough, it may result in turning some unobjectionable transactions into avoidable preferences under Bankruptcy Code Section 547. (The preference risk arises if more than 10 days (or 20 days, in the case of a purchase-money security interest) passes between the time a security interest attaches (or the debtor receives possession of the collateral, in the case of a purchase-money security interest) and the time it is perfected.) Accordingly, the Legislative Note to this section instructs the legislature to amend the applicable certificate-of-title statute to provide that perfection occurs upon receipt by the appropriate State official of a properly tendered application for a certificate of title on which the security interest is to be indicated.
Under some certificate-of-title statutes, including the Uniform Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title and Anti-Theft Act, perfection generally occurs upon delivery of specified documents to a state official but may, under certain circumstances, relate back to the time of attachment. This relation-back feature can create great difficulties for the application of the rules in Sections 9-303 and 9-311(b). Accordingly, the Legislative Note also recommends to legislatures that they remove any relation-back provisions from certificate-of-title statutes affecting security interests.
6. Compliance with Perfection Requirements of Other Statute as Equivalent to Filing. Under Subsection (b), compliance with the perfection requirements (i.e., the requirements for obtaining priority over a lien creditor) of a statute, regulation, or treaty described in subsection (a) “is equivalent to the filing of a financing statement.”
The quoted phrase appeared in former Section 9-302(3). Its meaning was unclear, and many questions arose concerning the extent to which and manner in which Article 9 rules referring to “filing” were applicable to perfection by compliance with a certificate-of-title statute. This Article takes a variety of approaches for applying Article 9’s filing rules to compliance with other statutes and treaties. First, as discussed above in Comment 5, it leaves the determination of some rules, such as the rule establishing time of perfection ( Section 9-516(a)), to the other statutes themselves. Second, this Article explicitly applies some Article 9 filing rules to perfection under other statutes or treaties. See, e.g., Section 9-505. Third, this Article makes other Article 9 rules applicable to security interests perfected by compliance with another statute through the “equivalent to ... filing” provision in the first sentence of Section 9-311(b). The third approach is reflected for the most part in occasional Comments explaining how particular rules apply when perfection is accomplished under Section 9-311(b). See, e.g., Section 9-310, Comment 4; Section 9-315, Comment 6; Section 9-317, Comment 8. The absence of a Comment indicating that a particular filing provision applies to perfection pursuant to Section 9-311(b) does not mean the provision is inapplicable.
7. Perfection by Possession of Goods Covered by Certificate-of-Title Statute. A secured party who holds a security interest perfected under the law of State A in goods that subsequently are covered by a State B certificate of title may face a predicament.
Ordinarily, the secured party will have four months under State B’s Section 9-316(c) and (d) in which to (re)perfect as against a purchaser of the goods by having its security interest noted on a State B certificate. This procedure is likely to require the cooperation of the debtor and any competing secured party whose security interest has been noted on the certificate. Comment 4(e) to former Section 9-103 observed that “that cooperation is not likely to be forthcoming from an owner who wrongfully procured the issuance of a new certificate not showing the out-of-state security interest, or from a local secured party finding himself in a priority contest with the out-of-state secured party.“ According to that Comment, ‘’[t]he only solution for the out-of-state secured party under present certificate of title statutes seems to be to reperfect by possession, i.e., by repossessing the goods.”
But the “solution” may not have worked: Former Section 9-302(4) provided that a security interest in property subject to a certificate-of-title statute “can be perfected only by compliance therewith.”
Sections 9-316(d) and (e), 9-311(c), and 9-313(b) of this Article resolve the conflict by providing that a security interest that remains perfected solely by virtue of Section 9-316(e) can be (re)perfected by the secured party’s taking possession of the collateral. These sections contemplate only that taking possession of goods covered by a certificate of title will work as a method of perfection. None of these sections creates a right to take possession. Section 9-609 and the agreement of the parties define the secured party’s right to take possession.