Monday, March 27, 2006

Filing A UCC For A Maryland Company: Where To File?

When a lender (also termed a creditor) loans money to a borrower (also termed a debtor) and the borrower secures the loan with collateral (eg. a car), the transaction is said to be a "secured transaction" because if the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender is entitled to take control of the asset. To notify other creditors that this particular asset has a lien on it, the creditor files a UCC financing statement.

The question is, though, where exactly does one file this statement? Generally, one files in the location of the debtor. So, if the debtor lives in Maryland, one files in Maryland. But what if the debtor is an organization which has offices both in and outside of Maryland? The answer seems to depend on whether the or not the organization is a considered a "registered organization" as defined in 9-102(a)(71). A "registered organization" is one which files a public record with the state and includes businesses such as corporations, LLPs, LLCs, but NOT general partnerships. For a debtor which qualifies as a "registered organization," the proper filing location is the state in which is is incorporated (9-307(e)). In Maryland, this would mean filing with the SDAT. If the organization is not defined as a "registered organization" then the UCC filing location is wherever the entity has its "chief executive office" (9-307(b)(3)).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

MD Trial Court Info Hits the World Wide Web

For an update to this posting, see the following post.

(The following is another guest posting from Andy Zimmerman, Director of Library Services at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, LLC).

For the first time, the Maryland Judiciary has posted information about Maryland Circuit and District Court cases on the Web. The new Maryland Judiciary Case Search is free, easy to use and updated daily. This will be a useful tool for looking up case numbers online and checking on whether a person has been sued in Maryland.

To be sure, the new Case Search provides only basic case information such as party names, case numbers, case types, filing dates and trial dates. The Case Search also does not cover the Circuit Courts for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. For more comprehensive docket information, and for case information from the two missing Circuit Courts, you still have to use the JIS System, Westlaw or Courtlink, discussed in an earlier posting entitled “State Court Docket Information.” The Judiciary plans to fill in these gaps in the future and, eventually, to use the Judiciary Case Search system to replace the JIS System entirely.