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What are Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings?

UCC stands for uniform commercial code and is a set of rules to govern commercial transactions. They represent a collateralized debt obligation and are essentially an announcement of a lenders right to certain assets of the borrower.

What is a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing?

UCC stands for uniform commercial code and is a set of rules to govern commercial transactions. They represent a securitized debt obligation between a lender and a borrower. Uniform commercial codes are essentially an announcement of a lenders right to certain assets of the borrower. If a borrower fails to make a payment, the earliest lenders (those first to file) would be first in line to claim certain assets.

What is a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) lien and how does it work?

For example, let’s say there’s a B2C hardware company that has two active UCC filings where it’s listed as the borrower (also known as the debtor). The first filing is dated in January 2017 and represents the manufacturing equipment from a hardware suppler (the collateral, in this case, is equipment). The second filing is dated in December of 2019 and represents more of a traditional loan between a bank and a business. This second filing is a blanket lien, which means the bank has a right to all of the company’s assets. In the event of the B2C hardware company not repaying its loans, the supplier would recoup its equipment before the bank would receive all of the remaining assets.

Why UCC filings matter and what you can learn from them

For businesses across the financial markets, UCC filings are key to making important decisions. Lenders are enabled to identify refinancing opportunities with access to UCC filings, while private equity investors may use the data to find potential acquisition targets. UCC filings can also be an excellent indicator of revenue or cash flow, which comes into play especially for evaluating investment opportunities.

How to find and search for UCC filings

UCC filings are notoriously hard to access because they are managed by state registries, each with their own unique systems, schema and delivery mechanisms. We’re solving this problem by aggregating, standardizing, matching and displaying UCC filings within our platform.

Whether you are sourcing new deals, doing your due diligence on a potential investment or just checking up on a competitor, it’s important to see current debt obligations for any company.

PitchBook has added nearly four million filings across 500,000 companies to our database. We’ve also linked more than 3,000 service providers to creditors through filings.

How to find and use UCC data in PitchBook

PitchBook continues to build out our comprehensive private debt dataset. Now, with the addition of UCC filings, our clients have an even higher competitive advantage.

Filings as the debtor or borrower

1. Navigate to the UCC filings section. On the far right of the table, you will see the number of Secured Parties for any given filing. Click on any filing you’re interested in.

2. Once clicked, a window will pop up with all of the Secured Parties listed with the corresponding filing. The filing you clicked will be highlighted.

3. The Assignee is denoted by the A superscript in the Secured Parties column.

Filings as the lender

4. Navigate to the UCC filing section. This table view shows the debtor as well as the collateral listed in the filing.

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