UCC filings have been a hot topic recently. Since these filings are public information, third party marketers track them knowing that a new filing indicates the business has acquired new equipment and/or took on new debt. To them, this is a good indicator the customer may be willing to take on additional debt. They cross-reference the filing with other databases to piece together contact information. Then they begin aggressively soliciting contacts.
Here's what you need to know...
What is a UCC Financing Statement?
It's a little bit more detailed than this...but here's our short answer:
UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) is a set of rules or laws intended to bring conformity to the way business contracts are applied. A UCC Financing Statement (UCC-1) is the actual form filed by a creditor or lender (like us) to give notice of debt secured by some collateral of a debtor (you).
The UCC-1 doesn't create a lien against the entire business, just the collateral listed and covered in the agreement (i.e., the equipment you just financed). In many ways it's like a mortgage deed or the title for a motor vehicle with a lienholder listed.
What info is included on a UCC Financing Statement?
Despite slight variations state-to-state, most UCC-1 statements contain 3 main areas of information:
// Debtor Information //
Your name and physical address.
// Creditor Information //
Our name and address. (Referred to in the statement as "Secured Party".)
// Collateral Description //
A list of the asset(s) being pledged as collateral.
Wait, so if my phone # and email address aren't listed on the UCC-1, how do marketers referencing the filing find me? Did Geneva sell my information?
No. Geneva values and respects your privacy and takes the security of your information very seriously. We have not and will not ever sell customer data.
Like mortgage deeds or vehicle titles, the UCC-1 is public information. Therefore, the increase in solicitations you receive after financing equipment is similar to the increase in auto insurance solicitations after purchasing a vehicle or from home goods retailers or re-fi lenders after taking out a mortgage.
Due to advancements in AI and machine learning, soliciting companies are able to match your contact information (from other websites or forms) to recent UCC filings with relatively minimal costs.
Can I prevent or stop these solicitations?
You can attempt to reduce solicitations by registering your phone number(s) on the National Do Not Call Registry. However, many of the protections for consumers don't apply to businesses. In addition, the type of companies who engage in this "predatory" marketing tend to skirt the rules.
Be cautious of any solicitation referencing the UCC filing. Specifically those offering to provide a copy of the filing for a fee. In most states you can get a copy of the UCC filing directly from the Secretary of State. In the case of Geneva's filings, we can provide you with a copy (for free) upon request. Don't ever pay for it!
Heads up: If you finance with us, Secured Party may be reflected as "C T Corporations System, as representative" instead of "Geneva Capital".)
We hope this article helps shed some light on UCC filing and some of the unfortunate aftereffects you might run into. If you have additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.