Georgia and Louisiana are two peas in a pod in the world of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. These two southern states are the exception to the basic principle that all personal property UCCs are filed at the central level. We’ve previously explored how Georgia is unique. Now, let’s break down what makes Louisiana “not so easy”.
Filings Made at Local Level and Transmitted to State Database
Like Georgia, Louisiana is distinct because all UCC filings are filed locally. Uniform Commercial Code filings are NOT filed with the Secretary of State. Filers must submit their UCCs to the Clerk of Court in any one of the 64 parishes. No matter the parish, all personal property UCC1s are then transmitted to a central database managed by the Secretary of State. This ultimately allows the liens to be effective statewide.
UCC1 filers have the freedom to select whatever parish is easiest for them; however, unlike Georgia, Louisiana law does indicate where related UCC3 amendments should be filed. Once a UCC1 is filed in a particular parish, all subsequent UCC3s must be filed in that same parish. The parish of a filing can be determined by the two digits preceding the file number on the UCC. Some examples are East Baton Rouge Parish filings begin with 17 and Orleans Parish filings start with 36.
UCC filing evidence in Louisiana is unique compared to other states as well. Filers will receive the standard stamped filing acknowledgment copy from the parishes while a Confirmation of Filing letter will follow once the lien is reported to the Secretary of State’s statewide database. It is imperative to carefully check the information found on these Confirmation of Filing letters for accuracy. They display how the information was indexed by the Parish Clerk of Court. If discrepancies are found, contact the parish immediately to have corrections made in order to maintain the accuracy of the filing on the public record.
Transmitting Utility Filings: Effective Until Terminated
Transmitting utility filings in Georgia are effective for five years while Louisiana transmitting utility filings remain on the public record until a UCC3 termination is filed.
No lapse date is issued at the time of filing for transmitting utility UCCs in Louisiana. Filers in Louisiana will also pay a hefty fee when filing on a transmitting utility debtor. An additional $205 is assessed, making it one of the highest filing fees in the country. If you haven’t paid that much for your transmitting utility filing in Louisiana, be sure to contact the parish immediately because it’s likely it received the standard 5-year statutory period and UCC3 continuations every five years will be necessary in order to keep the lien active on the index.
Search UCCs at Any Parish
Lastly, searching UCCs in Louisiana can be a bit confusing. A search request on a debtor can be accomplished by contacting any of the 64 parish filing offices. Each office has access to the statewide UCC database. The Secretary of State’s office does not provide searches much like it doesn’t serve as a filing office for the liens.
Quick Recap of UCC Filing and Searching in Louisiana
- Personal property liens are filed at the parish level in the State of Louisiana.
- Filers can choose their parish filing office for UCC1s but then must file in that same parish for subsequent UCC3 amendments.
- Transmitting utility filings in Louisiana are pricey but the state does maintain them in the public record until terminated if the transmitting utility box is marked.
- All UCCs filed in Louisiana parishes are reported to the statewide database maintained by the Secretary of State. UCC filings submitted directly to the Secretary of State will be rejected.
- UCC searches can be completed at any parish since all have access to the statewide database. Searches cannot be performed at the Secretary of State’s office.
As you can see, compared to the other 48 states and D.C., Louisiana and Georgia have a different approach. While in many ways, these two states are like peas in a pod when it comes to UCC filing and searching, like all things UCC, there are subtle differences that are important to keep in mind.
This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.