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Wyoming's Non-Uniform 10-Year UCC Effective Life

By: Despina Shields, COGENCY GLOBAL on Thu, Dec 23, 2021

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When the 2010 Article 9 Amendments became effective in most states, Wyoming was and still is the only state with a significant non-uniform provision to Section 9-515. As a result, most initial financing statements in Wyoming filed on or after July 1, 2013, have a ten-year life span instead of the uniform five-year statutory period.[1] In addition, continuations filed in Wyoming on or after July 1, 2013, extend the life of a filing for ten years from the lapse date rather than the conventional five years.

Impact of Wyoming’s Ten-Year Statutory Period on Filers and Searchers

The benefit to secured parties of an extended effective life of Wyoming financing statements is the reduced costs, in terms of labor and filing fees, of filing continuations. In addition, the longer effective period reduces the risk that a secured party will unintentionally fail to file a timely continuation and lose perfection. But these benefits come with costs.

While fewer continuation filings may be necessary with a longer statutory effective period, it is likely that secured parties will need to file more terminations than they have had to file in the past since debtors will not want to wait many years for filings to lapse.

Secured parties are also likely to see an increase in due diligence costs as search results will eventually contain eleven years’ worth of filings instead of the typical six years.[2] With filings remaining in the public record so long, searchers will eventually need to review twice as many results as they do with other states. In other words, secured lenders and their counsel will be spending more time and money examining Wyoming search results than before.

Another disadvantage of Wyoming’s non-uniform ten-year effective period is that it makes it more challenging for nationwide filers to create and maintain their own tickler system for tracking filings.


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Drafters of Article 9 Revisions Encouraged Uniformity

The drafters of the 1998 and 2010 Article 9 revisions went to great lengths to improve the statute and they strongly encouraged uniformity across all states wherever possible. The five-year statutory period for financing statements appears to have served filers, searchers, debtors and filing offices well. While Wyoming’s departure from uniformity was and still is significant, have the benefits of the ten-year effective period outweighed the disadvantages?

We are now eight years in since the Article 9 Amendments were enacted in Wyoming when the lifespan of a UCC went from five to ten years after filing. It will be another two years before those first UCC filings made in 2013 reach the ten-year threshold where the filings may lapse or may be continued for another ten years with a UCC3 continuation once the six-month window becomes available.

To remain current on non-uniform provisions and other UCC Article 9 news, visit the UCC Article 9 Filing and Searching Info page of COGENCY GLOBAL INC.'s website.


[1] Note that Wyoming, along with most other states, will continue to provide an indefinite life (until terminated) for filings that indicate the debtor is a transmitting utility and a 30-year life for financing statements filed in connection with public finance or manufactured home transactions.

[2] Article 9 requires filing offices to keep filings on record one year past the lapse date, even if terminated. See § 9-519(g).


This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.

Topics: Article 9 Filing, Searching and Due Diligence