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Thompson Coburn drafts UCC legislation in Missouri

September 24, 2013

Garrett Fischer
Garrett Fischer

Thompson Coburn attorneys helped draft a state law that went into effect last month and adopts several changes proposed by the national Uniform Law Commission in its 2010 amendments. These changes, signed by Gov. Jay Nixon in June 2013, were the first major revisions of the secured transaction provisions of Missouri’s Uniform Commercial Code since its enactment in 2000.

Garrett Fischer of Thompson Coburn's Banking and Commercial Finance practice group worked on the law at the request of Nolan Zadra, Assistant General Counsel at U.S. Bancorp and a member of the ABA’s Task Force on Legislative Enactment of the 2010 Revisions to Revised Article 9.

The Uniform Law Commission circulated the proposed 2010 amendments with the goal of the states enacting them by July 1, 2013. But, by the late fall of 2012, no proposed bill had been introduced in the Missouri General Assembly.

At Zadra’s request, Fischer drafted HB 212 and provided it to Keith Thornburg, General Counsel of the Missouri Bankers Association. Thornburg found a sponsor in the Missouri House of Representatives and shepherded the bill through committee, both houses of the Missouri General Assembly and to Governor Nixon, who signed the bill.

As Fischer detailed in a recent article in The Missouri Banker, HB 212’s most significant provision is arguably its elaboration of when a financing statement sufficiently provides the name of an individual debtor.

RSMo. § 400.9-503(a)(4) now provides that if an individual debtor has an unexpired Missouri driver’s license, a financing statement filed in Missouri sufficiently provides the name of the individual debtor only if the financing statement lists the name of the individual as indicated on his or her driver’s license.

If an individual debtor does not have an unexpired driver’s license, the financing statement will be sufficient only if the financing statement provides the individual name of the debtor or the surname and first personal name of the debtor, which the secured party may obtain from other sources (e.g., passport, birth certificate, etc.). These revisions were intended to resolve uncertainties that crop up when a creditor attempts to perfect a security interest held against an individual debtor.

Missouri is now one of 44 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia that have enacted the 2010 amendments.