Terminating A Wrongfully Filed UCC Financing Statement

The Florida Uniform Commercial Code §679.513 F.S. establishes the circumstances under which a termination statement (UCC-3) must be filed, and in connection with §679.509 F.S. provides a self-help remedy when secured parties fail to properly terminate a financing statement (UCC-1) or when a statement is wrongfully recorded. 

Section §679.513 requires that a termination statement be filed by the secured party when an obligation secured by collateral ceases to exist or the obligation or duty to give value ends.  In the event a secured party fails to file the termination statement, or the debtor did not authorize the filing of the financing statement to begin with, the statute gives the person whose property is wrongfully encumbered an avenue to have the financing statement terminated with or without the cooperation of the party who filed it.

The debtor must send a signed letter to the secured party demanding the filing of a termination of the financing statement within twenty (20) days of the filer’s receipt of the demand.  The demand is to be sent to the address listed for the secured party on the financing statement.  If sent to the address on the financing statement the letter will be presumed to have been delivered.  If the secured party fails to file the termination within the twenty (20) day period, the debtor is authorized to file a termination statement herself pursuant to §679.509(3).  Additionally, a person who files an unauthorized financing statement is liable under §679.625 for actual and statutory damages.

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