Standard Search Logic Under Article 9 and the Florida Debacle

16 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2012 Last revised: 15 Jun 2012

Date Written: December 22, 2011


This essay addresses the concept of “standard search logic,” added to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code in the 1998 revision and pivotal to determining the effectiveness of a financing statement filed to perfect a security interest. The central filing office of at least one state, Florida, cannot rationally be said to employ a “standard search logic” within the meaning of Article 9, though courts have yet to recognize that fact. It is doubtful that many county-level filing offices employ a “standard search logic.” Under post-1998 Article 9, the consequence of a filing office’s failure to employ a “standard search logic” is that a financing statement filed in that office that deviates from an exact character-by-character match of the debtor’s true name, however minuscule the deviation, is ineffective. Users of the filing office must either reconcile themselves to that exacting rule, or take action to prevent its application.

Keywords: Article 9, secured transaction, financing statement, search logic

Suggested Citation

Kettering, Kenneth C., Standard Search Logic Under Article 9 and the Florida Debacle (December 22, 2011). University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 66, pp. 907-922, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Kenneth C. Kettering (Contact Author)

Visiting Professor at Large ( email )

14 Midhurst Road
Short Hills, NJ 07078
United States

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