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How to avoid a “seriously misleading” filing

Man working at a desk with a laptop, papers and a calculator

As a business owner, you may have some experience poking around the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. You might have been searching for the relevant forms on corporate status, financing statements, or the numerous other filings. Keeping up with the nuances of these forms can be frustrating because you would rather spend your time perfecting your product or service.

A commonly overlooked wrinkle to filing security interests in Minnesota was passed by the legislature back in 2011. The purpose of the new language was to create more certainty when trying to ascertain who holds a security interest in collateral when the debtor is an individual.

The language for individuals to be named on financing statements may be summarized as follows:

A financing statement sufficiently provides the name of the debtor if the debtor is an individual to whom this state has issued a driver’s license or state identification card that has not expired, only if the financing statement provides the name of the individual, which is indicated on the driver’s license or state identification card.

 If this state has issued to an individual more than one driver’s license or state identification card of a kind described in subsection the one that was issued most recently is the one to which subsection refers.

Simply put, the rule means you must be absolutely certain you have the debtor’s correct name as it appears on their most recent (unexpired) driver’s license to be sure you are properly filed. Although making a mistake in a filing can be amended, if it is not caught in time serious consequences may result. Be sure your business has competent representation when dealing with the intricacies of all the filings at the Secretary of State. Feel free to contact us with any questions your business may have.