Why Do I Need to File a UCC-1?

B&BTake a moment for “Bits & Bytes,” as Attorney Deanne Koll explains why it is important for a lender to properly and timely file a UCC-1.

Disclaimer: This video is designed to be educational and informative, but it is not legal advice. Collection law is constantly evolving and subject to change. Each situation is unique, and each case should be addressed to fit the unique situation.

A UCC-1, sometimes referred to as a financing statement, is a document filed by a creditor to put all other parties on notice that the creditor has a secured interest in certain personal property. The UCC-1 is akin to a real estate mortgage, but for personal property.

With real estate, the way a third party knows that a creditor must be paid before he or she takes the real estate free and clear is by reviewing the real estate records and seeing if there are outstanding mortgages.

The same is true for personal property. The UCC-1 is filed to “perfect” a creditor’s security interest by putting the public on notice of the creditor’s lien. The UCC-1 tells third parties that the creditor has a right to take possession of and sell certain assets for repayment of a specific debt.

Lastly, the filing of a UCC-1 establishes a creditor’s priority. Just as a 1st mortgage holds priority over later recorded mortgages, a UCC-1 filed 1st on certain personal property holds priority over later filed UCC-1s on the same property.

Clearly it is important for a lender to properly and timely file a UCC-1 when a lender takes personal property as collateral for its loan.

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There’s still time for tax planning!

Listen to Tammy Skoglund detail upcoming changes to the tax laws and planning opportunities still available for 2014.

Click here to learn about other presentations from our Breakfast with Bakke seminar series.

2014 Farm Law Update

The 2014 Farm Update, hosted as part of the Breakfast with Bakke Norman seminars, was held on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at Bill’s Distributing in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Bridget Finke, attorney at Bakke Norman, gave a Farm Law Update, including Medical Assistance estate recovery update, farm equipment weight & size restrictions and the new trust law.

Other topics covered included:

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Farm Tax Update

The 2014 Farm Update, hosted as part of the Breakfast with Bakke Norman seminars, was held on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at Bill’s Distributing in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Tammy Skoglund, CPA with Richardson Tax & Accounting and attorney with Bakke Norman, gave a tax law update.

Other topics covered included:

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Affordable Care Act – How Does It Affect Your Farm?

The 2014 Farm Update, hosted as part of the Breakfast with Bakke Norman seminars, was held on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at Bill’s Distributing in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

“Affordable Care Act – How Does It Affect Your Farm?”, was presented by Jill Gorres with JA Counter, giving helpful and practical tips to comply with the new health care laws.

Other topics covered included:

Farm-Speakers

Do We Need a Roll Call Vote on That?

The question of whether a roll call vote is required often arises at municipal board meetings. There is no simple answer, but there are some straightforward guidelines to follow. The first rule of thumb is:

  • If you have to ask, then go ahead and have the roll call vote.

One of the principles of good government and an informed electorate is that citizens are entitled to know how their elected representatives voted, especially on important and controversial matters.

Roll call voting is never prohibited. Mayors, presidents, chairs and other heads of boards and committees may call for a roll call vote if they are unsure or if it is a close call. In addition, under Wisconsin’s open meetings law, any council or board member may require that votes be taken “in such manner that the vote of each member is ascertained and recorded.” Wis. Stat. § 19.88(2). This might be accomplished by a roll call vote, or by a show of hands carefully recorded by the clerk. But, arguably, roll call votes are the best way to go when the vote of each member must be “ascertained and recorded.”

A true roll call vote, where each member is individually polled one at a time, is almost never required by Wisconsin Statutes. However, many municipalities have adopted their own local procedural rules, so the answer may lie in local ordinances rather than state law. If your local rules require a roll call vote on certain matters, then a roll call vote should be taken. For example, the City of Menomonie has an ordinance that requires a roll call for certain spending matters: “A roll call vote shall be taken and recorded on all appropriations.” Menomonie Ordinance 1-6-2(F). Thus, it is critical to consult your local ordinances to know for sure if a roll call vote is required. Municipal boards quickly get into trouble when they don’t follow their own local rules.

It is common for municipal councils and boards to call for a roll call vote on spending matters, and given the guidelines and principles mentioned above, this is certainly a good idea. Cities (not villages or towns) face a special requirement in Wis. Stat. § 62.11(3)(d), which states: “On confirmation and on the adoption of any measure assessing or levying taxes, appropriating or disbursing money, or creating any liability or charge against the city or any fund thereof, the vote shall be by ayes and noes. All aye and nay votes shall be recorded in the journal.” This requirement for cities may be the historical reason why spending matters often call for a roll call vote.

It appears there is only one statute expressly requiring a true “roll call” vote, found in Wis. Stat. § 70.47(8)(g), which requires a board of review to take a roll call vote when making a determination on an objection to a property tax assessment. However, there are numerous requirements for votes to be taken such that the “vote of each member is ascertained and recorded in the minutes.” For example, Wis. Stat. § 19.85(1) requires the vote of each member to be recorded before going into a closed session. A roll call vote will certainly meet this requirement.

The bottom line is: when in doubt, call for a roll call vote. In addition, check local ordinances and procedures and make sure you follow your own rules. If the municipality’s established practice is to roll call vote on spending matters, continue to do so. Finally, it is wise policy to always call for a roll call vote in controversial matters.

This article was researched and written to apply only for cities, villages, and towns and not for counties, school districts, state government, state agencies and other boards and committees.

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Brunch with Bakke – Farm Update 2014

farmThe 2014 Farm Update, hosted as part of the Breakfast with Bakke Norman seminars, was held on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at Bill’s Distributing in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Topics for this year’s “Brunch” with Bakke Norman included:

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Redacting Police Reports

A common question for many police departments is, “What information must be provided under a public (open) record request?” The Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act (FDPPA) prohibits the release of personal information gained from a state’s motor vehicle department, with some exceptions. But interpreting those exceptions has led to a lot of uncertainty and conflicting practices, where some police departments release more or less information than others. Recently, the St. Croix County Circuit Court attempted to provide some clarity to this question. In New Richmond News v. The City of New Richmond, the newspaper requested accident reports from the City’s police department. The City turned over its reports, but redacted personal information about the parties in the report. The paper sued.

The City argued it was merely complying with the FDPPA by redacting any information it obtained from the Wisconsin motor vehicle report. However, the court held that, in Wisconsin, disclosing governmental affairs and the official acts of governmental officers and employees is an “essential function” of government, which is one of the exceptions to the FDPPA. The court stated that because of the value of governmental transparency and accountability in Wisconsin, police departments should be required to disclose their traffic reports upon public request.

The City has appealed the circuit court decision, so for the moment, uncertainty remains. If you receive a request for personal information which you have received from a department of motor vehicles, you should contact your municipal attorney for guidance.

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