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1.2.1 Researching UCC Law

There are many helpful resources for interpreting Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) law. The official comments following each UCC section are a useful indicator of the drafters’ intent. Courts often rely on them, even in jurisdictions that did not specifically adopt them.2 The official comments for UCC sections relevant to repossession law are included in Appendix A, infra. Reports and comments by the UCC’s Permanent Editorial Board are also of some use.3

Another good UCC research tool is the Uniform Commercial Code Reporting Service (West Group), cited in this treatise as “U.C.C. Rep. Serv.” The service comprehensively reprints state and federal court decisions interpreting the UCC, including some decisions not reported elsewhere. A multi-volume index, arranged roughly by Code section, digests the cases. A table of cases allows practitioners to go from state citations to the U.C.C. Reporting Service citations. A volume analyzing state-by-state variations identifies non-uniform provisions and decisions in each state. Non-uniform state provisions can also be identified by reviewing that UCC section on Westlaw. The non-uniform provisions most relevant to consumer cases are identified in Appendix B, infra. Other services that digest cases organized into specific UCC Article 9 topics include Secured Transaction Guide (Commerce Clearing House) and Uniform State Laws Annotated (West Group).

The 2001 revision of Article 9 made extensive changes to the article, and all states have adopted the revised version. A number of law review articles analyzing revised Article 9 were published soon after it was released. Articles that concentrate on consumer default and repossession issues include Marion W. Benfield, Jr., Consumer Provisions in Revised Article 9, 74 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1255 (1999); Jean Braucher, Deadlock: Consumer Transactions Under Revised Article 9, 73 Am. Bankr. L.J. 83 (1999); Jean Wegman Burns, New Article 9 of the UCC: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev. 29; Donald J. Rapson, Default and Enforcement of Security Interests Under Revised Article 9, 74 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 893 (1999); Edwin E. Smith, Overview of Revised Article 9, 73 Am. Bankr. L.J. 1 (1999); and Timothy R. Zinnecker, The Default Provisions of Revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, 54 Bus. Law. 1113 (1999) (Part I), 54 Bus. Law. 1737 (1999) (Part II) (also published as a stand-alone volume by the American Bar Association (1999)).

A number of treatises analyze UCC Article 9. Volume 4 of White and Summers: 4 James J. White, Robert S. Summers, and Robert A. Hillman, Uniform Commercial Code (6th ed. 2015) is widely cited. Barkley Clark and Barbara Clark, The Law of Secured Transactions (3d ed. 2011 looseleaf with updates) is a good secondary source. Grant Gilmore, Security Interests in Personal Property (1965) is another important treatise. Gilmore was the primary draftsman of Article 9, and thus speaks authoritatively of the drafters’ intent and preexisting common law and statutes. Other treatises include: Lary Lawrence, Lawrence’s Anderson on the Uniform Commercial Code (3d ed. 1981 with revised volumes and supplements); Thomas H. Quinn, Quinn’s Uniform Commercial Code Commentary and Law Digest (2d ed. revised 2011); Eldon H. Reiley, Guidebook to Security Interests in Personal Property (3d ed. 1999 looseleaf with updates); and John R. Fonseca and Patricia F. Fonseca, The Law of Modern Commercial Practices (2d ed. 2018). These treatises are all updated with annual or biannual supplements.

Footnotes

  • 2 {2} See, e.g., In re Scott, 427 B.R. 123 (S.D. Ind. 2010). See generally National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Warranty Law § 1.3.2 (6th ed. 2021), updated at www.nclc.org/library.

  • 3 {3} In particular, the U.C.C. Permanent Editorial Board’s Final Report on the 1972 Amendments and Reasons for 1972 Change are helpful in explaining the 1972 amendments to Article 9. This report also offers some help in interpreting the 1962 version. These materials are found in American Law Institute & Uniform Law Commission (formerly the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws), Uniform Commercial Code.