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Risk Management Blog

UCC & Corporate Due Diligence

Resource Guide for Legal and Financial Professionals

Broad Based Name Searching: What is it? Why is it Important?

UCC, Due Diligence

There are many options available for those looking to perform a UCC and lien search. There are certified searches that come directly from the filing office, state direct database searches that are available on a state’s website, and proprietary search systems that private service companies build and maintain. A while back, First Corporate Solutions published a blog series on evaluating state search options where we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of each of these search sources.

In the post titled, “Evaluating State UCC Search Options Series # 5: Benefits of a Proprietary Database Search” we briefly note that one of the primary benefits of using a private search system is their use of broad based search logic. Herein we will discuss broad based search logic in more detail.

What is broad based name searching?
Search systems that use broad based name searching offer flexible search logic, as opposed to the strict, exact name search logic used to generate a certified search at the filing office. Broad based name searching refers to features such as wildcard characters and truncated search strings. These features are designed to produce a more inclusive search result.

Why is broad based name searching important?
One reason broad based name searching is so important is that it helps searchers locate filings under similar names. Locating filings under similar names and identifying name variations is critical, especially when it comes to tax liens. When tax liens are mixed in with UCC records at the filing office, they can be difficult to locate because tax liens are not held to the same strict debtor naming standards as UCC Financing Statements. A tax lien is often considered active and enforceable even if it is not filed under the taxpayer’s exact legal name as defined for voluntary lien holders in the Uniform Commercial Code. An exact name search cannot reveal tax liens filed under a name variation; only a broad based search solution can locate a tax lien under a name variation.

Another great benefit of using search systems that employ broad based search logic is that they help reduce search costs by allowing searchers to combine associated names of interest onto a single search report rather than paying separately for each. For example, imagine a search for a prospect named Robert McDonald. Using a search system’s wildcard feature, a searcher can draw results for McDonald, Mc Donald, MacDonald and Mac Donald as well as Robert, Rob, Bob, Bobby, Robbie and more all onto a single search report!

If you decide to use an online search system, make sure to take advantage of its broad based name searching capabilities.