NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennesseans received an alert from Secretary of State Tre Hargett on Wednesday about an official-looking mailer from TN UCC Statement Service that falsely suggests businesses or individuals need a copy of a certain financing statement filed against them.
“Our Division of Business and Charitable Organizations and I were recently made aware of a new misleading mailer trying to take advantage of Tennesseans,” said Hargett. “The look and language used on this mailer tries to trick borrowers into paying an excessive amount for a document they will most likely never need.”
According to a statement released on Wednesday, Sept. 21 by Hargett’s office, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a comprehensive set of laws governing sales and other commercial transactions.
Officials described a UCC-1 financing statement as a legal form that a creditor files to give notice that it has the right to take possession of and sell certain assets belonging to the debtor in order to repay a specific debt.
UCC-1 financing statements are reportedly common in Tennessee, with approximately 200,000 issued by the Secretary of State’s Division of Business and Charitable Organizations each year.
Wednesday’s news release states the alleged scam mailer — Tennessee UCC Statement Request Form — tries to get Tennesseans to pay $107 for the TN UCC Statement Service to request a copy of the UCC-1 financing statement on the debtor’s behalf.
Even though the mailer implies that the recipient needs a copy of the UCC-1 financing statement, officials said this is rarely the case.
If you want a copy of a UCC-1 financing statement, any business or person can request one directly from the Secretary of State’s office for just $15 via phone at 615-741-2286, mail, or online.
“I encourage Tennesseans to be wary of any mailings they get from third-party companies that say they will work with my office on your behalf,” Hargett said. “These organizations are not affiliated with or authorized by my office in any way. They are charging excessive amounts for something you likely will never need and, if you do, can be easily obtained through our office.”
Businesses and individuals who receive suspicious mailers about a UCC-1 financing statement are encouraged to report it to the Division of Business and Charitable Organizations by calling 615-741-2286 or emailing TNSOS.CERT@tn.gov, as well as the Tennessee Attorney General’s office by calling 615-741-3491 or following this link.