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Secretary of State Hargett warns of new scam targeting Tennesseans

Secretary of State Tre Hargett is warning Tennesseans about an official-looking mailer from TN UCC Statement Service that incorrectly implies that businesses or individuals need a copy of the UCC-1 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 Secretary 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.”

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a comprehensive set of laws governing sales and other commercial transactions. A UCC-1 financing statement is 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 for the repayment of a specific debt.

UCC-1 financing statements are common in Tennessee, with the Secretary of State’s Division of Business and Charitable Organizations issuing around 200,000 each year.

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The 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 behalf of the debtor. The mailer implies that the recipient needs a copy of the UCC-1 financing statement. This is rarely the case. 

Businesses and individuals that do want a copy of a UCC-1 financing statement can quickly and easily request one directly from the Secretary of State’s office for just $15 by phone at 615-741-2286, mail or online at https://tnbear.tn.gov/UCC/Ecommerce/UCCInfoReqInstr.aspx.

“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,” said Secretary Hargett. “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.”

Secretary Hargett encourages businesses and individuals who receive suspicious mailers about a UCC-1 financing statement to report it to the Division of Business and Charitable Organizations and the Tennessee Attorney General’s office. Contact the Division of Business and Charitable Organizations by phone at 615-741-2286 or email at TNSOS.CERT@tn.gov and the Attorney General’s office by phone at 615-741-3491 or online, www.tn.gov/content/tn/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer/file-a-complaint.html.

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