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Secured Transactions



legal status that happens when the creditor gives something of value for the security interest, the debtor has the right to control the collateral, and the debtor either signs the security agreement or hands over the collateral

buyer in ordinary course of business (BIOC)

person who buys goods, without knowing that the sale violates the rights of another, from a seller who is in the business of selling such goods


property used to secure a loan with the understanding that its owner will forfeit it in the event of default of the loan

intangible property

personal property that does not have a physical form but is usually represented by a piece of writing; for example, patents and copyrights

judicial lien

right granted by a court for a creditor to keep another person's property until that other person pays a debt


security interest granted for an asset or property on behalf of a creditor by a debtor

lien creditor

unsecured creditor who won a judgment against the debtor and is allowed to keep specific property of the debtor until a debt is paid


when a creditor has a claim against a debtor but the property that the debtor is using as collateral is worth more than the creditor's claim


security interest that is typically protected from the claims of others; happens by filing a financing statement in the required public office, by actually possessing the collateral, by controlling the collateral, or through having a purchase-money security interest

personal property

all property, either tangible or intangible, that can be owned and moved, excluding real property, land, or buildings

purchase-money security interest (PMSI)

interest created when a debtor receives credit from the creditor to buy goods and those goods serve as collateral to protect the creditor's interest. For example, when a manufacturer seeks a loan from a bank to buy new machines, those machines are collateral.

real property

land and everything attached to it that cannot be easily moved, such as buildings, crops, and mineral rights; not the same as personal property

secured creditor

one who has a specific right to property that the debtor designated as collateral in accordance with a security agreement

secured transaction

transaction in which a debt is guaranteed by a debtor's personal property, usually through a security agreement

security agreement

document in which a borrower allows a lender to take and sell some of the borrower's property if the borrower stops making payments. This agreement means that the lender faces less risk.

tangible property

personal belongings that can be touched and moved. Jewelry, cars, and cash are tangible property, but land and bank accounts are not.


when a creditor has a claim against a debtor but the property that the debtor is using as collateral is worth less than the creditor's claim

Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)

uniform set of laws, adopted by all states and the District of Columbia, that govern commercial transactions within the United States. Different jurisdictions enforce the UCC differently.

unsecured creditor

one who is owed money but who have no claim against specific property of the debtor

writ of attachment

court order that tells a sheriff to seize specific property from a debtor because a legal action is in progress against that debtor. Rather than turning the property over to the creditor, the court holds the property in a trust or escrow until there is resolution between the creditor and debtor.

writ of execution

court order that tells a sheriff to seize specific property from a debtor in order for that property to be sold off to satisfy a judgment against the debtor.

writ of garnishment

court order that tells a third party to seize specific property (generally wages and tax refunds) from a debtor to deliver to a creditor because a debt is overdue; can happen during or after a lawsuit