Lien Information

Question: “How can I file a lien?”
Answer: Visit our online portal at biz.sosmt.gov. You’ll need to log in with your ePass account.

Question: “How do I file a paper form, and where do I mail my payment?”
Answer: We no longer accept paper forms or checks, so you must file the online form(s) and pay with credit/debit card or e-check. Visit our online portal at biz.sosmt.gov. You’ll need to log in to your ePass account or create one to access the online portal.

Question: “What if I don’t have an ePass account?”
Answer: Anyone can create an ePass account, which is your user profile for various Montana state agencies. Click the “Login with ePass Montana” option, and you’ll see where you can create an account.

Question: “It says my ePass account is expired.”
Answer: Contact the support team at Montana Interactive, (406) 449-3468. They can reactivate your ePass. You can also simply create a new one.

Question: “Where do I find the forms to file?”
Answer: They are available under the “Forms” menu on the left, or by clicking “File a Lien” on the home screen.

Question: “I keep double-clicking on the lien filing I’m trying to do, but it doesn’t go anywhere.”
Answer: You need to single-click on the lien form, then click “File Online.”

Question: “The address I put on my form keeps changing. Why is that?”
Answer: Our new system uses address verification, so that any addresses entered match what the post office will accept.

Question: “I think I’ve completed the page that I’m on, but the system still shows an error.”
Answer: Check through the page for fields with red asterisks next to the headings. They are required, and you won’t be able to complete your filing without entering the information.

Question: “I’m working on an EFS filing, but don’t have my debtor’s social security number. Can I file without it?”
Answer: Any field that you see with a red asterisk is required, so no, you would not be able to file this lien.

Question: “My collateral information is very lengthy and detailed. Should I enter this into the collateral field?”
Answer: Instead of retyping all the information, simply enter “See Attached” into the collateral field and upload your document(s.)

Question: “My debtor’s signature is on the filing with our office. How do I indicate this on my electronic lien filing?”
Answer: If you are in an EFS filing, click the box that states “A signed agreement exists granting a lien on the farm product(s).” UCC amendment forms that require debtor signatures have a box that you must check on the “Authorization” page.

Question: “I don’t see where I can ‘File Online.’ Why can’t I submit my lien filing?”
Answer: Check the menu on the left in your filing. Look for any red Xs. This indicates an error in the form. You can go back to that section to make a correction by clicking on it.

Question: “I’ve put in my payment information and clicked ‘checkout.’ Why isn’t my payment going through?
Answer: Make sure you have selected the circle to the left of your preferred payment method.

Question: “The payment method I have on my checkout window is no longer valid. How do I enter a new payment method?
Answer: If your credit/debit card or bank account on the checkout window is no longer valid, just click the trash can icon to the right of the payment method. Then click “Add New Payment Method” and enter your new payment information.

Question: “I don’t see my work queue/the application I saved.”
Answer: Check the upper right corner of your screen to make sure you are logged in. If you have more than one ePass account, you may have saved the filing under another username.

Question: “There’s nothing in My Work Queue.”
Answer: If you have filed or saved any application, it will appear in your work queue for 90 days. Please make sure you are on the appropriate section heading (Liens or Copy Request) to see your filings.

Question: “I clicked the button to download my receipt/document and nothing happens.”
Answer: The pdf to download appears as a file name located in lower portion of the screen. Right click on that pdf file and open it or save it to your computer.

Question: “How do I review the filing I’ve submitted?”
Answer: Go to My Work Queue, and you’ll see the filing name. Click on it and select the form from the right-side window that appears.

Question: “I submitted a lien filing several days ago but haven’t heard back. How do I know if it’s been filed or not?”
Answer: Log back into your online portal and check your Work Queue. You should find the filing there, along with either an acknowledgement letter (if it’s been accepted) or a rejection letter.

Question: “I submitted a lien filing but never received a response email. What happened to my filing?”
Answer: Please make sure the Secretary of State’s office is marked as a safe email in your inbox. Check your junk/spam box for any responses that may have landed there. You can also log back into the portal and go to your Work Queue to find the filing.

Question: “I submit so many lien filings. How do I know which ones have been approved and which have not?”
Answer: Your approval or rejection email should indicate the file number that corresponds to the lien. You can also go to your Work Queue and easily see those that have been approved or rejected.

Question: “My lien filing has been rejected. What do I do?”
Answer: If your lien filing has been rejected, you will need to submit a new application. Go to the Forms page to get started.

Question: “We used to be able to correct our documents and resubmit them. Can we still do that?”
Answer: With our new lien filing system, the forms are designed so that many of the common errors can no longer happen. Because of this, we do not have the reprocessing option; instead, you must submit a new filing.

Question: “Why are only the most recent records showing in My Work Queue?”
Answer: The receipts, filing copies, and acknowledgement/rejection letters are only available in your work queue for 90 days.

Question: “Why can’t I see all of my records in the My Records section?”
Answer: The My Records section is limited to only 500 records.

Question: “I’m looking to do a basic lien search. Where is the search function?”
Answer: Lien searches are conducted via the UCC11 Copy Request form. You can find this under “Forms” in the left menu or under Copy/Search Requests on the home screen. There are a number of options to customize this search and/or request copies.

Question: “I want to search for EFS liens, but I only see the UCC11 search function.”
Answer: The UCC11 Copy Request form searches for all types of liens (UCC, EFS, Title 71, IRS, and Child Support.)

Question: “Where can I set up my monthly lien (or Farm Bill Master List) subscription?
Answer: Your subscription services are established on the Data Requests & Subscriptions page. Click on “New Data Request” and choose the subscription type to get started.

Question: “We used to have a master account, then I could add individual users to our subscription. How do I do that in this new system?”
Answer: With the new site, subscriptions are tied only to the account that establishes the subscription. This means that multiple people will need to have access to the username and password for your organization’s subscription. You may want to establish a new ePass specifically for this purpose.

Question: “I need to enter additional criteria to my farm bill subscription service. How do I do that?”
Answer: Go to “Data Requests & Subscriptions” and click on the gears icon next to your established subscription. You can then edit your subscription services.

Question: “The payment I have for my subscription service is no longer active. How do I change it?”
Answer: When you attempt to search for a file or access your farm bill subscription, you will automatically be prompted to enter new payment information before you can proceed.

Question: “Why do some of my subscriptions show up green/yellow/red?”
Answer: Green subscriptions are those that are active. Farm bill master list subscriptions that have been paused show as yellow. Cancelled subscriptions are red.

Question: “What is a ‘paused’ subscription?”
Answer: Subscriptions to the Farm Bill Master List may be paused for those months that you are not accessing the list. It allows you to keep your active subscription criteria, but you don’t have to pay the monthly fee. You are not able to conduct any searches while your subscription is paused. Simply “unpause” to restart your subscription service (monthly charges will automatically resume.)

LIENS

Liens currently filed with the Secretary of State’s Office are:

  • UCC Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for commercial purposes.
  • Agricultural Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for farming or ranching purposes.
  • Effective Financing Statement Lien, a lien against specific crops, livestock, and unmanufactured products.  These liens appear on the Farm Bill Master List distributed to registered buyers.
  • Transmitting Utility Lien, a lien related to transmitting electric or electronic communications; operating a railroad, subway, street railway or trolley bus; transmitting goods by pipeline or sewer; and transmitting or producing electricity, steam, gas, or water.
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien, a lien created and filed by the IRS when taxes are assessed against a taxpayer on all his/her property and rights to property.
  • Notice of Child Support Lien, a lien created and filed by DPHHS Child Support Division against real or personal property that is due and/or owed in connection with child support.
  • Title 71, MCA, Lien, a lien against crops for services performed in relation to that crop, such as spraying or dusting.
  • Consumer Goods Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for personal, family, or household purposes.
  • Public Finance Transaction Lien, a lien against transactions in which long-term debt securities are issued to and/or for the benefit of a state or governmental unit of the state.
  • Manufactured Home Transaction Lien, a lien that creates purchase-money security interests in manufactured homes.

Search Criteria

A UCC lien is a financial document stating that a lender (secured party) has a claim in certain property belonging to someone else (debtor). By filing a UCC lien, a secured party establishes his or her priority for payment over subsequent secured parties if the debtor defaults on the loan. A lien filed with the Secretary of State provides notice to interested parties of the existence of a security interest against specific collateral.

Debtor Name

It is important to reflect the true and correct name of the debtor when filing a lien notice with the Secretary of State. Your lien notice will be rejected if the debtor name does not conform to 30-9A-516, MCA. Listed below are helpful tips to consider when reflecting a debtor name.

  • If the debtor is an individual, indicate the name noted on their current driver’s license or state identification card.
  • If the individual has only one financing name, such as “Cher,” list the name in the space provided for the (surname) last name.
  • Trade names adopted by individuals and organizations are not correct debtor names.
  • Never combine multiple debtor names on one form (for example, Smith, Jack and Jill, or Jack Smith DBA/Jack’s U Serve).
  • Identify suffixes to distinguish filings by lineage (for example, Jr. or Sr.)
  • If the debtor is an organization, check the charter documents in the organization’s state of jurisdiction. For organizations registered in Montana you may verify their name through this link Business Entity Search.
  • Double-check the spelling of the debtor name.
  • Identify the debtor as an individual or an organization by completing the correct fields on the form.

Filing Location

  • If the debtor is a “registered” organization, the UCC is filed in the state of organization/registration.
  • If the debtor is an individual, the UCC is filed in the state of legal residence.

Filing Time

44.6.202    EFFECTIVE DATE AND TIME
(1) Any lien notice or amendment filed online through the Secretary of State’s electronic filing system will receive the effective date and time the same as it was successfully recorded in the UCC database.

Debtor and Secured Party Signatures

  • UCC Lien: The secured party of record must authorize the filing.
  • EFS (Effective Financing Statement) Lien: The debtor must sign, authorize or authenticate the filing and the document must be filed by the secured party under the Federal Act.  If authorization or authentication occurs, the debtor is not required to sign the EFS notice filed with the Secretary of State’s office. An EFS filed electronically through the Secretary of State’s online filing site does not require the debtor’s signature.
  • Title 71, MCA, Lien: The secured party of record must sign.

Amendments

When filing an amendment with the Secretary of State’s office you must provide the original (initial) filing number and identify the type of amendment you are filing by checking the appropriate box and reflecting any additional information required on the form. Only one amendment type per form is permitted. The Secretary of State’s office no longer requires that a current debtor and secured party name appear on each amendment form to assist with identifying the filing. It is the responsibility of the filer to ensure they have correctly displayed the original (initial) filing number on each amendment.

UCC Search

The online UCC Search allows users to search debtor names, view filing chains, and download debtor search certificates and images of lien documents. There are two options available through the online service. Option 1: The “Subscription” service allows users, for a flat monthly fee, to download unlimited debtor search certificates. There is an additional fee for downloading images of lien documents. Option 2: The “Non-Subscription” service allows users to download debtor search certificates, at a cost per certificate, plus an additional cost when downloading images. Information regarding the Secretary of State’s search logic is available online and in the following Administrative Rule: 44.6.201. UCC Search »

Redaction of Tax ID Number

To protect personal information, the Secretary of State’s office will redact the Tax Identification Number on all lien images available to the public. A non-redacted version of the image will be retained in our files.

LIENS

Liens currently filed with the Secretary of State’s Office are:

  • UCC Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for commercial purposes.
  • Agricultural Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for farming or ranching purposes.
  • Effective Financing Statement Lien, a lien against specific crops, livestock, and unmanufactured products.  These liens appear on the Farm Bill Master List distributed to registered buyers.
  • Transmitting Utility Lien, a lien related to transmitting electric or electronic communications; operating a railroad, subway, street railway or trolley bus; transmitting goods by pipeline or sewer; and transmitting or producing electricity, steam, gas, or water.
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien, a lien created and filed by the IRS when taxes are assessed against a taxpayer on all his/her property and rights to property.
  • Notice of Child Support Lien, a lien created and filed by DPHHS Child Support Division against real or personal property that is due and/or owed in connection with child support.
  • Title 71, MCA, Lien, a lien against crops for services performed in relation to that crop, such as spraying or dusting.
  • Consumer Goods Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for personal, family, or household purposes.
  • Public Finance Transaction Lien, a lien against transactions in which long-term debt securities are issued to and/or for the benefit of a state or governmental unit of the state.
  • Manufactured Home Transaction Lien, a lien that creates purchase-money security interests in manufactured homes.

The Federal Food Security Act provides buyers of farm products, commission merchants, and selling agents the opportunity to register with the Secretary of State’s Office for a listing of security interests in specific farm products.  A “farm product” is an agricultural commodity such as wheat, corn, soybeans, or a species of livestock such as cattle, hogs, sheep, horses, or poultry used or produced in farming operations, or a product of such crop or livestock in its unmanufactured state (such as ginned cotton, wool-clip, maple syrup, milk, and eggs), that is in the possession of a person engaged in farming operations.  Failure of a buyer to register with the Secretary of State’s Office makes the buyer liable for payment of the security interest.  Buyers are only registered for those portions on the master list for which they register.  A registered buyer will receive clear title protection when purchasing farm products for the products in which they registered.

To register with the Secretary of State’s office for the Farm Bill Master List, complete the online registration form available through the SOS Enterprise Subscription Service or by completing the Farm Bill Online Subscription Service to receive the Master List online. Montana does not charge a buyer a fee to register to receive the Master List.  Once registered, the buyer will receive daily updates to the online Farm Bill Master List.  Buyers requesting paper output will receive updates through the 15th of each month with the Master List being mailed no later than the 20th of each month.

The fees for the Master List are as follows:

  • Online: $20.00 per commodity ordered
  • Paper: $20.00 per commodity ordered, plus additional costs if the number of pages exceeds 50

Registered buyers must refer to the Farm Bill Master List prior to purchasing farm products to determine if a security interests exists.  If a security interest exists against the specific farm product being sold, the buyer is responsible for issuing a check in the seller’s name and lender who holds the security interest.

Lenders must use the Effective Financing Statement form that complies with the requirements under the Federal Food Security Act when filing “farm product” related lien notices with the Secretary of State’s Office if they want their lien to appear on the Farm Bill Master List.

Uniform Commercial Codes, referred to as UCCs, are important tools for enabling and supporting tribal economic and housing development by improving access to commercial and consumer credit.

A comprehensive and culturally appropriate secured transaction code can assist Tribes, American Indian-owned businesses , and Indian consumers that are encountering barriers to affordable credit by allowing for business to be transacted more efficiently and cost-effectively with parties located outside of the tribal jurisdiction.

Tribal commercial laws and transaction codes more effectively help achieve the goal of economic development if they are sufficiently similar, or harmonized, with the laws of the states and the Tribes. When adopted and implemented, they can support and strengthen the effective exercise of tribal sovereignty.

The sovereign nations listed below have active agreements with the Secretary of State’s office. Click on the links to access the available lien forms.

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Montana Secretary of State – Corey Stapleton
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