There seem to be many people who think that the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) offers special protections from debt collectors.
Like the Strawman theory, however, the U.C.C. is a slender reed to support your hopes of avoiding or defeating creditors and debt collectors. Because in fact it does essentially nothing to help. We’ll discuss the U.C.C. and then tell you what you should be doing instead of tripping over strawmen.
What is the Uniform Commercial Code?
Because of the times we live in, most people think of themselves in terms of their nationality. While most people do know that some states have different laws than other states, our daily lives rarely expose us to these different laws and their consequences.
It wasn’t always that way, though. Up until the 1930s, perhaps, state laws had priority in most people’s lives, and those laws could vary pretty widely. It could be hard to know where to sue someone or what laws applied to specific actions. And that’s still true, to an extent, but since the 1930s it has been progressively less true, as the federal government has grown in size and function.
Another reason the states have worked together more smoothly has been the UCC. There are many “uniform” laws, and they function mostly the same way. What happens is that some think tank convenes a task force and asks it to codify existing (state) laws and make recommendations as to where those laws might be changed to become more uniform or fairer.
There’s a good reason for this. Laws can grow like weeds, and bringing uniformity to them can help people plan so they can know what to do.
Who Made the U.C.C.?
The U.C.C. was created by two nongovernmental legal organizations: The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Law Institute. The document, standing alone, has no legal authority or power at all.
I’m not saying the UCC is not significant – I’m saying that it is a document created by a bunch of academics and has no independent force or impact on anybody.
Why the U.C.C. Matters
So why is the UCC a big deal? It’s a big deal because all the states have adopted some portions of it. But not all states have adopted the same parts of it. You see, the drafters of the UCC knew that states had different laws on certain things – laws that had evolved over time and not accidentally. The UCC was designed to help legislators bring order to what was there, not force them to have the same laws. Remember, legislatures make laws, not think tanks.
If parts of the U.C.C. have become law in your state, they will be reflected in your state laws, and you should look for the law in your state laws and not the U.C.C. itself. Likewise, I trust you can see that since the portions of the UCC that were adopted are just part of your state law they do NOT trump other laws and have no special, magical power.
To repeat, the U.C.C. is just a document created by academics. And the main concern of the drafters of the U.C.C. were the rights and abilities of businesses, not people.
Help for People Harassed or Sued by Debt Collectors
When people say “the U.C.C. does this or that,” or “requires this or that,” they’re showing you they do not really understand the law. Don’t look to these people to tell you how to beat the debt collectors.
You CAN beat the debt collectors in many cases, and without even having to hire a lawyer – but your solutions will most often be in consumer protection laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or Fair Credit Reporting Act, or in the normal rules of the court.
We help you do that.