2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 55 - Uniform Commercial Code
Article 9 - Secured Transactions
Part 5 - FILING
Section 55-9-501 - Filing office.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 55-9-501 (2019)

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b) of this section, if the local law of this state governs perfection of a security interest or agricultural lien, the office in which to file a financing statement to perfect the security interest or agricultural lien is:

(1) the office of the county clerk where a record of a mortgage on the related real property would be recorded if:

(A) the collateral is as-extracted collateral or timber to be cut; or

(B) the financing statement is filed as a fixture filing and the collateral is goods that are or are to become fixtures; or

(2) the office of the secretary of state in all other cases, including a case in which the collateral is goods that are or are to become fixtures and the financing statement is not filed as a fixture filing.

(b) The office in which to file a financing statement to perfect a security interest in collateral, including fixtures, of a transmitting utility is the office of the secretary of state. The financing statement also constitutes a fixture filing as to the collateral indicated in the financing statement which is or is to become fixtures.

History: 1978 Comp., § 55-9-501, enacted by Laws 2001, ch. 139, § 72.



UCC Official Comments by ALI & the NCCUSL. Reproduced with permission of the PEB for the UCC. All rights reserved.

1. Source. Derived from former section 9-401.

2. Where to File. Subsection (a) indicates where in a given state a financing statement is to be filed. Former article 9 afforded each state three alternative approaches, depending on the extent to which the state desires central filing (usually with the Secretary of State), local filing (usually with a county office), or both. As comment 1 to former section 9-401 observed, "The principal advantage of state-wide filing is ease of access to the credit information which the files exist to provide. Consider for example the national distributor who wishes to have current information about the credit standing of the thousands of persons he sells to on credit. The more completely the files are centralized on a state-wide basis, the easier and cheaper it becomes to procure credit information; the more the files are scattered in local filing units, the more burdensome and costly." Local filing increases the net costs of secured transactions also by increasing uncertainty and the number of required filings. Any benefit that local filing may have had in the 1950's is now insubstantial. Accordingly, this article dictates central filing for most situations, while retaining local filing for real-estate-related collateral and special filing provisions for transmitting utilities.

3. Minerals and Timber. Under subsection (a)(1), a filing in the office where a record of a mortgage on the related real property would be filed will perfect a security interest in as-extracted collateral. Inasmuch as the security interest does not attach until extraction, the filing continues to be effective after extraction. A different result occurs with respect to timber to be cut, however. Unlike as-extracted collateral, standing timber may be goods before it is cut. See section 9-102 (defining "goods"). Once cut, however, it is no longer timber to be cut, and the filing in the real-property-mortgage office ceases to be effective. The timber then becomes ordinary goods, and filing in the office specified in subsection (a)(2) is necessary for perfection. Note also that after the timber is cut the law of the debtor's location, not the location of the timber, governs perfection under section 9-301.

4. Fixtures. There are two ways in which a secured party may file a financing statement to perfect a security interest in goods that are or are to become fixtures. It may file in the article 9 records, as with most other goods. See subsection (a)(2). Or it may file the financing statement as a "fixture filing," defined in section 9-102, in the office in which a record of a mortgage on the related real property would be filed. See subsection(a)(1)(B).

5. Transmitting Utilities. The usual filing rules do not apply well for a transmitting utility (defined in Section 9-102 [55-9-102 NMSA 1978]). Many pre-UCC statutes provided special filing rules for railroads and in some cases for other public utilities, to avoid the requirements for filing with legal descriptions in every county in which such debtors had property. Former Section 9-401(5) [55-9-401(5) NMSA 1978] recreated and broadened these provisions, and subsection (b) follows this approach. The nature of the debtor will inform persons searching the record as to where to make a search.

A given State's subsection (b) applies only if the local law of that State governs perfection. As to most collateral, perfection by filing is governed by the law of the jurisdiction in which the debtor is located. See Section 9-301(1) [55-9-301(1) NMSA 1978]. However, the law of the jurisdiction in which goods that are or become fixtures are located governs perfection by filing a fixture filing. See Section 9-301(3)(A) [55-9-301(3)(A) NMSA 1978]. As a consequence, filing in the filing office of more than one State may be necessary to perfect a security interest in fixtures collateral of a transmitting utility by filing a fixture filing. See Section 9-301, Comment 5.b.

Repeals and reenactments. — Laws 2001, ch. 139, § 72 repealed former 55-9-501 NMSA 1978, as amended by Laws 1985, ch. 193, § 34, and enacted a new section, effective July 1, 2001.

Cross references. — For Farm Products Secured Interest Act, see Chapter 56, Article 13 NMSA 1978.

Decisions under former Section 55-9-401 NMSA 1978. — In light of the similarity of this section and former Section 55-9-401 NMSA 1978, annotations decided under former Section 55-9-401 NMSA 1978 have been included in the annotations in this section.

Limited duties of filing officers. — When an instrument appears correct, it is not the duty of the filing officer to determine the validity of such document, to ascertain whether it is genuine or forged or to rule upon its legal efficacy. Similarly, whether an instrument presented for filing is in fact an original, duplicate original or a copy of an original, or whether the signature appearing upon an instrument filed under the code is intended to be operative are questions which the filing officer is not normally able to judge. Consequently, the filing officer should accept instruments for filing under the code which appear valid on their face, leaving the determination of authenticity, legal effect and evidentiary value to the courts in cases where such issues are raised. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 62-126 (rendered under former law).

Law reviews. — For article, "Fixtures and the Uniform Commercial Code in New Mexico," see 4 Nat. Resources J. 109 (1964).

For article, "The Warehouseman vs. the Secured Party: Who Prevails When the Warehouseman's Lien Covers Goods Subject to a Security Interest?" see 8 Nat. Resources J. 331 (1968).

For note, "Fixtures, Security Interests and Filing: Problems of Title Examination in New Mexico," see 8 Nat. Resources J. 513 (1968).

For comment, "New Mexico's Uniform Commercial Code in Oil and Gas Transactions," see 10 Nat. Resources J. 361 (1970).

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 68A Am. Jur. 2d Secured Transactions § 288 et seq.

Effect of recording chattel mortgage in town or county to which the mortgagor subsequently removed, 1 A.L.R. 1662.

Effect of officer's failure properly to file contract, 70 A.L.R. 595.

Omission of amount of debt in mortgage or in record thereof as affecting validity of mortgage, its operation as notice, or its coverage with respect to debts secured, 145 A.L.R. 369.

Construction and application of statutory provision respecting registration of mortgages or other liens on personal property in case of residents of other states, 10 A.L.R.2d 764.

Conflict of laws as to chattel mortgages and conditional sales of chattels, 13 A.L.R.2d 1312.

Attorney's liability for negligence in preparing or recording security document, 87 A.L.R.2d 991.

79 C.J.S. Secured Transactions § 53 et seq.

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