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Secured Transactions: Home

Secured Transactions Overview

From the Legal Information Institute: 


A security interest arises when, in exchange for a loan, a borrower agrees in a security agreement that the lender (the secured party) may take specified collateral owned by the borrower if he or she should default on the loan. A security interest also provides the secured party with the assurance that if the debtor bankrupts, he or she may be able to recover the value of the loan by taking possession of specified collateral instead of receiving only a portion of the borrower's property after it is divided among all creditors. See Bankruptcy. 


Security agreements are contracts. Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code governs security interests in personal property. It has been adopted, with some modifications, by every state. A security agreement must comply with other state laws governing contracts. See Contracts. 


Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code covers most types of security agreements for personal property that are both consensual and commercial. See § 9-102(2) and § 9-104 of the code. This includes fixtures, personal property that is "fixed" to real property such as a water heater. Statutory liens (e.g. a mechanic's lien) are generally not governed by Article 9 but by the individual statute that creates them. 

See §§ 9-102(2) & 9-310 of the code. Article 9 contains a statute of frauds which requires a security agreement to be in writing unless it is pledged. See § 9-203(1) of the code. A pledged security agreement arises when the borrower transfers the collateral to the lender in exchange for a loan (e.g., a pawnbroker). The "perfection" of a security agreement allows a secured party to gain priority to the collateral over any third party. To perfect a security agreement, the filing of a public notice is usually required. See §§ 9-302 - 9-305 of the code. 


Article 9 also provides for the resolution of conflicts if there are multiple security interests or liens on specific collateral. See §§ 9-310 - 9-316 of the code. Part 5 of Article 9 deals with the procedures to be followed when a borrower defaults. See §§ 9-501 - 9-507 of the code. 


Study Aids & Casebooks

Accessing Online Study Aids 

Students and instructors have electronic access to all Wolters Kluwer titles within the newly-set up VitalSource repository, but are limited to 7 title downloads. This service is for students who lost access to their purchased book or library resources due to a shift from in-person to online access. For more information regarding the VitalSource Helps Program, please read the full press release. 


VitalSource Helps Access Instructions: 

  1. To get started, students and instructors should visit and log-in or create a Bookshelf account with a Detroit Mercy email address. 

  1. Log in and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen. This tab provides access to the freely available e-textbooks. 


Please note that at this time, student downloads are limited to 7 titles and trial access will expire on Monday, May 25th, 2020. 

Students and faculty can also go directly to where they will be prompted to login or create an account, and then they can redeem the products they need immediately. This will only provide you with access to your Wolters Kluwer/Aspen coursebook(s). 

West provides access to Practical Law Course Study Collections on the following topics: 


Business Courses

  •     Antitrust
  •     Bankruptcy
  •     Business Organizations & Associations
  •     Contracts
  •     Federal Corporate Taxation
  •     Secured Transactions


Secured Transactions Offerings at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

LAW 2500 Secured Transactions

Credit Hours: 3

A study of the law governing the creation, perfection, and enforcement of security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Analysis of the special problems arising from use of specific types of collateral, including documents of title under Article 7. Special developments affecting consumer debtors. Emphasis is placed on understanding the ongoing changes in the official text of the UCC and on proper drafting of the security agreement.

Course Catalog 

Law Library Collection: Treatises, Encyclopedias, and Monographs

To find materials on Secured Transactions, consult the Law Library catalogue under following subject headings:

  • Security (Law)
  • Personal Property
  • Suretyship and guaranty
  • Security (Law) – Canada
  • Personal Property – Canada