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Steering Clear of UCC Liens: A Merchant’s Guide to Securing Cash Advances

The Harsh Reality of UCC Liens

Let’s be real – running a business ain’t easy. Cash flow hiccups are inevitable, and sometimes you need a quick influx of funds to keep things humming. That’s where merchant cash advances (MCAs) come in handy. But here’s the catch: if you’re not careful, those MCAs could land you in hot water with UCC liens.

What’s a UCC Lien, You Ask?

A UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) lien is like a virtual leash that creditors slap on your business assets. It gives them dibs on your stuff if you can’t repay what you owe. And trust me, having one of those bad boys on your record can seriously cramp your style when it comes to future financing.

The Perils of UCC Liens

Imagine this scenario: you’re trying to secure a loan or line of credit for your business, but the lender runs a UCC lien search and – bam! – they find that pesky lien from your previous MCA. It’s like a giant red flag waving in their face, screaming “high risk!”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. UCC liens can also:
Restrict your ability to sell or transfer assets
Damage your business credit score
Complicate bankruptcy proceedings (if it ever comes to that)

Real-Life Examples of UCC Lien Woes

Don’t just take my word for it. Here are a few real-life examples of businesses that got tangled up in UCC lien drama:
A restaurant owner in Chicago had to jump through hoops to remove a UCC lien from their equipment, delaying a crucial equipment upgrade.
A small manufacturing company in Ohio found themselves unable to secure a line of credit due to an outstanding UCC lien from a previous MCA.
A retail store in California had to pay hefty legal fees to resolve a UCC lien dispute, cutting into their already tight profit margins.

Avoiding UCC Liens: A Step-by-Step Guide

Alright, now that we’ve established the potential pitfalls, let’s talk about how to steer clear of those pesky UCC liens when seeking merchant cash advances.

Step 1: Read the Fine Print

I know, I know – reading legal mumbo-jumbo is about as fun as a root canal. But trust me, it’s crucial to understand the terms and conditions of your MCA agreement. Pay close attention to any clauses that mention UCC liens or collateral. If something seems fishy, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek legal counsel.

Step 2: Negotiate Like a Boss

Just because a lender includes a UCC lien clause in their standard agreement doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Remember, you’re the one in the driver’s seat here. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and ask for the removal of any UCC lien provisions. A reputable lender should be willing to work with you on this.

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Step 3: Consider Alternative Financing Options

If a lender is adamant about slapping a UCC lien on your assets, it might be time to explore other financing avenues. Look into options like:
Business line of credit
SBA loans
Invoice financing
Sure, the application process might be a bit more involved, but at least you won’t have to worry about those pesky liens.

Step 4: Stay on Top of Your Payments

Let’s be real – even if you manage to secure an MCA without a UCC lien, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. Missed or late payments could give the lender grounds to file a lien retroactively. So, do yourself a favor and stay on top of those payments like a boss.

The Importance of Due Diligence

At the end of the day, avoiding UCC liens boils down to one thing: due diligence. Before signing on the dotted line for any financing agreement, make sure you:
Understand the terms and conditions inside and out
Research the lender’s reputation and track record
Explore all available financing options
Have a solid repayment plan in place
It might seem like a lot of work upfront, but trust me – it’s way better than dealing with the headache of a UCC lien down the road.

Real-Life Success Stories

Don’t just take my word for it. Here are a few real-life examples of businesses that successfully avoided UCC liens while securing merchant cash advances:
A bakery in Portland, Oregon negotiated the removal of a UCC lien clause from their MCA agreement, allowing them to secure additional financing for a new storefront.
A construction company in Texas did their due diligence and opted for an SBA loan instead of an MCA, avoiding any potential UCC lien issues.
A retail boutique in Miami worked with a reputable lender that offered MCA’s without UCC liens, allowing them to access funds without putting their assets at risk.

The Bottom Line

Look, I get it – running a business is tough, and sometimes you need to make tough decisions to keep the lights on. But when it comes to merchant cash advances, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential pitfalls of UCC liens. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the world of alternative financing with confidence and avoid those pesky liens that could hold your business back.
At the end of the day, it’s all about being an informed and savvy business owner. Do your research, negotiate like a boss, and never be afraid to explore alternative financing options. Your future self (and your business) will thank you.

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What happens if I already have a UCC lien on my business?

Don’t panic! While having an outstanding UCC lien can certainly complicate things, it’s not the end of the world. Your first step should be to contact the lender and try to negotiate a resolution. In some cases, you may be able to have the lien removed by paying off the outstanding debt or reaching a settlement agreement.
If that’s not an option, you’ll need to disclose the lien to any potential new lenders or investors. Be prepared to explain the circumstances surrounding the lien and have a solid plan in place for addressing it.

Can a lender file a UCC lien without my knowledge or consent?

Unfortunately, yes – in some cases, lenders can file a UCC lien without your explicit consent. This is why it’s so important to read the fine print of any financing agreement and understand the terms and conditions.
That being said, reputable lenders should be transparent about their intention to file a UCC lien and give you the opportunity to negotiate or explore alternative options.

Are there any industries or business types that are more prone to UCC liens?

While UCC liens can affect businesses across all industries, there are a few sectors that tend to be more susceptible:

  1. Retail and hospitality (due to the prevalence of equipment leasing and merchant cash advances)
  2. Manufacturing and construction (because of the high value of equipment and machinery)
  3. Startups and small businesses (which often have limited collateral and credit history)

If your business falls into one of these categories, it’s especially important to be vigilant about avoiding UCC liens.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about UCC liens and alternative financing options? Check out these helpful resources: – The official website of the U.S. Small Business Administration, packed with information on loans, grants, and other financing options. – A comprehensive resource for small business owners, with articles and guides on credit, financing, and more. – A marketplace for small business loans and financing, with a wealth of educational content on various financing options.
Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to navigating the world of business financing. Arm yourself with as much information as possible, and you’ll be well on your way to securing the funds you need without the hassle of UCC liens.

Final Thoughts

Phew, we covered a lot of ground there! But hey, that’s what it takes to be a savvy business owner in today’s world. Just remember, avoiding UCC liens isn’t rocket science – it’s all about being informed, doing your due diligence, and never being afraid to negotiate or explore alternative options.
At the end of the day, your business is your baby, and you want to do everything in your power to protect it. So, go forth and secure those merchant cash advances with confidence, knowing that you’ve got the knowledge and tools to steer clear of those pesky UCC liens.
And if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts or your fellow business owners for guidance. We’re all in this together, and a little bit of support can go a long way.
Good luck out there, and happy (lien-free) financing!

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Key Takeaways

UCC liens are a serious matter that can restrict your ability to secure future financing, sell assets, and maintain a healthy business credit score.
Avoiding UCC liens starts with reading the fine print of any financing agreement and understanding the terms and conditions.
Negotiate with lenders to remove UCC lien clauses, and be prepared to explore alternative financing options if necessary.
Staying on top of your payments is crucial, as missed or late payments could give lenders grounds to file a lien retroactively.
Due diligence is key – research lenders, understand your options, and have a solid repayment plan in place.
If you already have a UCC lien, explore options for resolution or be prepared to disclose and address it with potential new lenders or investors.
Certain industries, such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and startups, may be more prone to UCC liens, so extra vigilance is advised.
Educate yourself on UCC liens and alternative financing options through reputable resources like the SBA,, and

Pros and Cons of Merchant Cash Advances

While merchant cash advances can be a useful financing tool for businesses in need of quick cash, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before diving in.

Pros Cons
  • Fast access to funds
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • No collateral required (in some cases)
  • Easier approval process than traditional loans
  • High interest rates and fees
  • Potential for UCC liens
  • Repayment based on future sales, which can be unpredictable
  • Limited regulation and consumer protections

As you can see, merchant cash advances can be a double-edged sword. While they offer quick access to funds and flexible repayment terms, the potential for UCC liens and high costs can outweigh the benefits for some businesses.
It’s crucial to carefully consider your specific financial situation and explore all available options before committing to a merchant cash advance. And, of course, be sure to follow the steps outlined in this guide to avoid those pesky UCC liens.

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