The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (the ‘PPSA’ or the Act), introduced a national system to deal with security interests given to businesses and individuals over personal property. The Act created the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR or the Register). Individuals can use the PPSR to ‘perfect’ registration of security interests in personal property. This article will look at what the PPSR is, where you can find it, and how you can use it.
1. What is the Personal Property Securities Register?
The PPSR acts as a notice board. Notably, the PPSR is not a title or document register but rather, provides notice to a secured party as to whether there is or isn’t a security interest against the property. You can use the Register to either:
- Register your interests or rights over another’s personal property to secure a debt or other obligation that other person owes to you; or
- Search the Register to see someone has already registered an interest over some personal property that you intend to buy or lease.
The Australian Financial Services Authority is responsible for administering the PPSR.
2. Where Can I Find the Personal Property Securities Register?
The PPSR is online, meaning you can access it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. What Can I Register or Search For on the PPSR?
You can register rights or security interests in personal property. Personal Property includes all property (whether tangible or intangible) other than land and may include:
- Intellectual property;
- Book debts; and
Registration strengthens your protection over that personal property – important if there are two competing interests in the property. For example, this might be when multiple lenders have an interest in the security given for a loan.
A registered security interest will take priority over an unregistered one. Furthermore, a security interest registered before another security interest will prevail over the latter.
Conversely, you would search the Register to ensure you are receiving clean title to the personal property. For example, a company may search the PPSR to make sure that there are no prior registered security interests over an asset given as security for a personal loan. Searches on the Register need to be for bona fide purposes. It is an offence under the Act to search the register without having a real interest.
4. Do I Need an Account to Search or Register Interests on the Register?
To register a security interest on the PPSR, you will need to have an account. The costs of making or managing your registration are nominal. You do not need an account to search the register and can do as a casual user.
5. What is a “Secured Party Group” and Do I Need One?
A Secured Party Group (SPG), is a system developed under the PPSR to assist secured parties in managing their registrations. A secured party is an individual or business who has a security interest in personal property. To create an SPG, you need to have a security interest and a user account. Once you have established an SPG, you cannot change the parties within that group.
It is in the interests of any lender or lessor to register their personal property security interests where possible. This registration will ensure they have priority over the personal property in the event there are competing interests. Similarly, lenders and lessors can ensure that the personal property has a clean title by searching the register. If you need assistance registering your personal property or drafting agreements to create or grant security interests to third parties, get in touch with our PPSA lawyers on 1300 544 755.
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