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What Is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)?

The Uniform Commercial Code gives rules on the sale of goods and commercial transactions.
The rules strive to make the processing of checks less complex.
All purchases made while shopping are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code.
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  • Written By: Venus D.
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2014
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Created in 1952, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) consists of uniform rules coordinating the sale of goods and other commercial transactions throughout the 50 United States. It is the oldest and most intricate uniform act established by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). All 50 states, with the exception of Louisiana, have adopted the code. Louisiana has opted not to include Article 2, which specifies regulations for the sale of goods, in place of its own civil law.

The Uniform Commercial Code was created by a private institution, so it is not a law unless it is enacted by a state. Its goal is to simplify commercial transactions. Parties forming a contract can omit parts of the code, as well as make addenda.

These rules also seek to make commercial paper transactions, such as the processing of checks, less complex. They distinguish between merchants, who know their business well, and consumers, who do not. Overall, the code's objective is to eliminate the need for lawyers in the aspects of commercial trade it governs. The topics specifically addressed in its 11 articles include the sale of goods, bank instruments, negotiable instruments, letters of credit, bills of receipts, bulk transfers, investment securities, and secured transactions.

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Although it the most well-known, this code is just one of several uniform acts promoted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), established in 1892. Some other examples of uniform acts include the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Action and the Uniform Foreign Money Claims Act. The NCCUSL is made up of lawyers and professionals appointed by states and territories, who discuss which laws should be the same — or uniform — across the country. The purpose of the American Law Institute (ALI), established in 1923, is to clarify American common law according to changing social needs.

The ALI and NCCUSL are both responsible for maintaining and revising the Uniform Commercial Code. The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA) was an attempt by the NCCUSL to improve Article 2 of the UCC; however, ALI failed to agree to this inclusion. As a result, only Virginia and Maryland adopted the act because it was not formally included into the UCC. ALI and NCCUSL have also established an editorial board that provides official comments and papers that aid in the legal interpretations of the code.

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Discuss this Article

anon79969
Post 7

I am in a lawsuit with a bank/leasing company. They are holding me the consumer of a security systems that was faulty. I am in NYC and they are in PA. I have to travel to court in PA. How does the UCC Law protect me as the ultimate consumer?

As the consumer, they made a contract with me that is binding, only they put a clause to parts and warranty for one year and they did not comply.

How can I defend myself or try to win this case that protects them by a binding contract and fall on me personally? I got this contract/lease from my business as a corporation, but the contract stipulates I am personally liable.

Does the fact they wrote a written clause to parts, labor and warranty for one year protect me and make it binding? They breached their end by not giving me the service.

anon61407
Post 6

is there a difference between the uniform commercial code and uniform civil code?

pnisbet
Post 3

Why is it that all references online to 'UCC Search' refer to searches on debtors databases?

anon21208
Post 2

what is commercial land use?

anon3545
Post 1

As you refer to the 11 articles, does the Uniform Commercial Code apply to a promissory note since it is a negotiable instrument (if executed in any state that enacted them) between you and U.S. Departments such as Dept of Ed regarding student loans? U.S. Department would have to state in the promissory note that it was exempt or stamp it with exclusions like non-negotiable. U.S. Departments aren't carte blanch exempt from U.C.C. are they by claiming U.C.C. only covers commercial transactions between merchants? If they are executed within your state, they would be regulated by them and all codes apply, correct?

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