Application of proceeds of collection or enforcement; liability for deficiency and right to surplus.
(a) If a security interest or agricultural lien secures payment or performance of an obligation, the following rules apply:
(1) A secured party shall apply or pay over for application the cash proceeds of collection or enforcement under section 9-607 in the following order to:
(A) the reasonable expenses of collection and enforcement and, to the extent provided for by agreement and not prohibited by law, reasonable attorney's fees and legal expenses incurred by the secured party;
(B) the satisfaction of obligations secured by the security interest or agricultural lien under which the collection or enforcement is made; and
(C) the satisfaction of obligations secured by any subordinate security interest in or other lien on the collateral subject to the security interest or agricultural lien under which the collection or enforcement is made if the secured party receives an authenticated demand for proceeds before distribution of the proceeds is completed.
(2) If requested by a secured party, a holder of a subordinate security interest or other lien shall furnish reasonable proof of the interest or lien within a reasonable time. Unless the holder complies, the secured party need not comply with the holder's demand under subdivision (1)(C).
(3) A secured party need not apply or pay over for application noncash proceeds of collection and enforcement under section 9-607 unless the failure to do so would be commercially unreasonable. A secured party that applies or pays over for application noncash proceeds shall do so in a commercially reasonable manner.
(4) A secured party shall account to and pay a debtor for any surplus, and the obligor is liable for any deficiency.
(b) If the underlying transaction is a sale of accounts, chattel paper, payment intangibles, or promissory notes, the debtor is not entitled to any surplus, and the obligor is not liable for any deficiency.
Source:Laws 1999, LB 550, § 183; Laws 2000, LB 929, § 41.
1. Source. Subsection (a) is new; subsection (b) derives from former section 9-502(2).
2. Modifications of Prior Law. Subsections (a) and (b) modify former section 9-502(2) by explicitly providing for the application of proceeds recovered by the secured party in substantially the same manner as provided in section 9-615(a) and (e) for dispositions of collateral.
3. Surplus and Deficiency. Subsections (a)(4) and (b) omit, as unnecessary, the references contained in former section 9-502(2) to agreements varying the baseline rules on surplus and deficiency. The parties are always free to agree that an obligor will not be liable for a deficiency, even if the collateral secures an obligation, and that an obligor is liable for a deficiency, even if the transaction is a sale of receivables. For parallel provisions, see section 9-615(d) and (e).
4. Noncash Proceeds. Subsection (a)(3) addresses the situation in which an enforcing secured party receives noncash proceeds.
Example: An enforcing secured party receives a promissory note from an account debtor who is unable to pay an account when it is due. The secured party accepts the note in exchange for extending the date on which the account debtor's obligation is due. The secured party may wish to credit its debtor (the assignor) with the principal amount of the note upon receipt of the note, but probably will prefer to credit the debtor only as and when the note is paid.
Under subsection (a)(3), the secured party is under no duty to apply the note or its value to the outstanding obligation unless its failure to do so would be commercially unreasonable. If the secured party does apply the note to the outstanding obligation, however, it must do so in a commercially reasonable manner. The parties may provide for the method of application of noncash proceeds by agreement, if the method is not manifestly unreasonable. See section 9-603. This section does not explain when the failure to apply noncash proceeds would be commercially unreasonable; it leaves that determination to case-by-case adjudication. In the example, the secured party appears to have accepted the account debtor's note in order to increase the likelihood of payment and decrease the likelihood that the account debtor would dispute its obligation. Under these circumstances, it may well be commercially reasonable for the secured party to credit its debtor's obligations only as and when cash proceeds are collected from the account debtor, especially given the uncertainty that attends the account debtor's eventual payment. For an example of a secured party's receipt of noncash proceeds in which it may well be commercially unreasonable for the secured party to delay crediting its debtor's obligations with the value of noncash proceeds, see section 9-615, comment 3.
When the secured party is not required to "apply or pay over for application noncash proceeds", the proceeds nonetheless remain collateral subject to this article. If the secured party were to dispose of them, for example, appropriate notification would be required (see section 9-611), and the disposition would be subject to the standards provided in this part (see section 9-610). Moreover, a secured party in possession of the noncash proceeds would have the duties specified in section 9-207.
5. No Effect on Priority of Senior Security Interest. The application of proceeds required by subsection (a) does not affect the priority of a security interest in collateral which is senior to the interest of the secured party who is collecting or enforcing collateral under section 9-607. Although subsection (a) imposes a duty to apply proceeds to the enforcing secured party's expenses and to the satisfaction of the secured obligations owed to it and to subordinate secured parties, that duty applies only among the enforcing secured party and those persons. Concerning the priority of a junior secured party who collects and enforces collateral, see section 9-607, comment 5.