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Secured transaction codes: an important tool for tribal economic and housing development

By Sue Woodrow


There is growing discussion in Indian Country about the benefits of commercial codes. Often referred to as UCCs, they are important tools for enabling and supporting tribal economic and housing development by improving access to commercial and consumer credit. This article lends support to these discussions by explaining what commercial codes - and, more specifically, secured transaction laws - are and what they do. It discusses how secured transaction codes can help lessen or eliminate some of the significant barriers frequently faced by tribes, Native-owned private businesses and Native consumers when they try to borrow money or make purchases on credit from outside lenders and other businesses. In addition, the article notes several examples of secured transaction codes that tribes around the country have enacted, in some cases highlighting issues they raise. Finally, the article provides information about an important initiative currently under way by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to draft a comprehensive model tribal secured transaction code and companion implementation guide.

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