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Making an Enquiry


What are the methods of enquiry?

 

Enquiries can be made by electronic means.

(i) Electronic Enquiries:

Enquirers wishing information on direct electronic access should contact the PPSR Branch.

What are the types of searches?

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When a security interest or a non-possessory lien is being registered against an individual person, the following information in respect of the individual must be shown on the financing statement/ claim for lien on a line designated for the individual debtor:


FIRST GIVEN NAME,
INITIAL OF SECOND GIVEN NAME, IF ANY,
SURNAME, and
DATE OF BIRTH


An enquiry made against all of the above information is called an individual specific search. The information must be set out on an Enquiry Request Form as follows:

Individual Specific Enquiry

Only those registrations are reported in which the name and the date of birth of the debtor appears exactly as given by the enquirer, with the following exceptions: 1. The Regulations made pursuant to the PPSA provide that where a registration is a caution filing (see the PPSA registration section of this Guide), it is not mandatory to set out the date of birth of an individual person. When an individual specific search is made, caution filing registrations made under the PPSA in which no date of birth has been entered will also be reported.

2. The Regulations made pursuant to the PPSA provide that the date of birth of an individual transferee need only be set out on a financing change statement designated as a transfer where the date of birth is known to the secured party. An individual specific search response will include all such registrations in which no date of birth is shown together with any related registrations (i. e. family members to which it is linked).

Note that where the name being enquired against is given as having no initial for the second given name, only those registrations in which the name of the debtor is recorded as having no initial will be reported. For example, if the name WILLIAM SMITH 26 JUN 1952 is being searched, registrations under the name WILLIAM J. SMITH 26 JUN 1952 will not be reported.

If an enquirer is uncertain which of an individual's names is the first given name and which is the surname, it is suggested that two enquiries be made one setting the names out in one order and one setting them out in reverse order.

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This type of enquiry provides an alternative to the individual specific enquiry for enquirers who are unsure or unaware of the date of birth and/ or initial of the second given name of the debtor name that is being searched. The information required to make the enquiry is:


FIRST GIVEN NAME, and SURNAME


This information must be set out on an Enquiry Request Form as follows:

Individual Non-Specific Enquiry

Only those registrations are reported in which the first given name and the surname are recorded exactly as the one being searched. For example, an enquiry against the name WILLIAM SMITH will not report registrations against WILLIAM SMYTH or BILL SMITH. However, all registrations which match the first given name and the surname exactly will be reported regardless of what, if any, initial is recorded. For example, a search of the name WILLIAM SMITH will result in the report of registrations against WILLIAM A. SMITH, WILLIAM B. SMITH, WILLIAM C. SMITH and so on. Likewise, all registrations, regardless of the date of birth recorded (if any) will be reported. For example, a search against WILLIAM SMITH will result in the report of registrations against WILLIAM SMITH born OCTOBER 30, 1925 as well as WILLIAM SMITH born MAY 21, 1959.

If an enquirer is uncertain which of an individual's names is the first given name and which is the surname, two enquiries should be made one setting the names out in one order and one setting them out in reverse order.

The disadvantage of making an individual non-specific search against a common name is that there may be many registrations registered against that name which do not refer to the particular person which the enquirer is searching against. The advantage of making an individual non-specific enquiry is that if a registrant made an error in setting out the date of birth or initial of the debtor, the registration would be included in the enquiry response. This approach may avoid future litigation.

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Only one type of search is available with respect to a business debtor name. In order for a business debtor name search to be effective, the enquirer must set out the correct name of the business debtor. The Regulations made under the PPSA and the RSLA set out the particulars of business debtor names (artificial bodies) which must be set out when a financing statement/ claim for lien is registered. The appropriate sections of the Regulations are set out in Appendix "B" (PPSA) and Appendix "C" (RSLA) of this Guide to assist the enquirer in determining what name( s) should be enquired against. The enquirer should note that the search results may include additional registrations which set out a business name which is, in the opinion of the Registrar, similar to the one requested. If the enquirer considers that there are any other similar names (i. e. other than the ones which are similar in the opinion of the Registrar) it is the responsibility of the enquirer to make further enquiries against those names. See Appendix "F" for a discussion and examples of the types of business debtor names considered, in the opinion of the Registrar, to be similar.

French/ English Corporate Names: When making an enquiry in the name of a corporate debtor, the enquirer should determine the proper name of the corporation by examining its articles of incorporation. The Ontario Business Corporations Act provides that a corporation may set out its name in its articles of incorporation in an English form, a French form, a combined English and French form or both an English and a French form and it may be legally designated by any such name.

The Regulations made under the current PPSA and the RSLA require that where a corporation has both an English form and a French form of its name, BOTH names must be registered. The English form must be set out on one business debtor line and the French form on another business debtor line. An enquiry against either name will reveal a registration made against a company with both a French form and an English form of its name. An enquirer would be well advised to make an enquiry against both forms of the name, however, as the former PPSA did not have this requirement.

In every other case, an enquiry should be made against the name exactly as it appears in the articles of incorporation.

For examples of the various types of corporate names, see Appendix "E".

Trade Names: An enquirer should consider the possibility of making an enquiry not only against the correct name of a debtor but also against any trade names that a debtor might have. While the Regulations do not require the trade name of a debtor to be entered on a financing statement/ claim for lien or financing change statement/ change statement, such a name may be entered. The advantage of making such an enquiry would be that if a registrant made an error and set out only the trade name of a debtor, the registration would be included in an enquiry response. This approach may avoid future litigation.

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The information required to make a VIN enquiry is the vehicle identification number which is the number that a person who constructs a motor vehicle affixes to it for identification purposes. There is a unique VIN for every motor vehicle. For a number of years, all automobiles produced in Canada have been required to have a standardized 17 character alpha-numeric VIN and since 1982, all new automobiles sold in Canada have had to conform to this standard. A motor vehicle other than an automobile (e. g. a motor-cycle) will have a VIN affixed to it, but it is not required to conform to the 17 character alpha-numeric standard.

In most cases, the VIN of a motor vehicle can be found on a plate affixed to the vehicle. (On automobiles, the plate is usually located on the dashboard). A VIN enquiry should be made against this number. DO NOT RELY ON THE VIN AS IT IS PRINTED ON THE VEHICLE PERMIT OR "OWNERSHIP". COPY THE VIN FROM THE VEHICLE ITSELF IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE CORRECT VIN IS BEING SEARCHED. If there is a discrepancy between the VIN as located on the vehicle itself and the VIN as printed on the vehicle permit or "ownership", an enquirer may wish to make an additional enquiry against the VIN as printed on the vehicle permit or ownership. An enquirer would do this for much the same reasons that an enquiry against a trade name would be made.

The enquirer should note that the search results may include additional registrations which set out a VIN which is, in the opinion of the Registrar, similar to the one requested. If the enquirer considers that there are any other similar VIN's (i. e. other than the ones which are similar in the opinion of the Registrar) it is the responsibility of the enquirer to make further enquiries against those VIN's.

An enquirer can choose to have only those families which exactly match the VIN being searched or both those which match exactly and those which are similar, in the opinion of the Registrar, included in the search results.

What are the types of responses?

There are two types of responses certificate and verbal.

(i) Certificate

The PPSA provides that:

43(1) Upon the request of any person for a search of the individual debtor name index, business debtor name or motor vehicle identification number index and upon payment of the prescribed fee, the registrar shall issue a certificate stating:

(a) whether, at the time mentioned in the certificate, there is registered a financing statement or a financing change statement the registration of which is recorded in the central file of the registration system in which the name or number with respect to which the inquiry is made is shown in the designated place on the financing statement or financing change statement as a debtor, or as a motor vehicle identification number ... and, if there is, the registration number of it and any other recorded information;

(b) whether, at the time mentioned in the certificate, there is entered in the central file of the registration system any information required or permitted to be entered by section 78 [CSRA registrations] in which the name with respect to which the inquiry is made is shown as debtor; and

(c) whether, at the time mentioned in the certificate, there is registered a claim for lien or a change statement under the Repair and Storage Liens Act, the registration of which is recorded in the central file of the registration system in which the name or number with respect to which the inquiry is made is shown in the designated place on the claim for lien or change statement as an owner or as a motor vehicle identification number, ... and, if there is, the registration number of it and any other recorded information.

The Act further provides that:

43( 3) A certificate issued under subsection (1) may include information relating to a registered financing statement or financing change statement recorded in the central file of the registration system which sets out in the designated place a debtor name or vehicle identification number which is similar, in the opinion of the registrar, to the name or number with respect to which the inquiry is made.

A certificate may be obtained by making a telephone enquiry or electronically.

When a certificate is requested by the enquirer, it will include all registrations which match the details of the enquiry as outlined in the preceding section of this Guide. When an individual specific, individual non-specific, business debtor or exact VIN enquiry is made, the registrations will be reported in reverse chronological order based on the registration number of the head of the family. If a VIN search includes both exact and similar families (i. e. similar in the opinion of the Registrar), the families which exactly match the VIN being searched will be reported first on a certificate response. After all the exact matches are reported, then both the exact and similar matches will be reported in reverse chronological order based on the registration number of the head of the family.

An up-date search is also available in certificate form.

An Assurance Fund has been established against which a claim can be made by a person who suffers loss or damage resulting from reliance upon a certificate that is incorrect because of an error or omission in the operation of the system of registration, recording and production of the certificate. The Act outlines the conditions under which a claim can be made and the process involved in bringing a claim against the Assurance Fund.

(ii) Verbal

A verbal response is available to a telephone or electronic enquirer.

(a) Where an INDIVIDUAL SPECIFIC enquiry is made, all registrations which match the details of the enquiry exactly will be reported verbally if they are below a certain set maximum number of families.

If there are more than a certain set maximum number of families, the response will be printed. This is known as a high volume response. In either case, the families will be reported in reverse chronological order based on the head of the family.

(b) Where an INDIVIDUAL NON-SPECIFIC enquiry is made, it is quite likely that there will be a number of families registered that will match the enquiry details. If there are less than a certain set minimum, all the families will be reported ver-bally in reverse chronological order based on the registration number of the head of the family.

If the number of families exceeds the set minimum but is below a set maximum, the System provides an operator with an index screen which lists the names that are recorded. Also included on the index screen is the initial of the second given name (if any) and birth date (if any) of each debtor name listed, the address of each debtor and the secured party name. The operator will inform the enquirer of these details and will ask the enquirer to assist in choosing any relevant names from the list and will report the details of those families which are chosen by the enquirer in reverse chronological order based on the registration number of the head of the family.

If the number of families exceeds the set maximum, no details will be provided by the operator. The response will be in printed form and will include a report of all the families. This is known as a high volume printed response.

(c) Where a BUSINESS DEBTOR NAME enquiry is made, all registrations which match the details of the enquiry exactly and those which are similar, in the opinion of the Registrar, will be reported verbally if there are below a certain set maximum number of families. The families will be reported in reverse chronological order based on the registration number of the head of the family.

If the number of families exceeds the set maximum, no details will be provided by the operator. The response will be in printed form and will include a report of all the families. This is known as a high volume printed response.

(d) Where a VIN enquiry is made, the enquirer has the option of having either the exact or the exact and similar families reported. (An exact family consists of registrations which set out in the designated place the VIN searched and all related registrations). The operator will inform the enquirer of the number of exact families and of the combined number of exact and similar families and ask the enquirer to make the choice. There can be more than one exact family because more than one security interest can be created in one vehicle and more than one non-possessory lien could be registered against one vehicle.

Regardless of whether the exact families or the exact and similar families are chosen, the operator will only report the details verbally if the number of families is below a certain set maximum. Families will be reported in reverse chronological order based on the registration number of the head of the family. If the enquirer wishes to have both exact and similar families included in the verbal response, the exact families will not be reported first and then followed by a report of the exact and similar families in reverse chronological order as is the case in a certificate response.

If the number of families exceeds the set maximum, the response will be printed. This is known as a high volume printed response.

In each case mentioned above, if there are greater than a specific set maximum number of families to be reported, the response will be in a printed form known as a high volume printed response.

Whenever an enquiry results in a high volume printed response, the enquirer has the option of receiving the printed response or "cancel the print." In order to receive the printed response, the enquirer must provide the name and mailing address to which the response is to be sent.

In all cases where a high volume printed response results, the response will be a certificate (see above). The fee payable is the fee for a verbal enquiry. No claim lies against the Assurance Fund where the response is verbal.