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Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 generally follows the common-law principle that one cannot give rights in property that one does not have (nemo dat quod non habet). In many circumstances, however, Article 9’s priority rules, including its rule awarding priority to the first security interest that is perfected or as to which a financing statement has been filed, trump nemo dat and enable a debtor to grant a senior security interest in property that the debtor previously had encumbered. In this article, Professors Steven Harris and Charles Mooney argue that, properly understood, the first-to-file-or-perfect rule confers upon a debtor the power to create a security interest in accounts and other rights to payment that the debtor has already sold and in which it retains no interest. In doing so, they take issue with Professor Thomas Plank, whose argument to the contrary appeared in the February 2013 issue of The Business Lawyer.


Article 9, UCC, security interests, priority, first-to-file-or-perfect, nemo dat

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Business Lawyer

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69 Business Lawyer 79-92 (Nov. 2013).

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