The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) is a law about security interests in personal property.
Personal property is all forms of property other than real estate.
A security interest is an interest in personal property that in substance secures payment of a debt or other obligation regardless of the form of the transaction.
This definition covers transactions currently considered a form of security such as mortgages over motor vehicles or charges in company property. It also covers forms of transactions not currently considered as a form of security as a consequence of the form of the transaction. Examples of such transactions include:
- Retention of title clauses in sale agreements whereby a purchaser has possession of personal property, but does not acquire title from the vendor until the full purchase price is paid.
- Financing leases where personal property is leased for payments that cover the cost of the personal property and the lessee has the ability to acquire title to the personal property.
In addition to this general definition, certain transactions are deemed to be security interests under the PPS Act. The deemed security interests are:
- the interest of a factor in an account
- consignment arrangements, and
- leases of personal property for a term exceeding 12 months (or three months for motor vehicles, boats or aircraft).
It is important to understand the new terminology that accompanies the PPS Act and the PPS Register.
Financier, mortgagee, chargee, lender, retention of title supplier, lessor etc
Borrower, mortgagor, chargor
Financing agreement, mortgage, charge etc
Attachment and creation of enforceable rights
A security interest must have ‘attached’ to collateral in order for the security interest to be enforceable against the grantor. Attachment is similar to the concept of the creation of legally binding relations.
A security interest attaches to collateral if the grantor has rights in the collateral and accepts money or does some other act by which the security interest arises.
A security agreement must generally be in writing and signed by the grantor to be enforceable against a person other than the grantor (such as another secured party).
Perfection is a technical concept particular to the PPS Act. Perfection is a form of protection for a secured party that is stronger than the mere attachment of their security interest.
In order for a security interest to be perfected it must have attached, be enforceable against third parties and is either registered on the PPS Register or the collateral is in the possession or control of the secured party.
The perfection of a security interest will affect the priority it has relative to other security interests in the collateral and its status in the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the grantor.
- Section 10, PPS Act
- Section 12, PPS Act
- A factor is a commercial agent that purchases accounts receivable from businesses at a discounted price for the benefit of future payments the accounts receivable will generate
- A consignment occurs where the title holder (the consignor) delivers possession of personal property to the consignee. The consignee is in the business of selling personal property of that type and attempts to sell the consignors property. See sections 12 and 10, PPS Act
- Section 12, PPS Act
- Section 19(2), PPS Act
- Section 20, PPS Act
- Section 21, PPS Act
- See information sheet: Personal Property Securities (PPS) Register and priorities
- See information sheet: Receivership, administration and liquidation
Please note: This fact sheet provides general information about PPS reform and does not constitute legal advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice to consider the application of the PPS Act to your individual circumstances.