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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Secured Transactions (Fall 2017)

Course Description

Financial markets help solve a fundamental problem: how to coordinate billions of people’s activities to increase the world’s collective standard of living. Isolated individuals can barely feed, clothe, and shelter themselves. On the other hand, a system that enables individuals to specialize can support a modern, sophisticated civilization.

Credit markets help coordinate activities by expanding the concept of reciprocity—“I will do something for you now if you do something for me later”—to vast numbers of individuals who are unrelated and do not know each other. Resources can be moved through time and space, collected and distributed seamlessly and efficiently.  Our economy is built on credit.

Lenders face risk that borrowers will not repay them, and these risks can make lenders reluctant to lend.  The legal system offers protections to lenders to help assure timely and full repayment, and these protections can be greatly enhanced if lenders become “secured” by obtaining collateral.  The secured lending system also facilitates coordination and information sharing among lenders so that multiple lenders can provide capital.

Secured Transactions is the study of the system of secured lending—that is, lending against collateral—and how commercial law helps serve business and public needs.  The course is structured to be interactive and relies on student participation through “problem sets” which resemble role playing or simulation exercises.  (These tend to be fun).  Students will learn about Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, filing and mortgage recordation systems, and will gain practical experience drafting a very basic security agreement and financing statement.

Secured Transactions expands on concepts introduced in first year classes such as Contracts, Fundamental Business Principles, and to a lesser extent, Property, Torts, and Criminal Law.  Secured Transactions is recommended for all students considering a career in business or corporate law, in financial services, or in real estate.

Students are encouraged to take a class on Business Organizations either contemporaneously with or prior to Secured Transactions.  Additional courses that may be helpful and interesting, but are not required to benefit from the Secured Transactions course, include a commercial law survey, bankruptcy, or corporate finance.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Schedule: T 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Room Number: Room 1
  • Exam: In-class exam
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: no
  • Participation: Points may be awarded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 40 students