The coexistence of secured and unsecured creditors leads inevitably to conflicts between the two. How these conflicts are resolved depends to a great extent on the context in which they arise. It is not the purpose of this Article to examine the ways in which these conflicting interests are handled in insolvency proceedings, whether common law or statutory. Instead, its focus will be on the clash which occurs when an unsecured creditor armed with a judgment attempts to satisfy that judgment by resort to property of the debtor which is already subject to a perfected security interest. Assuming the priority of the security interest, the issue is whether the lien creditor should be permitted to somehow "get at" any equity the debtor may have in the collateral and, if so, how the interest of the secured party is to be protected. On this point, Article 9 is relatively silent. Despite the importance of each of these two competing interests, no theoretical construct of general applicability to resolve conflicts has yet been developed. This Article will attempt to supply that construct. Before doing so, however, an overview of the judicial response to the lien creditor/ secured party conflict is provided to illuminate some of the issues which any coherent theory must resolve.

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