Personal Property Securities Register
At the heart of the Personal Property Securities Act is a searchable register called the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) which commenced operation on 1 My 2002. The PPSR is a form of electronic notice board recording specific details of security interests held in respect of personal property. You can access the register online at www.ppsr.govt.nz
It replaces four separate registries: the motor vehicle securities register, the chattels register at the High Court, and the registers of company charges and industrial and provident society charges at the Companies Office. Security interests over almost all types of personal property, other than land and ships, can now be registered in one place.
Secured parties now register security interests in the PPSR with a standard financing statement. Registering a financing statement in the PPSR is one way of perfecting a security interest. Perfection is critical to protecting the priority of security interests. The general rule under the PPSA is that the first to register a financing statement has priority.
The general rule is that if a creditor has a registered security interest, their rights in the property are superior to someone who buys the property from the debtor.
There are some exceptions to this rule that protect innocent consumers. When those exceptions apply, a person who buys property subject to a registered security interest get full rights in the property. This means that the creditor is not able to force a sale of the property to recover the debt, and must instead pursue other legal remedies against the debtor.