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Property searches rise as businesses protect themselves from financial risk

The PPSR protects buyers and those with an interest in an asset. Searches of the Australian Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) are on the rise as businesses seek to protect themselves from financial risk amid challenging economic and business conditions.

The PPSR is a government-operated service that allows businesses and individuals to check if the goods they want to buy are free from debt or other risks, as well as protect their interests in an asset.

There were more than 3.2 million searches conducted on the PPSR in the September quarter 2023. This was an increase of 14.3% compared to the September quarter 2022.

Motor vehicle searches by serial number were the most common type in the September quarter 2023. They accounted for 51.5% of searches.

An online PPSR search can tell you whether security interests are being claimed against personal property and by whom.

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For example, a business may borrow money to expand their operations and offer up a business asset, such as machinery, as security. If they default on the loan, the bank maintains a security interest in the machinery and can repossess and sell the asset to repay the loan.

Registering on the PPSR can also help protect your financial interest in goods or assets sold on terms, leased or hired out, or accepted as security for a loan. This includes businesses that supply goods and offer customers 30, 60 or 90 days to pay. An invoice or contract, along with an effective PPSR registration, can even put you ahead of banks, other lenders and outstanding tax debts, if your customer goes out of business.

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