Commercial and State Liens

Ben Ysursa, Secretary of State

Electronic State Liens Distribution
Frequently Asked Questions

Why do only some lien files have any dollar amounts?


Pursuant to Section 45-1905, Idaho Code, State Liens cover real and personal property, both tangible and intangible. Upon the Tax Commission's request, in March 2003 we began accepting original dollar amounts on Tax lien filings. Those dollar figures represent the amount of the lien at the time of orginal filing only and is subject to change.  For updated amounts one would need to contact the Idaho Tax Commission.

Is there any additional information available on a state lien filed with the Secretary of State?  

The files provided to Electronic State Liens subscribers contain all of the information provided to the Secretary of State.  Additional information about a lien may be available from the agency filing the lien.  Contacts for each of the filing agencies is provided to subscribers in the initial historical data package.

How are files formatted?  

Files are in a flat file fixed-length format.  The record layouts of the files are provided in FileLayout.pdf.

Why do the Original and Amendment files have different layouts?  

Different information is required, based on whether an Original lien, or an amendment to an Original lien is being filed.  The different file layout is designed to accommodate these differences.

How do I receive the file and when should I expect it?  

Currently, files are distributed via email.  Files are sent out on normal business working days, between 8:00am and 9:00am.  How fast you receive the file depends on the service provider and connection that you are using for your internet communications.

What is the charge for electronic files?  

Files transferred through email are charged at $8.00 per delivery.  Potentially, for daily subscribers, there could be as many as 23 transmittals in a calendar month.

How do I know if I received all files?  

Daily subscribers will receive an email each working day, containing either the previous days files, or a notification that no files were processed the previous day.  Weekly subscribers will receive an email each Monday with the previous weeks files. Monthly subscribers will receive an email on the 1st of the month (unless it falls on a weekend) that contains the previous months files..

Why does my Access database have problems importing the data into my database?  

There are many reasons why files may not import, but assuming that you have been successful at importing files in the past, the most common reason is that are characters in the flat file that are normally recognized as spaces, but are not recognized as such by MS Access.  To correct the problem, open the file in a straight text file, (such as Notepad) then save the file without making any changes.  This will eliminate any unrecognized characters.  Do not use higher end editors such as WordPad or MS Word, as these will not eliminate the unknown characters.

Is there any way short of actually looking at the file header record to differentiate new lien files from Amendment files?  Perhaps by the naming convention?  

The only indication of the type of file is located inside the files themselves.  The header record should contain one of four letters in position 24 to indicate the type of file:

O -- Original Filings file
A –- Amendment files
Z -- Only used in conversion files, these were historical amendments
C -- Only used in conversion files, these were historical original filings

What values would we expect to see in the D-Name-Suffix field?  

In the D-Name-Suffix field any 3 char designation is accepted.  You would expect to see values such as JR, SR, III, 3rd, 2nd, etc.

Will any AKA or DBA records be reported on the files or will the reporting be limited to the primary individual or business name?  If the AKA and DBA will be reported, how will I be able to distinguish them from the primary record?  

Only one debtor name per lien will be filed for state liens.  In the case where there are multiple names, additional liens will be filed for the additional names.

Does the history file that you've sent represent all of the liens and releases that were formerly filed in the counties?  

The history file that a subscriber is provided includes only those liens that the various agencies have elected to file with us at this time.  Liens that expired prior to filing with this office are not filed with the Secretary of State.

What can I expect to see in the files distributed to me?  

A daily subscriber will receive an e-mail with either an attachment (a single zip file which must be expanded for use), with the previous days filings, or a message indicating that there were no files. Weekly and Monthly subscribers will receive the previous weeks and months filings zipped into a single zip file which must be expanded for use.

Who would use this service?  

Typical subscribers include:
Daily:  Title Companies
Weekly:  Periodic Publisher
Monthly:  Credit Reporting Service

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