What is the PPSA?

A Comprehensive Guide to the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA)

Understanding the PPSA

When asked, “What is the PPSA?” many are left scratching their heads. The Personal Property Securities Act, or PPSA, is a piece of legislation designed to regulate and enforce security interests over personal property. This law is instrumental in managing competing security interests, ensuring a fair and organized system for both creditors and debtors.

The PPSA spearheads a notice-based registration system via the Personal Property Security Registry (PPSR), which is province-wide. This system standardizes secured transactions involving personal property, providing a level platform for all parties involved.

The Four Pillars of PPSA

In understanding “What is the PPSA?”, it is essential to grasp its four core principles, regardless of provincial differences in rules, regulations, and registration requirements.

Consensual Security

Under the PPSA, only consensual security interests are covered. This implies that the debtor must willingly grant the creditor a claim over the collateral.


In situations where multiple creditors secure the same property, priority typically goes to the first who registers a notice of a security interest in the debtor’s property.


For a security interest to be enforceable against a third party, it must be attached. Attachment occurs when the debtor signs a security agreement as defined by the PPSA, value is offered, and the debtor holds rights in the collateral.


Secured parties can perfect their security interest through registration, possession, and control. If a debtor operates in various Canadian provinces, the secured creditor should register its security interest in each province to achieve perfection.

The Role of the Personal Property Security Registry

The Personal Property Security Registry (PPSR) holds a pivotal role in the PPSA system. It serves as a public notice of all registered security interests in personal property, apart from land and certain statutory exceptions.

The PPSR is instrumental in determining the priority of competing security interests. It helps potential creditors assess the risk involved in lending against specific collateral by providing a clear record of existing security interests.

PPSA in Ontario

Ontario operates a centralized registry for all securities registered under its PPSA. A search of this registry reveals the debtor’s encumbered assets and can be conducted using the following four criteria:


  • By the individual’s full name and birth date.
  • By the individual’s first and last name only.
  • By the business name.
  • By a motor vehicle identification number (VIN).

Electronic Registration Under Ontario’s PPSA

Ontario’s PPSA mandates that all financing statements and financing change statements must be registered electronically. Although the system can seem complex, here are some key points to bear in mind:


  • A single financing statement needs to be registered to perfect multiple security interests. However, this statement is only valid for the registration period.
  • If a financing statement is registered by a creditor without a security agreement allowing for the registration, the debtor can demand its removal.
  • If a debtor moves to a new province/jurisdiction, the secured creditor has 60 days to register their security interest in the new jurisdiction, or 15 days after receiving notice of relocation.

Dealing with Cross-Border Issues

When dealing with debtors located outside Canada, the secured creditor must abide by the laws of the foreign jurisdiction while enforcing its security interest. This adds a layer of complexity to the proceedings but is a necessary measure to ensure fairness and legitimacy.

Seeking Professional Help

Navigating the legal complexities of the PPSA can be challenging for both debtors and creditors. Hence, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of experienced professionals, such as those at Bankruptcy Canada – Licensed Insolvency Trustee. With our expertise in bankruptcy, insolvency, and debt counseling, we can guide you through the PPSA’s intricacies.

Bankruptcy Canada: The Go-to Source for PPSA-related Services

Bankruptcy Canada Licensed Insolvency Trustee has been assisting people in managing their debts since 1999.

Concluding Thoughts

Understanding the PPSA can seem daunting, but with the proper guidance and knowledge, it becomes manageable. Whether you’re a debtor or creditor, familiarizing yourself with the PPSA’s key concepts is vital for safeguarding your interests.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.