(a) Acknowledgment of filing written record. If a person that files a written record requests an acknowledgment of the filing, the filing office shall send to the person an image of the record showing the number assigned to the record pursuant to Section 7-9A-519(a)(1) and the date and time of the filing of the record. However, if the person furnishes a copy of the record to the filing office, the filing office may instead:
(1) note upon the copy the number assigned to the record pursuant to Section 7-9A-519(a)(1) and the date and time of the filing of the record; and
(2) send the copy to the person.
(b) Acknowledgment of filing other record. If a person files a record other than a written record, the filing office shall communicate to the person an acknowledgment that provides:
(1) the information in the record;
(2) the number assigned to the record pursuant to Section 7-9A-519(a)(1); and
(3) the date and time of the filing of the record.
(c) Communication of requested information. The filing office shall communicate or otherwise make available in a record the following information to any person that requests it:
(1) whether there is on file on a date and time specified by the filing office, but not a date earlier than three business days before the filing office receives the request, any financing statement that:
(A) designates a particular debtor or, if the request so states, designates a particular debtor at the address specified in the request;
(B) has not lapsed under Section 7-9A-515 with respect to all secured parties of record; and
(C) if the request so states, has lapsed under Section 7-9A-515 and a record of which is maintained by the filing office under Section 7-9A-522(a);
(2) the date and time of filing of each financing statement; and
(3) the information provided in each financing statement.
(d) Medium for communicating information. In complying with its duty under subsection (c), the filing office may communicate information in any medium. However, if requested, the filing office shall communicate information by issuing its written certificate.
(e) Timeliness of filing office performance. The filing office shall perform the acts required by subsections (a) through (d) at the time and in the manner prescribed by filing-office rule. The filing office should perform the required acts within a reasonable period of time, and after January 1, 2003, not later than two business days after the filing office receives the request.
(f) Public availability of records. The Secretary of State shall adopt a rule pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act which provides a procedure and reasonable fees for the sale or licensing to the public on a nonexclusive basis, in bulk, of copies of all records filed in the office of the Secretary of State under this part. There is hereby created in the State Treasury a fund to be known as the Secretary of State's Information Bulk Sales Fund. Section 7-9A-525 or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, all funds, fees, charges, costs and collections accruing to or collected by the office of the Secretary of State under the provisions of this section shall be deposited into the State Treasury to the credit of this fund and shall not be expended for any purpose whatsoever unless the same shall have been allotted and budgeted in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 41, and only in the amounts and for the purposes provided by the Legislature in the general appropriation bill or this section.
(g) The Secretary of State shall develop and implement a central indexing system containing the information filed with his or her office pursuant to subsection (f) of Section 7-9A-320. Under this system, the Secretary of State shall record the date and time of filing and compile the information into a master list organized according to farm products. The list shall be organized within each farm product category in alphabetical order according to the last name of the debtor, or in the case of debtors doing business other than as individuals, the first word in the name of such debtor, in numerical order according to the Social Security or taxpayer identification number of the debtor, geographically by county, and by crop year. The master list also shall contain the name and address of the secured party, the name and address of the debtor, a description of the farm products, including amount where applicable, subject to the security interest and a reasonable description of the real estate, including the county, where the farm products are located.
(h) The Secretary of State shall maintain a list of all buyers of farm products, commission merchants, and selling agents who register with the Secretary of State indicating an interest in receiving the lists described in subsection (i).
(i) The Secretary of State shall distribute at regular intervals as determined by him or her, to each buyer, commission merchant, and selling agent registered under subsection (h) a copy in written or printed form or, if elected by the buyer, commission merchant, or selling agent in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary of State, in electronic form, of those portions of the master list which the buyer, commission merchant, or selling agent has indicated an interest in receiving. The charge for a printed copy of the entire or any portion of the master list and any supplements to that list shall be a fee established by the Secretary of State of up to twenty-five cents ($.25) per page, but no buyer, commission merchant, or selling agent shall be obligated to pay more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) per year in charges for a printed copy of each distributed master list or portion thereof. The charge for receiving the entire or any portion of the master list in electronic form shall be a fee established by the Secretary of State of up to one hundred dollars ($100) annually.
(j) Upon request of any person, the Secretary of State shall provide, within 24 hours, an oral confirmation of whether there is on file, on the date and hour stated, any presently effective financing statement naming a particular debtor to be followed by a written confirmation. The fee for confirming an oral search shall be twenty dollars ($20) plus two dollars ($2) for each financing statement and for each statement of assignment reported therein.