Aircraft owners tend to be somewhat familiar with the basics of aviation documentation given how often they have to deal with it. Meanwhile, those who simply have to work with aircraft may not be that knowledgeable on the matter. This only becomes an issue if they need to file a document such as an airplane claim of lien with the Federal Aviation Administration. Let’s talk about what this entails.
What is an Airplane Claim of Lien?
When someone is providing storage, maintenance, repair, or other services to an aircraft, they have the ability to assert a lien on that aircraft and retain possession until they have been paid for the services provided to the aircraft. A party asserting an airplane claim of lien, also known as the lien claimant usually resorts to this when they have not been paid for the services they have provided as a means to getting some form of payment. The claim, which will often involve state and federal aviation laws has to be properly filed and perfected, and, in order to file a claim of lien against an aircraft, it needs to be registered under the Federal Aviation Administration.
What Must a Claim of Lien Include?
There is some very specific information that any airplane claim of lien must include at a minimum. It’s important to keep these in mind so that the lien is recorded properly. Always make sure that your claim includes the following:
- The amount of the claim.
- A description of the aircraft by N-Number, manufacturer name, model designation, and serial number.
- Dates on which the labor, the materials, or the services were last furnished.
- The signature in ink of the claimant, which must show the signer’s title as appropriate.
- A recording fee of $5 USD for each aircraft affected by the claim by way of a check or money order made payable to the Federal Aviation Administration.
What Comes Next?
Once the lien has been perfected, the airplane claim of lien encumbers the aircraft and usually prevents the owner from selling it before obtaining a release from the claimant. It’s important to note that often a common defense against a claim of lien is that it was not perfected properly. This happens because it either wasn’t filed within the proper time period after the last day of work or that the lien claimant did not follow the right procedures in order to perfect it. It is also common for the defendant to insist that the claimant is knowingly asking for a larger amount than that they are entitled to, therefore invalidating the whole claim.
National Aviation Center
Here at the National Aviation Center, we want to make sure that every aviation-related form is both easily accessible and readily available to anyone looking to file an airplane claim of lien or any other document related to an aircraft. These forms are all ready for you to fill up on our home page, but if you need some additional help with any of them, don’t worry. Use our website chat, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 1-800-357-0893 and we’ll answer your questions in no time.