In many ways, an aircraft is a modern marvel of engineering. Able to soar to great heights and transport individuals across the globe, airplane technology has advanced rapidly since its invention more than 100 years ago. While planes have certainly become more reliable in recent times, they do require close attention and periodic maintenance. If this is how you make your living, you know that working on planes can be time-consuming and cost-intensive. Because your hours are valuable, it can be especially frustrating when a plane owner is delinquent on payment. Fortunately, when this becomes an unworkable issue, you do have legal pathways to obtaining what you are owed, and one such method for this is to file an airplane claim of lien for your compensation.
The concept of a lien may be a familiar one to you, or you may have at least heard the term before. On a basic level, a lien is a security interest that can be placed on property or an item in order to satisfy the payment of a debt. Commonly, a lien can be placed on land or property, but as airplanes are exceptionally expensive items, it is not unusual for a lien to be issued in order to secure back compensation. While the process for filing a lien against an aircraft is not too dissimilar from doing so against a boat or a house, there are some particular nuances that you may want to acquaint yourself with.
How to File an Airplane Claim of Lien
There are a wide variety of circumstances that can bring you to consider filing an airplane claim of lien. Perhaps you have carried out mechanical work that has gone unpaid? Maybe you painted an aircraft and the owner has not addressed your invoice. Or, you might have worked as a crew member on an airplane but have yet to receive your wages. Whatever your reasons for filing a lien may be, there is a formal process that you will need to complete with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
You may be wondering, why I need to alert the FAA of this issue. Well, in short, the FAA likes to maintain a very thorough registry of all aircraft operating in the United States. This includes information on ownership stakes for airplanes, which a lien can potentially impact. The good news is, however, by working with a private service such as ours at the National Aviation Center, you can process your claim of lien document online in just minutes.
To satisfy the paperwork requirements for your claim of lien, you will need to provide specific information. You will need to fill in your name, address, phone number, and email address. You will also need to input some information about the aircraft in question, specifically its make, model, serial, and N-numbers. Lastly, you should provide the amount owed as well as a description of the work that was done.
Once you have completed this form, you will need to return it to the FAA’s offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. You can either do this by email or by using our SSL-encrypted web portal to process your documents. It is worth noting, also, that filing a claim of lien is a legal process, and as such, it is going to be in your best interests to consult with a lawyer who understands this area of the law.
How Does a Claim of Lien Work?
So, you have gone through the process of drawing up and filing a claim of lien against an aircraft. What happens now? How will it be effective? To be blunt, a claim of lien can essentially serve as a scare tactic or wake-up call to the delinquent party. As having a lien on an aircraft can make it very difficult to sell, it is in the owner’s best interest to resolve the matter as promptly as they can.
If you are in the market to purchase an airplane, you should be very wary of buying an aircraft that is carrying a lien against it. You will want to make sure that the current owner takes action to settle the issue before transferring ownership of the plane to you.
Handling Your Paperwork Online
Whether you need to file an airplane claim of lien or to file an initial registration document with the FAA, we can help. If you are new to aircraft ownership, you are going to want to file your Form AC 8050-1 – Aircraft Registration Application as soon as possible. This document will provide you with your N-number and registration, which you will then be tasked with renewing every three years. Take a moment or two to explore our website–we have streamlined web forms for all of your FAA paperwork needs.