It is common for aircraft owners to be subject to liens held by mechanics who worked on the aircraft. This can make it difficult for the aircraft owner to be able to sell their property, and they must first gain a release from the lien holder.
If you believe that an improper lien has been recorded against your aircraft, it is important that you take the appropriate action in order to dispute this. Like any dispute, a resolution can arise through proper communication and negotiation.
What options do I have?
As an aircraft owner, you have two main options when it comes to disputing the lien. The first is to try to resolve the dispute through a negotiation process. If this is considered to not be an appropriate method for the situation or it is unsuccessful, you may want to attempt a resolution through litigation.
How can a dispute be resolved through negotiation?
This can be the most cost-efficient way of gaining a resolution because it will be less expensive than going through the courts. You may be able to dispute the amount owed and reach a compromise with the lien claimant. If you can show that the lien was improper, you may also be able to claim slander of title, and, consequentially, the lien claimant would be liable for all costs associated with the incident.
How can a dispute be resolved through litigation?
A lien claimant will need to start a lien foreclosure action in order to enforce the mechanic lien. If you want to dispute this, you can either post a bond to get a release of the lien, or you can decide to defend yourself against the lien claim. You may be able to defend yourself by arguing that the lien is not properly perfected, that the foreclosure action was not taken within the given time period after the event or that they are demanding in excess of what is due.
It is important that you take early action to dispute an aircraft mechanic's lien. Disputes can take time, so it is vital that you approach the issue in the best way possible.