When someone drives off from a gas station without paying, the attendant will probably call the police to report a crime. However, paying at the pump isn’t always what happens in the aviation world.
Sometimes, fuel suppliers will offer credit to those with a plane at a certain airfield or hanger. They may also have accounts where they track fuel use and allow people to pay at the end of the month for all the fuel they use, which can be a more efficient approach than arranging payment every time someone needs fuel.
The problem with this setup is that fuel providers can find themselves unpaid even after providing someone with fuel. Thankfully, business owners in this situation can likely request a lien against the plane involved. How will that help?
A lien helps compel the other party to pay
You have already provided goods for which you have not received payment, but you trusted that the customer would make good on their obligation to you. Not only is fuel a recurring need, but the person who owns the plane obviously has valuable resources.
Securing a lien against the plane ensures that the owner cannot sell the plane as a way of avoiding repaying you. Instead, they will have to pay you in full before selling the plane or using it as collateral for a loan in most cases. An aviation lean does not guarantee timely repayments, but it does increase your odds of getting what you deserve from a plane’s owner.
Securing an aviation lien and enforcing one may be the best way to get repaid by someone who has consistently tried to avoid paying for their fuel.