Texas Property Code Concerning Aircraft Maintenance and Storage Liens
This page is dedicated to the many Aircraft Maintenance Shops that have had trouble collecting money from customers that either pay real slowly or sometimes think that they do not have to pay their maintenance bill at all. The Texas Property Code has some specific rules on this subject, and provides the remedies at law in which the "informed" average Maintenance Technician can recover all his money with out the aide of a lawyer.
One method of protecting yourself in Texas, and establishing the fact that a lien exists on an aircraft after you have finished the work on an aircraft is to, before the work is initiated, have the customer sign the work order. It also important that the work order have some verbiage just above the customer signature line that is similar to the following:
The labor and materials are ordered by me, for which I have the authority to order, to be listed at your regular prices. I agree to pay cash when the work is completed, or on terms that are satisfactory to you; and until paid, it shall constitute a lien on the aircraft as provided for under Texas Property Code Title 5 Chapter 70 Subchapter D Section 70.301."
Some states may have no legal provision like Texas does, however if you have information relating to this subject in your State, e-mail me and I will post it here.
What the above paragraph has established in Texas, is that a lien has been created and that an authorized individual has been notified of the existence of such lien. This does a lot in paving the way for a repossession or a court action. You would be surprised to see how fast someone pays their maintenance bill once they get via certified, registered, return receipt requested mail a "notice of intent to sell at a public sale" their aircraft for failure to pay a maintenance invoice.
Anyone that has been in aviation long enough has seen this problem many times. Unfortunately, I have observed many aircraft maintenance shops take it in the shorts in this situation. They are busy doing what they do best, which is maintaining aircraft, and they simply do not have the time to educate themselves.
They feel that if a lawyer is involved, he will take most of the money anyway, so why bother. They fail to realize the provisions in the law that allows for the legal fees to be paid for by the defaulted party.
This page is still in the planning stage...I have some FAA lien conveyance forms that I have scanned and will post here for downloading...stay tuned for more details.
Disclaimer: we are not lawyers here, nor do we claim to be legal experts. We are not offering legal advice of any kind. The contents of these pages are directly from the referenced sources and are provided for information purposes only.
Click here to go to the Texas Property Code Title 5 Chapter 70 Subchapter D
Click here to see the Uniform Commercial Code 9-503 & 9-504
Don't click here for FAA Form 8050-4 yet
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