FAA Lien Search / Aircraft Title Search

FAA Lien Search / Aircraft Title SearchAn FAA lien search (otherwise known as an Aircraft Title Search) helps in determining that an aircraft that you intend to buy or own is free of a security agreement, tax lien or any other such financial liability against the aircraft. The FAA keeps track of any such instances, which can then help make you better prepared for any aircraft purchase or sale that you may be planning.

Different States have different laws around liens and although there’s no federal requirement to file a lien with the FAA, it is certainly a great indicator of how clean the title of the aircraft is. It is important to note that almost all service providers who can perform this search, do not interpret the results. While we can provide indicative guidance, it is up to a legal professional to interpret the actual report.

How does the FAA Record a Lien?

When a lien is recorded against a particular aircraft, the FAA sends a notice to the secured party. This notice provides specific details about the lien as well as the affected aircraft and who the lien was filed by, date, etc. A lien may include different aircraft parts (engines, propellers, etc.)

Mechanic's liens can be particularly problematic. A mechanic may file a lien against an aircraft long after work has been performed on the aircraft (this is usually done if the owner did not pay or has not completed full payment). In these cases, an owner may not even be aware that there's a lien on the aircraft and this results in what is known as a "clouded title". This causes a problem for the owner, especially when trying to sell the plane.

Why would I want to perform an FAA Lien Search (Aircraft Title Search)?

In our 40 years of experience, we've come across a number of transactions where a buyer entered into an agreement based on trust, and post-sale, realized that there was financial issues with the purchased asset - so we always advise our customers to err on the side of caution. Our lien searches are quick and will provide you with a much greater peace of mind to go ahead with your transaction. Basically, you're about to spend a lot of money on a beautiful piece of machinery - you don't want to try and cut corners with the basic, yet very important things.

To Find out more about this service, get in touch with us here. Alternatively, find out why owning your aircraft in the name of an LLC is a great idea.