Part of being a commercial fisherman is keeping your boat in good working order. Sometimes work is carried out and then not paid for. This can happen for many reasons, including lack of funds, but often results in a USCG claim of lien. Understanding what a lien is and how it works can help you navigate the legal process, which you may want to hire a lawyer to help you with. In the meantime, this guide will give you the information you need to know.
What is a Claim of Lien?
Some experts liken a claim of lien to an IOU. It’s essentially a document that lets a commercial vessel owner know that they owe compensation to an individual or entity for services rendered. This might be for upgrades or repairs to your boat but could be for anything having to do with your vessel. If the boat owner has a mortgage, the notice may also be sent to the mortgage lender. Likewise, a claim of lien can be filed if payments are not made on the mortgage for a commercial fishing vessel. A lien can be a deterrent for someone looking to buy a boat, so taking care of it before putting your boat up for sale is a good idea.
Information That Must Be Included on a Claim of Lien
A claim of lien is a legal document and must contain certain information to file it. Without it, the claim will likely be denied, which can result in longer wait times and extra fees. The claim of lien will need to include the following:
- Vessel name and official number
- Name and address of claimants
- Nature of the lien
- Date the lien is established
- The total amount claimed on the lien
- Signed on behalf of each claimant
- Date of execution
- Acknowledgment or notarization
- A declaration that states that the information is correct and that a copy has been sent to the vessel owner, anyone else involved, and the mortgage holder
- A fee of $8 per page must be filed with the claim of lien
How to Submit a Claim of Lien
Following the right steps for submitting a claim of lien is important because it makes the process faster and more efficient. Having to correct mistakes can lengthen your wait time and cost you more in fees. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Submit only one original or copy of the lien. Copies will be returned, originals will not.
- Be sure the vessel is documented and on file with the National Vessel Documentation Center.
- There must be no alterations to the form.
- Fees are non-refundable and can be paid via check or credit card.
- Documents can be sent via mail or email, as well as being submitted online. ‘’
Filing a claim of lien online is fairly easy to do and we are here to help. You can complete the process with us, as well as get answers to all of your questions along the way. If you need to file a USCG claim of lien, contact the Commercial Fishing Permits Center today.