- Why should I have a lien search done?
- Can you do a search using the equipment serial number?
- What do you charge to do a lien search?
- We don’t search when we buy from dealers or auctions. Is this okay?
- How do I know if the legal owner is an individual or the company?
- How do I know where the liens are filed?
- What if I give you more than one name to search?
- Can we conduct a lien search on our own company?
- The bank has a blanket lien. They won’t file a release, so why should they be contacted?
- What other services does Ground Clearance provide?
- My bank or lawyer does my lien searches. Why should I use Ground Clearance instead?
- Will you check the releases against the liens for us to make sure we have what we need?
- Are you a lawyer?
- We are a dedicated dealer. We do you provide different from our manufacturer?
- Do you carry liability insurance?
Why should I have a lien search done?
Because the lien follows the machine. If the note holding the collateral is not paid off and/or the lien released by the creditor, the creditor can go to the new owner for payment. If you paid the owner, and the creditor was not paid, you will either be paying twice and/or paying a lawyer to recoup your loss from the seller. Have a search conducted and get releases from secured creditors to avoid this problem.
Can you do a search using the equipment serial number?
In the United States liens are filed by debtor (legal owner) name. Therefore they are searched by debtor name. Liens are searched by the legal owner of the equipment.
What do you charge to do a lien search?
Our cost is $45.00 per name searched in most states and usually $2.00 per page of liens discovered. Each state charges different to access their records. Those that charge more cause our rates to be higher as well. If you make a request in one of those states, we will notify you prior to conducting the search to eliminate the surprise. The average search (which may include additional names searched, tax lien, and/or civil judgment searches as well) for 2012 was $120.00. That’s a fair value for the price of equipment.
We don’t search when we buy from dealers or auctions. Is this okay?
Not all dealers or auction companies have search on their deals. Ask for a search of the seller. If they won’t do this, get them in contact with Ground Clearance. We will keep the sellers information confidential and provide you with a document stating the status of liens.
How do I know if the legal owner is an individual or the company?
You may want to simply ask the seller if the equipment is owned under a company name. The legal owner is the only one that can legally sell it. An individual cannot sell a business owned asset. A business cannot sell an asset that it does not own. Whoever is named on the
personal property tax and insurance is the legal owner.
How do I know where the liens are filed?
Liens are filed on businesses in the state they are incorporated. This might not be the state where they do business. Ground Clearance staff will verify the incorporation information with the Secretary of State office. Sometimes we find the business is fictitious (or a d.b.a.) and the liens are filed on the individual – not a business. We will notify you so you can confirm your sale documents have the correct party.
What if I give you more than one name to search?
Let us know which one you believe is the legal owner and we will start there. If the lien information is complete and points to them as the owner, we will ask if you want the other name searched still. If we search one name and find additional debtors on liens, we will ask if you want that name searched as well.
Can we conduct a lien search on our own company?
Yes. This is beneficial in more than one way. First, you will know exactly what filings are in effect for your company. Second, you can use this information to promote equipment you sell. Let your buyer know you have a lien search done. It may speed up the sale.
The bank has a blanket lien. They won’t file a release, so why should they be contacted?
Occasionally bankers even state this. They control the line of credit. They can claim interest in any piece of equipment. A Release of Lien (UCC-3) may not be filed, but they can- and should-provide a letter stating their interest or lack of.
What other services does Ground Clearance provide?
- Our creditor contact services are an hourly rate. We will work with the seller and secured creditors to get letters for payoff and lien releases. We will do the due diligence involved in verifying the debt on the equipment you are purchasing. The time frame for completing the work is dependent on the time it takes to retrieve all documents necessary. We charge $50.00 an hour for this service.
- Consulting services include coming to your business to see if you are doing what you can do, internally, to limit your risk of loss when dealing in equipment. Your staff will have the opportunity to learn more about liens and what can and cannot be done with the information. The fees for this service include travel and boarding expenses plus $50.00 an hour. Minimum two hours.
- UCC filing – if you rent or lease your equipment and do not file a UCC on the lessor/renter, the equipment may be sold out from under you. If a buyer does a lien search the equipment will appear free of encumbrances if a lien is not filed.
My bank or lawyer does my lien searches. Why should I use Ground Clearance instead?
Lien search is our only job. This shortens up the time frame for getting the information. We pull all of the UCC for the debtor (to find all potential debt on the equipment), we explain what you receive, and we don’t charge $400 an hour. Our customers who used their lawyer previously got tired of getting the information when the lawyer had time to do it. They also did not receive complete searches or an explanation of what they received. Customers who used their bank also did not receive complete searches and an explanation. Time was a factor with the banks too. Locating tax liens or civil judgments was not an option.
Will you check the releases against the liens for us to make sure we have what we need?
We will. We have an hourly rate of $50.00 to verify you have what you need. We will prorate the fee in this instance.
Are you a lawyer?
No. The owners and staff do not hold any degree in law. We will refer you to your lawyer if a question or circumstance arises which requires legal advice.
We are a dedicated dealer. We do you provide different from our manufacturer?
Most manufacturers check their own company database to check for their own liens. They do not check the state. If the note was moved to a different creditor, they won’t show it. They also do not locate blanket liens which encumber “all equipment, inventory” or “all assets”.
Do you carry liability insurance?
Yes. Ground Clearance carries $1,000,000 in Errors and Omissions insurance. Though we provide more extensive services than other lien search companies, we have not had issue to use the insurance.