Integrating Lien Search into your business – as a matter of policy

Have you been considering using lien search as a company policy? Consider these points when making that decision

  • Make it mandatory                                                                                     Sales persons need to know that lien search is UCC1mandatory on equipment moving within your company. Generally, companies have a policy of liability by dollar amount. i.e.: Any equipment over $5,000 requires a lien search before funds will be paid to the seller. All relevant liens need releases.
  • Have a policy                                             Have a policy on tax lien and civil judgment searches. Some companies require this and let me know. No matter what request I receive from the sales person I know what the company requires.
  • Know your options                                                                                      Knowing that lien searches average costs $78.00 (with Ground Clearance) should be a bottom line cost for your business with each piece of equipment you are interested in dealing (whether purchase to resale, broker, or end user). Note that is an average. The cost is dependent on where documents are coming from, how many names are being searched, what type of search you are needing (UCC, tax lien, judgment) and how many pages of liens are filed.
  • Plan your cost                                                                                              Adding lien search is another cost to the bottom line of a purchase. Let me know the dollar amount you need the lien search to stay within. If it appears it will be outside of that I will contact you and let you know your options. I won’t up charge to meet your maximum. I don’t work for free either though.
  • Due diligence                                                                                                Once the lien search is received have a process in place for following up on liens that are relevant to the equipment. These would be blanket, PMSI, surety bonded projects, specific liens, and possibly tax liens. You cannot legally contact another’s creditors without written authorization. Since the seller is the creditor’s customer a creditor will provide lien payoff or release to their customer faster than someone else inquiring. I can help with this process.

When you implement this type of program you can use the Ground Clearance Debt Verified logo on your website and equipment marketing. Your equipment will sell faster because buyer will see that a lien search was done.

Provide Ground Clearance with a copy of the releases and Ground Clearance will provide documentation for the next buyer – or the bank – that the equipment is free and clear to the best of knowledge.

Let me know how I can help. I will Skype for your sales meeting to answer questions.

Can you search by serial number?

The short answer is “no”. In the US liens are filed by the debtor name. The name and city are pretty much all you need. A lot of the equipment listed on the internet does not list the owner and the research ahead of contact would be great.

I'm sure I saw a serial number here earlier.
I’m sure I saw a serial number here earlier.

Manufacturers may use the same serial number on different models.Sometimes serial numbers change if the equipment is modified. The possibility is real with getting goofed up with the variety of serial numbers on one machine. (I know, you’d think it’s common knowledge which one to use – but common knowledge often isn’t as common as we think.)

Most times the last six of the serial number are used instead of the entire nomenclature which can be the difference. I see so many UCC’s with equipment listed with a different year for the same machine – and it turns out both exist. Therefore, there is not, nor will there ever be, a registry of serial numbers to research.

The problem buyers have is concern over the equipment being represented by the actual owner. (i.e.: not stolen) Ways to get confirmation of rightful owner are:
• bill of sale from the previous purchase
• a copy of the current insurance coverage
• a letter from the banker
• a search with NER. (National Equipment Registry) They data mine and work with insurance companies and sheriffs offices. They have lists of equipment which has had an insurance claim. You will know if the probably piece has had a claim for being stolen, underwater, etc.. Their lien searches are also data mined and do not represent what is actually filed on the debtor.

If the seller is the rightful owner, they shouldn’t balk at providing proof. A nice line like, “Hey buddy, I’m just protecting my business –the same you would want if I were selling the piece to you.” might help. It might not, but sometimes spelling out good business practices hits home. Tell them you are doing a lien search with Ground Clearance. They can call with any questions.  402-484-5071 Always happy to answer questions.