What are some examples of debts and liabilities that may be secured by a maritime lien on a vessel?
Charges for goods and services rendered to the vessel (referred to as "necessaries"), such as moorage, fuel
and other consumables, maintenance, repairs
, and some types of insurance premiums; towage; seamenís wages; salvage; liability to repair
dock and collision damage; liability to compensate for personal injury and boating accidents; and maintenance, cure and unearned wages owed to former crewmen.
Does anything special have to be done to create a maritime lien?
The filing of appropriate documents with the National Vessel Documentation Center is needed to create a preferred ship mortgage lien. All other liens arise spontaneously upon the provision of goods or services to the vessel or other maritime property, or upon the commission of the accident or other event that gives rise to a liability secured by the lien. Since there is no need to file, there is no reliable means of discovering all liens that may exist against a vessel. Liens not of record are called "secret liens
What is the procedure for collecting on a maritime lien?
A maritime lien may only be foreclosed, or "executed," by the filing of an admiralty action in federal court by one or more lien claimants. The vessel is then arrested by a deputy marshal, and held in custody pending further developments. The custodian is usually a private vendor, because the marshalís charges for custody are prohibitive. Other lien claimants may enter the action. If any of the lien claimants prove entitlement to foreclose and payment, then the court will order the vessel sold, usually at public auction conducted by the marshal. Successful lien claimants will then be paid from sale proceeds in order of priority. Any remaining balance may be paid to the owner. Visit the Vessel Arrest Information page in this site for additional information.
Regrettably, vessels usually bring less, and often much less, than their fair market value at a foreclosure sale. But a lien claimant may be able to purchase the vessel using the credit of its claim, avoiding any outlay of additional