Aircraft Owner's Rights During Repossession: Insights from Aviation Attorneys


If you're the proud owner of an aircraft, you know that soaring the skies comes with its own set of legal considerations. One of the more complex situations you could find yourself in is aircraft repossession. An aircraft is more cumbersome to repossess than a car. Unlike a house, many kinds of aircraft can be relocated to anywhere in the world. All of these factors can make the job of aircraft repossession difficult and risky. 

We're here to shed light on your rights as an aircraft owner during the challenging process of repossession. 

Understanding the Basics of Aircraft Repossession

Many people may not know a few basics of aircraft repossession. Essentially, it's the legal process where a lender or financing company reclaims possession of an aircraft due to a default on loan payments or lease agreements. 

While it's a tough situation for everyone involved, it's essential to know your rights as an aircraft owner to ensure the process is carried out fairly.

Notice Requirements

One of the most crucial aspects of aircraft repossession is the notice requirement. Aviation law generally dictates that lenders must provide you with proper notice before repossessing the aircraft. 

This notice usually includes information about the default, the amount owed, and a grace period to cure the default by paying what's owed. This gives you a chance to address the issue and potentially prevent repossession.

Legal Consultation

Navigating the intricacies of aircraft repossession can be overwhelming, especially when your prized possession is on the line. This is where the expertise of aviation attorneys comes into play.

Consulting an airplane repo attorney who specializes in aviation law can provide you with invaluable guidance, ensuring that your rights are upheld throughout the process.

Repossession Procedures

If the default isn't cured within the specified grace period, the lender may move forward with the repossession process. An experienced lawyer stresses that lenders must follow the legal procedures outlined in your jurisdiction. 

It typically involves obtaining a court order or following specific protocols laid out by the relevant aviation authority.

Avoiding Wrongful Repossession

Aviation attorneys emphasize that wrongful repossession. Repossessing an aircraft without following proper legal procedures is a serious matter. 

If you believe your aircraft was wrongfully repossessed, it's crucial to consult an attorney immediately. You might have legal recourse to recover damages or even reclaim your aircraft.

Your Aircraft's Condition

During the repossession process, lenders are generally obligated to take reasonable care of your aircraft. They should safeguard it from damage and store it properly. Should any damage occur, aviation attorneys can help you understand your rights and options for seeking compensation.

Right to Remove Personal Property

If you have personal property in the aircraft such as avionics, equipment, or personal belongings, aviation law often grants you the right to retrieve these items before the aircraft is sold. This protects your interests and ensures you're not left without your valuable possessions.

Selling the Aircraft

In cases where repossession leads to the sale of your aircraft, aviation attorneys stress that lenders must generally follow strict guidelines for selling the aircraft at a fair price. This helps protect your financial interests and ensures that the sale process is transparent.

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