Good work. Now make sure to hold onto the tractor until you get paid

A lien for the  person who makes, alters, repairs, or enhances the value of machinery, farm tools or implements, or shoes horses or mules.

Why the lien is called an Artisan’s Lien is beyond me.  I don’t remember anybody who would be covered by this lien calling themselves an artisan.  Maybe I need to get out more.

Call it what you will.  If you are the person who performed the work but wasn’t paid you can effectuate the lien in two ways: (1) through possession; and (2) through UCC filing.


The lien allows you to possess and keep the machinery, farm tool, implement or horse until the charges for the work has been paid.  You are not allowed to charge any additional fees (storage, feed, or maintenance) unless you send notice by certified mail to the owner that you  possess their property and intend to assess an additional fee beginning on the date the notice is sent.  You need to include the rate or amount of the fee.  A copy of the notice must be sent to any other lienholder noted on an applicable certificate of title.  Other lienholders may include a bank which is listed on a title to a vehicle or other type of machinery.

UCC Filing:

You still have lien rights even if the property was returned.  Without possession, you will need to “perfect” the lien in order to enforce it.  To perfect the lien you must file a UCC financing statement within 60 days of performing the work or furnishing the material.  The financing statement must contain the following:

(1) your name, address and social security number or federal tax identification number;

(2) the owner’s name, address and social security number or federal tax identification number, if known (failure to include the SS# or tax ID# will not unperfect the lien);

(3) a description of the work performed or material furnished;

(4) a description of the machinery, farm tool, implement or horse/mule upon which the work was performed or material furnished; and

(5) the amount due for such work performed or material furnished.

Finally, a copy of the lien must be sent to the owner of the machinery, farm tool, implement or horse/mule.

A properly filed lien takes priority to any lien filed thereafter but has to be enforced within one year after the filing of the lien.

This is one case where the phrase “possession is 9/10ths the law” holds up.  The owner will be more apt to pay if you possess her property rather than a UCC filing statement.