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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 110501
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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We have a diesel repair shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. We have

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We have a diesel repair shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. We have a backhoe that has been in our possession for 76 days now. The owner has not paid the past due invoices he has with us, the oldest of which is for the backhoe. I have been told that after 90 days we have a right to take ownership of the equipment. How do I go about doing this?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

My apologies but you generally cannot take ownership so quickly. What you need to do is first contact the owner by mail and state that if he refuses to pay, you will seek to place a lien against the equipment, which you would then be able to use to sell the equipment as a means of covering the costs that he may owe you for repairs and storage fees. Then if you place a lien, you likewise when you force a sale, can bid on the item and 'buy' it for yourself once an auction is held for the item. It usually takes a few years to get ownership of an item that is abandoned, which is why pursuing a lien first can shorten the process significantly.

Good luck.


I appreciate your bad service rating and I wish you well. I am not sure who told you that you can simply take someone's property after 90 days, but that is simply untrue. Should you try it, your client can file suit against you for 'conversion' (theft) and pursue you for damages. Be well.

Thank you again for your 'bad service' rating. I wish you well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The contact info says I can ask for another expert. I need one who knows Louisiana law.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
The gentleman did not answer the question that I asked.
Thank you for your question. I am a Louisiana attorney and look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The previous expert was correct in that what you have at this point is a "mechanic's lien" on a movable, which is done by keeping possession of the vehicle.

You need to send him a letter telling him if payment in full is not received in 30 days you will initiate legal action to perfect your mechanic's lien and take the title to the vehicle as payment for the services rendered. If the owner of the movable has not made payment upon you giving them 30 day notice to do so, then you have to perfect that lien to acquire title. To perfect the lien and acquire title, you have to file suit in your district court in your parish to quiet title and get a court order granting you ownership which you then present to LA DMV that allows you to have the vehicle titled in your name.

This is the legal process you have to follow in LA in order to acquire the legal ownership over the movable so that you can sell it for the work done and get clear title.

I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! I was not clear on how a lien was applicable to my situation. I was told I would have to apply for something by the Sheriff's deputy who was trying to help. I just had no idea what or where.

I do have another question, for clarification. I have already sent a certified letter stating the customer is still past due, that he has not made good on any of his promises to pay, that late fees and storage fees are now being assessed, and that no further work will be done for his company until his account is brought current. Do I need to send another certified letter informing him that he has 30 days to bring it current or a mechanics lien will placed on his equipment?

Thank you for your response.

The mechanic's lien on a movable in Louisiana is a "possessory lien" meaning you already have a mechanic's lien as long as you keep the vehicle in your possession, but what you need is to perfect that lien to get title. For that, you need to give him notice he has 30 days to pay EVERYTHING in full or you will proceed to court to perfect the line (which means essentially foreclose on it and obtain a court order granting you title). Then if he does not pay in the 30 days you go to the parish district court and file a suit to foreclose on the mechanic's lien and quiet title.

Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 110501
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 4 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you mind telling me your exact credentials? Name, bar number, and parish of practice. I only ask because I want to be able to tell my customer where I got the information for this. I will contact a local attorney, if needed, for any further litigation.

Thank you again!

As our terms of service that you agreed upon clearly state, we are not your attorney and do not represent anyone and are forbidden from doing so by the terms of this site. Thus, I must apologize but I cannot provide you that information as all we provide customers with is information based on the laws, but to provide you all of the information you are requesting can be construed as representation and can be grounds for our removal from this site. Thank you for understanding.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do understand. Thank you anyway. I do appreciate the assistance you have given.

Thank you very much.