New procedures for foreclosure on agister's liens By Jeff Todd and Andrew Long


Originally published in Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing

Association - July 26, 2011

While the Oklahoma horse industry survived the recent economic decline fairly well, we are aware of many horse boarding and training facilities whose customers disappeared or otherwise quit paying their bills. When this occurs, two issues arise: (i) how to recover the amount due from the customer, and (ii) how to get rid of the horse. As a creditor, the facility needs to retain possession of the horse to secure payment of the amount owed. In cases of abandonment, the facility, as a bailor of personal property, is legally obligated to continue to provide reasonable care of the abandoned property until relieved of its duty.

In Oklahoma, any person who keeps, boards or trains an animal has a lien (often referred to as an "agister's lien") on the animal for the value of the goods and services provided. For example, if the owner of a horse contracts with a boarder to board his horse for three months for $250 per month, the boarder has a lien on the horse in the amount of $750 to secure payment of the obligation. Once the owner pays the amount owed, the lien is extinguished. If the owner does not pay his debt and the boarder has retained possession of the horse, the boarder can sue the owner for the amount owed and enforce his lien by selling the animal and use the proceeds from the sale to pay off the debt.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorneys: Jeff Todd and Andrew Long.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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