debtor and creditor: an overview
Debtor-creditor law governs situations where one party is unable to pay a monetary debt to another. There are three types of creditors. First are those who have a lien against a particular piece of property. This property (or proceeds from its sale) must be used to satisfy the debt to the lien-creditor before it can be used to satisfy debts to other creditors. A lien may arise through statute, agreement between the parties, or judicial proceedings. See, e.g., Secured Transactions and Mortgages. Secondly, a creditor may have a priority interest. A priority arises through statutory law. If a creditor has a priority his debt must be paid when the debtor becomes insolvent before other debts. For example, Congress has granted priority to debts owed the Federal government. See Federal Tax Lien Act. The final type of creditor is one who has neither a lien against the debtor's property or is the subject of a statutory priority.