A security interest or legal right acquired in one's property by a creditor. A lien generally stays in effect until the underlying obligation to the creditor is satisfied. If the underlying obligation is not satisfied, the creditor may be able to take possession of the property involved.
The major categories of liens are as follows: Agricultural lien, Common law lien, Statutory lien, Contractual lien, Maritime lien, Legal lien, and Equitable lien.
Within these categories, many liens have specific names that usually stem from the type of creditor involved. See, e.g., Artisan's lien, Carrier's lien, Floating lien, Mechanic's lien, Storage lien, and Tax lien.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A creditor's legal claim against particular property owned by a debtor as security for a debt. Liens the debtor agrees to, called security interests, include mortgages, home equity loans, car loans, and personal loans for which the debtor pledges property as collateral. Nonconsensual liens are liens placed on property without the debtor's consent, and include tax liens, judgment liens (liens a creditor obtains by suing and getting a court judgment against the debtor), and mechanics' liens (liens filed by a contractor who worked on the debtor's house but didn't get paid).
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:19 pm