contractual lien

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A contractual lien is a name for a category of liens that stem from contracts and do not depend on the common law or statutes for their existence. A contractual lien is essentially a contract that gives a security interest in property to one of the parties involved. One example would be a mortgage.

Some insist that a "contractual lien" should not be called a lien at all, because a "true" lien should arise without the consent of the property owner.  Still, others argue that the concept of contractual liens adds value to discussions about the law. 

See e.g., Pou Chen Corp. v. MTS Products, 183 Cal.App.4th 188, 107 Cal. Rptr. 3d 57 (2010).

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]