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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.