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  Category: Articles » Finance » Article

Good Things To Know About Liens

By Dalvin Rumsey

First of all, let's set things straight about the meaning of a lien, that is in terms of law: a lien is a way of securing the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation, by means of granting a security interest over an item of property. The two parts involved will be referred as lienor and lienee, that is the owner of the property, who grants the lien and respectively, the person who has the benefit of the lien.

U.S. law defines the term lien as non-possessory security interest and includes many types of mortgage and charge. Other countries' laws refer to liens as being a certain type of security interest. That is when the possession of the property is lost, the lien is released. This is because in these countries, the term lien defines a passive right to retain, but not sell property until the debt or other obligation is discharged. The pronunciation is also different in the U.S. than in the other common law countries. In the U.S. the word is usually pronounced "leen", while in other countries this term is more widely known as "lee-en".

Terminology and application of the term lien may be different in the U.S. and in the other countries, but there are some similarities that must not be overseen.

In the United States, mortgages, car loans, security interests, chattel mortgages and property improvements are considered to be consensual liens, that is they are set by a contract between the creditor and the debtor. The liens can also be non-consensual, meaning that the creditor has the right to impose a lien on an item of real property or a chattel just by the existence of the relationship of creditor and debtor. To name just a few of this sort of liens: tax liens, which are imposed to secure payment of a tax, attorney's liens, against funds and documents to secure payment of fees, judgment liens, imposed to secure payment of a judgment. Non-consensual liens also include "weed liens" and "demolition liens", set by the government to rectify a property from being a nuisance and public hazard, mechanic's liens, which secure payment for work done on property or land and maritime liens, which are being imposed on ships by admiralty law.

Another point of interest when considering the definition of the term lien is perfection, that is accomplished by taking steps required by law to give third party creditors notice of the lien. If a property is still the hands of the debtor, some further steps have to be taken, until that item of property gets in the hands of the creditor. That finally means that a lien has been perfected!
About the Author
Property Liens Check for Liens Before Buying or Selling a Home. Valuable Information for Anyone Looking to Buy or Sell a Home.

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