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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Lien

lien n

[Anglo-French, bond, obligation, literally, tie, band, from Old French, from Latin ligamen , from ligare to bind]
: a charge or encumbrance upon property for the satisfaction of a debt or other duty that is created by agreement of the parties or esp. by operation of law
;specif
: a security interest created esp. by a mortgage

assessment lien
: a lien that is on property benefiting from an improvement made by a municipality and that secures payment of the taxes assessed to pay for the improvement

attachment lien
: a lien acquired on property by a creditor upon levy of an attachment

car·ri·er's lien
: a lien against freight conferring on the carrier the right to retain the property until the amount due is paid

charging lien
: a lien attaching to a judgment or recovery awarded to a plaintiff and securing payment of the plaintiff's attorney's fees and expenses called also special lien

choate lien
: a lien that requires no further action to be made enforceable and that identifies the lienor, the property subject to the lien, and the amount of the lien

common-law lien
: a lien under common law giving a creditor (as a bailee) in possession of property the right to retain possession until payment of the amount due

equitable lien
: a lien against property that does not require possession of the property and that is available in equity to prevent unjust enrichment

factor's lien
: a lien against property held on consignment by a factor conferring the right to retain possession of the property until payment of the amount due NOTE: Under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, a factor's lien is simply a security interest and, unlike a common-law lien, is enforceable even after the factor is no longer in possession of the property.

first lien
: a lien taking precedence over all other claims, charges, or encumbrances of the same general category but not necessarily over those (as taxes) imposed by government sanction

float·ing lien
: a lien created in a security agreement against property owned by the debtor at the time of the agreement's creation as well as property acquired after the agreement's creation

general lien
1 : a lien that is for the satisfaction of a balance due from an owner of property and that is not confined to the amount due in respect to the property itself
2 : retaining lien in this entry

inchoate lien
: a lien for which some procedure remains unfinished or some term remains undetermined

involuntary lien
: a lien that arises other than by the debtor's consent (as by operation of law)

judgment lien
: a lien acquired against the property of a debtor by a creditor upon obtaining a favorable judgment

judicial lien
: a lien obtained by a legal or equitable process (as judgment, levy, attachment, or execution)

ju·nior lien
: a lien that is lower in priority relative to other liens

landlord's lien
: a lien against the goods and valuables of a tenant to secure payment of rent or sometimes repayment of money otherwise owed to a landlord

maritime lien
: a lien arising under maritime law against a ship or its cargo (as for services or supplies tendered or for damages caused by a collision) which may be enforced by a court-ordered seizure of the property in order to satisfy the obligation

ma·te·ri·al·man's lien
[mə-tir-ē-əl-mənz-]
: a lien on property for materials supplied

me·chan·ic's lien
: a lien against a building and its site to assure priority of payment for labor or services (as construction and sometimes design) or material

retaining lien
: a lien that attaches to the papers or property of a client which have come into his or her attorney's possession in the course of employment and that secures payment of the attorney's fees called also general lien

se·nior lien
: a lien that is higher in priority relative to other liens

special lien
1 : an equitable lien enforceable to compel performance of an obligation (as under a divorce settlement)
2 : charging lien in this entry

spe·cif·ic lien
: a lien upon specific property as security for the payment of a debt or the satisfaction of some other obligation arising out of a transaction or agreement involving that property compare general lien in this entry

statutory lien
: a lien imposed by statute

tax lien
: a statutory lien on property for taxes due giving the taxing authority a security interest in the property compare tax sale at sale

vendor's lien
: a lien on esp. real property securing payment in full of the purchase price by the buyer

voluntary lien
: a lien created (as by contract) with the consent of the debtor



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.