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A security interest in one or more assets that lenders hold in exchange for secured debt financing.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


The ability of a lender to sell the collateral if the borrower defaults on a loan. For example, if a loan is secured by one house, the bank or other lender has a lien on the house. It may foreclose and sell the house if the borrower does not make payments in a timely manner. A lien makes a loan less risky for the lender and may entitle the borrower to a lower interest rate or even a higher line of credit. See also: Secured Bond, Mortgage.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


The legal right of a creditor to sell mortgaged assets when the debtor is unable or unwilling to meet requirements of a loan agreement. A lien makes a bondholder's claim more secure.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


A lien exists when you owe money to a lender on a particular vehicle or other asset, such as real estate, that has been used as collateral on a loan.

An asset on which there's a lien can't be sold until the lienholder has been repaid. When you own an asset on which there's a lien, you risk having it repossessed if you default and don't make the required payments in full and on time.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


A legally enforceable claim on the property of another as a result of a debt or obligation. It may be voluntary,such as a mortgage,or involuntary,such as a tax lien.It may be general,such as a judgment lien on all property within a county,or specific,such as a mortgage lien on the described property. One of the most important concepts in lien law is the priority among competing liens if property is insufficient to pay all claims or if the owner files for bankruptcy.The general rules are as follows (however,there may be local variations among the various states):

1. The first lien to be recorded is paid first, and so on in the order of recordation.

2. A statutory lien, such as a mechanics' and materialmen's lien, may be given artificial priority even though recorded after another lien.

3. Lien priority may be reshuffled if a debtor files for bankruptcy. The rules are too complex to examine here.

4. Lien-stripping takes place in bankruptcy when an asset is not worth as much as the accu- mulated liens placed upon it. Junior lienholders are stripped out and turned into unse- cured creditors. Even mortgage liens may be reduced in amount, if the real estate is not worth as much as the loan balance.

5. A landlord's statutory lien for unpaid rent can be avoided, or set aside, by a bankruptcy trustee, but a landlord's contractual lien cannot be avoided unless lien-stripping comes into play.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the company, the proceeds from the new term loan were used to retire all USD150m principal amount of its existing second lien term loan at par plus accrued interest, to pay off a USD2.0m subordinated promissory note, to pay related fees and expenses and to substantially reduce borrowings outstanding under its first lien revolving bank credit facility.
If in connection with any Enforcement Action by the First Lien Agent in respect of the Collateral, the First Lien Agent, for itself or on behalf of any of the First Lien Lenders, releases any of its Liens on any part of the Collateral or releases any Guarantor Subsidiary from its obligations under its guaranty of the First Lien Obligations, then the Liens, if any, of the Second Lien Agent, for itself or for the benefit of the Second Lien Lenders, on such Collateral, and the obligations of such Guarantor Subsidiary under its guaranty of the Second Lien Obligations, shall be automatically, unconditionally and simultaneously released ..." (19) 4.
Mechanics' liens will cease to exist, automatically, if lien claimants don't protect their liens by making the filings required under the mechanics' lien law of the state where the land subject to the lien is situated.
The process is roughly this: The "patriot" with a grudge, citing "failure to perform a public duty," files a groundless lien against a government official's property.
A second difference between securitization of tax liens and bulk sales is the interest rate required by the market.
Musa helps people get started with tax lien investing no matter where they live.
Maryland Code, Real Property Article ("RP") 11B-117(b) of the HOA Act provides that a homeowners association may enforce the payment of assessments under a declaration by the imposition of a lien under the Contract Lien Act.
The bank's lien survived the foreclosure sale and remained superior to a tax lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service.
A quick look at the state-by-state guide to lien laws found in Volume III of the Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws shows that 90 days is the most common timeframe, but there are many variations.
"We filed more than 39,000 liens in all 102 counties across the state last year.
The application of this homestead exemption in the context of code enforcement liens begins with the case of Demura v.
The government files liens after it has notified a debtor of the amount owed and the debtor has declined to pay.