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Related to Retaining lien: Lien Holder


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 ?
While no statute expressly allows accountants to assert a retaining lien, Florida Administrative Code Rule 61H1-23.002 precludes them from doing so.
If accountant expert witnesses begin entering into contractual judgment liens with clients, then might not other experts and service providers (court reporters immediately spring to mind) also want to contractually secure payment of their bills with a proverbial "piece of the action?" The spectre of post-judgment proceedings with numerous competing lienholders all proceeding against the divorcing parties (and each other) does not paint a particularly attractive picture, especially given that under the current typical scenario, there is already the possibility of present and former counsel duking-it-out with competing charging and retaining lien claims.
In our experience, it is rare that an accountant will attempt to assert a charging lien or a retaining lien to secure payment for services rendered in connection with litigation, at least in family law cases.
4th DCA 2001) (charging lien filed by law firm retained to serve as co-counsel was superior to retaining lien of firm originally retained by client and related back and attached to proceeds paid to original firm pursuant to settlement agreement; original firm failed to file charging lien and its reliance upon passive retaining lien to establish its claim against settlement proceeds would have denied law firm that participated in the creation of funds payment for services).
A similar analysis applies to retaining liens. In Leiby Taylor Stearns Linkhorst & Roberts, P.A.
Retaining liens are particularly important in the lawyer mobility setting because they may enable a firm to delay and perhaps block the ability of a departing lawyer to take a client file from the firm unless the client pays outstanding legal fees or provides adequate security.
Finally, a curious development in retaining liens arises in the digital file universe.
07-08 (2007) (providing lien may be asserted only under circumstances that do not prejudice clients); see also Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers [section] 43(1) (disfavoring retaining liens but leaving room for exceptions by statute or rule).