The Real Estate Encyclopedia
What Is A Lien?
Category - Home Selling Questions - Selling Legal & Closing FAQ's

A lien is a claim which one person (or lienor) has placed on the property of another (lienee) as security for debt or obligation.  For example, if a property owner is found to be in arrears on his/her income tax payments, the IRS may place a lien on the property.  When the property is sold, the closing attorney will ensure that all payments are made to remove the lien prior to closing.  A lien always arises from a debt and can be created by agreement between the parties (e.g. a mortgage) or by operation of law (e.g. a tax lien).  A lien can be general (it affects all the lienee’s properties) or specific (affecting only a particular property such as a mortgaged house.)  Liens are usually identified during a title search.

Home Selling Questions - Selling Legal & Closing FAQ's
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