DEFINITION of 'Property Lien'

A property lien is a legal claim on a tract of real estate granting the holder a specified amount of money upon the sale of the property. Such liens are often used to ensure the payment of a debt, with the property acting as collateral against the amount owed. A mortgage is the best example of a property lien.

BREAKING DOWN 'Property Lien'

While very beneficial to debt collectors, property liens can be a headache for inattentive homebuyers. That's why, in addition to mortgage insurance, it can sometimes be helpful for potential property owners to purchase some type of title insurance as well.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How can I invest in tax liens?

    Find out about the steps an investor must take to invest in tax liens, along with the potential benefits of doing so. Read Answer >>
  2. How do I avoid a tax lien on my property?

    Find out the best way to prevent the government from placing a lien on your property, including the consequences of having ... Read Answer >>
  3. What types of liens are seen as good and which are bad for my credit?

    Understand what a lien is and what types of liens are most common for individuals, and learn which types of liens are good ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between a lien and an encumbrance?

    Understand the legal terms ''lien'' and ''encumbrance,'' and learn the significant distinction between these two essential ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between a possessory and a non-possessory lien?

    Gain a basic understanding of a possessory lien and a non-possessory lien, the key differences between the two structures ... Read Answer >>
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