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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