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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Tax Lien Foreclosure

    The sale of a property resulting from the property owner's failure ...
  2. Possessory Lien

    Property that is in the hands of, or is possessed by, the individual ...
  3. Tax Lien Certificate

    A certificate of claim against property that has a lien placed ...
  4. Voluntary Lien

    A claim that one person has over the property of another as security ...
  5. Prior Lien

    A lien that is recorded prior to any other claims. Prior liens ...
  6. Home Lien

    A legal claim placed on a home that makes selling the home, obtaining ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Investing in Property Tax Liens

    Investing in property tax liens can be a viable alternative for experienced investors who are familiar with the real estate market.
  2. Investing

    How Does a Lien Work?

    A lien gives a creditor the legal right to seize and sell property, then use the proceeds to pay off a borrower’s debt.
  3. Personal Finance

    How to Sell a Car With a Lien

    Vehicle owners wondering how to sell a car with a lien on the certificate of title have four options to both remove the lien holder and transfer ownership.
  4. Taxes

    IRS Asset Seizures: Could It Happen To You?

    If you can't pay your taxes, know that the IRS has many avenues for collecting what you owe.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Top Alternatives Assets for Capital Preservation

    At best, alternative investments can help preserve capital by avoiding correlation with stocks and by beating inflation. Here's a look at some options.
  6. Taxes

    Start Over With The IRS

    If you're struggling to pay back taxes, try a fresh start with the IRS. They really can help.
  7. Insurance

    Encumbrances And Nonpossessory Interests In Real Property

    Learn about nonpossessory interests and the various forms of encumbrances.
  8. Investing

    Equity Stripping Leaves Creditors Empty-Handed

    Add additional debt to your real estate assets to keep the creditors at bay.
  9. Investing

    Your Property Tax Assessment: What Does It Mean?

    The amount of a property tax bill is based on the property’s value, the exemptions it qualifies for, its use and the local property tax rate.
  10. Investing

    Use Real Estate To Put Off Tax Bills

    Find out how you can build wealth and reduce your taxes.
RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. 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 >>
Trading Center