A lien (UK: // or US: //) is a form of security interest attached to property to secure the payment of a debt to a creditor. A lien is usually a public record. The owner of the property is called the lienee. The creditor or person holding the lien is called the lienor or lien holder.
In the United States, the term lien generally refers to a wide range of legal interests. It includes other forms of mortgage or charge. In the USA, a lien is a non-possessory security interests meaning the lien holder does not usually possess the property.
In other common law countries, the term lien refers to a very specific type of security interest. The holder of a lien right to retain (but not sell) property until the debt or other obligation is discharged. In contrast to the usage of the term in the USA, in other countries it refers to a purely possessory form of security interest. When possession of the property is lost, the lien is released.
- "What is a property lien?". NOLO. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Lienee...One whose property is subject to a lien". Black's Law Dictionary, p. 832 (5th ed. 1979).
- "Lienor... The person having or owning a lien; one who has a right of lien upon property of another". Black's Law Dictionary, p. 832 (5th ed. 1979).
- Hatton v Car Maintenance'  1 Ch 621