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claim or charge held by one party, on property owned by a second party, as security for payment of some debt, obligation, or duty owed by that second party. A lien may arise by agreement between the parties or by operation of law from the relation of the parties or the circumstances of their dealings. A special lien applies only to a specific property and any obligations related to it. A general lien can be enforced on a property for any unfulfilled debt in similar lines of business. Laborer's liens establish priority for the payment of employees in favor of general creditors in cases of bankruptcy; mechanic's liens similarly provide priority for the payment of contractors who provided goods and services for building projects. The holder of a first lien takes precedence over all other encumbrances on a piece of property. A tax lien is held by the state or federal government on property which may be foreclosed for nonpayment of taxes.
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A legal charge against property which is made securely for the payment of a debt or for the performance of an obligation.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A right enforceable against specific property to secure payment of an obligation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Law a right to retain possession of another's property pending discharge of a debt
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
As a result, in the absence of insolvency proceedings, the English floating charge functions in essentially the same manner as the American floating lien. Both allow the debtor to sell inventory free of the security interest in the ordinary course of business without the secured creditor's consent.
Professor Armour has argued that the English Carve-out has not made floating lien collateral available to unsecured creditors, but merely caused debtors to avoid the Calve-out by selling their accounts receivable rather than by borrowing against them.
This leaves reclamation creditors in the lurch with the impossible choice of deciding whether to seek emergency injunctive relief at the beginning of the case, a battle they will likely lose at great expense, or forfeit the ability to assert their reclamation rights at a later date (perhaps when secured creditors with floating liens on the reclamation creditors' goods have been paid in full)
Some courts have denied the reclamation of goods where the debtor was in bankruptcy and the debtor's lender had a floating lien on all of the debtor's inventory.
However, in practice, because issues of quality and quantity are not addressed, the LGTOC does not create a commercially viable floating lien mechanism.
"England is sort of strange because they have charges and they have floating liens, and charges are on equipment, they're on real property, while floating liens are on inventory, general intangibles and receivables," Peterson added.