A type of security over property.
Under a legal lien, a creditor has the right to retain possession of a debtor’s property until the debt has been paid or the obligation has been discharged. A lien is a defence to a claim of detinue in tort.
There are three types of lien:
- General lien – where there is no connection between the property retained and the debt or obligation owed
- Particular/specific lien – where there is a connection between the property retained and the debt or obligation owed
- Equitable lien – may exist irrespective of possession and arises by operation of law (equitable remedy) rather than by express agreement, conferring on the creditor rights over certain property of the debtor