Dictionary

  • Lien

    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

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