from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The right to take and hold or sell the property of a debtor as security or payment for a debt or duty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tendon.
  • n. A legal claim; a charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.
  • v. Alternative form of lain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • p. p. of lie. See lain.
  • n. A legal claim; a charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of some debt or duty; a right in one to control or hold and retain the property of another until some claim of the former is paid or satisfied.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An obsolete or archaic past participle of lie.
  • n. In law: The right of a person having possession of the property of another to retain it until some charge upon it or some demand due him is satisfied; the right to enforce a charge upon a specific thing by withholding possession from the owner until the charge is satisfied.
  • n. Hence— A right of a creditor to have a debt or charge satisfied by legal proceedings out of specific property or its proceeds, irrespective of having possession.
  • n. Hence A claim; occasion of demand; right to compensation.
  • n. The spleen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a large dark-red oval organ on the left side of the body between the stomach and the diaphragm; produces cells involved in immune responses
  • n. the right to take another's property if an obligation is not discharged


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, tie, bond, from Old French, constraint, from Latin ligāmen, bond, from ligāre, to bind; see leig- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French lien, from Latin ligāmen ("a bond"), from ligō ("tie, bind").


  • Top officials of major banks generally were reluctant to talk on the record about Cole's ideas, but Dan Frahm, a Bank of America spokesman, said his company's "approach has been not to let second lien issues prevent us from modifying" mortgages, including "making principal reductions, even when the second lien is owned by a third-party investor and has not been modified."

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  • Not to mention embarrassed if the lien is publicized.

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  • The springing lien is just one component of what Mr. Dill called a "weak package" of bondholder protections, known as covenants, for the Momentive note issue, with "liberally crafted features typical of other private-equity sponsored transactions."

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  • Before the springing lien is triggered, the new bondholders 'claims would rank behind those of secured debtholders in the event that the company had to file for bankruptcy protection.

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  • In this scenario, the lender takes a haircut because giving them 90 or 95 percent of the value of the lien is more than they would get in an REO sale and they know this and would take it.

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  • As it takes a couple of weeks for the papers to be processed he was given our usual temporary paper in lien of the actual FM3s.

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  • EILEEN WILBUR, HOMEOWNER: When you see the word lien on your property, that made me stomach boil.

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  • I say so b/c the word lien is not even specific to RE, it's a fairly common term - not pedantic in the least.

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  • The forged instrument charges allege Jones possessed three "title lien statement" forms


  • The lien, which is registered on the client's credit report, will remain in place until the tax bill is paid off—years from now.

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