What Is a Lien?

A lien is a common misspelling of the word “line”. It happens frequently when people are typing too quickly and their left middle finger jumps the gun and taps the “e” key before the right index finger can register an “n” on the keyboard. This often results in an awkward conversation in internet chat rooms, as people are often not sure if the person who misspelled meant “lean”, “line”, or “lion”.

Are you off your meds?

It’s been known to happen.

Okay…can you try to focus and give me a straight answer?

Straight as a lien?


Okay, okay. A lien is actually a type of security interest granted over property to secure payment of a debt or other obligation. The owner of the property is then called the lienee and the beneficiary of the lien is called the lienor or lien holder.

So if there is a lien on my property I can lose my property if I don’t pay?

Every lien is set up differently but essentially, yes. That’s generally how a lien works. The person who holds the lien has the right to take possession of the property with a lien on it unless you pay him or her as agreed.

Well, that sucks.

It’s not great, we can’t sugar coat it. However, if you can make the payments owed then it should be no problem and the lien will be lifted. Then you’re free and clear.

Okay, thanks. In the meantime I guess I’ll just lien in and pay my debt ASAP.

That’s the spirit. And isn’t life more fun when you incorporate puns?

Perhaps. But rhyming will never be cool.

Fair enough.