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Define General Lien in Real Estate

General Lien: 

A "general lien" is a claim on all of a person's assets because they owe money. It's not limited to just one property, but can affect everything they own. If the person doesn't pay back the debt, the person who's owed money can take any of the debtor's assets to recover the amount due. Think of it as a big net that covers everything someone owns to ensure the debt is repaid.


Imagine a person named Sam has a business that goes bankrupt. Sam owes a lot of money to different people and organizations, but cannot pay them back. As a result, a court places a general lien on all of Sam's assets, including his house, car, and bank accounts. This means that Sam's creditors can take and sell his assets to get their money back.

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Here are a few more points that may be helpful to know. It's important to understand the difference between general and specific liens, as they impact property ownership differently.

General liens are claims against all of an individual's assets due to a debt, rather than just a specific property. They usually arise from court judgments, unpaid taxes, or other situations where the debtor has failed to fulfill their financial obligations.

A real-world example of a general lien:
A person fails to pay their income taxes. As a result, the government places a general lien on all the person's assets, including their home, car, and any other property they own. This general lien will remain in place until the tax debt is resolved.

Specific liens, as previously explained, are claims against a particular property due to a debt associated with that specific property. These liens are typically tied to a property-related obligation, like a mortgage or contractor's fee.

A real-world example of a specific lien:
A homeowner takes out a mortgage loan to buy a house. The bank providing the loan places a specific lien on the house, meaning that if the homeowner doesn't pay back the loan, the bank has the right to sell the house to recover the money owed.

In summary, the main difference between general and specific liens is the scope of the assets they apply to. General liens are broader, affecting all assets, while specific liens target a single property tied to a particular debt.

As a real estate agent, it's crucial to be aware of any liens on a property because they can impact the sale or transfer of ownership. Buyers should be informed of any liens before purchasing a property, as they could become responsible for resolving those debts after the sale.
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"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

In a world where some people owe,
A general lien might start to grow.
It's not just one, but many things,
That a general lien's wide net brings.

Sam's business failed, debts piled high,
He couldn't pay, no matter how hard he'd try.
The court stepped in, a decision was made,
A general lien, it cast a wide shade.

His house, his car, his accounts, and more,
All caught in the net, debts hard to ignore.
So remember, dear friend, when debts do appear,
A general lien could be something to fear.

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