Equitable Lien Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Equitable Lien, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Equitable Lien?

n. a lien on property imposed by a court in order to achieve fairness, particularly when someone has possession of property which he/she holds for another.

History and Meaning of Equitable Lien

An equitable lien is a legal remedy used to secure assets for the purpose of satisfying a debt or obligation. It is a lien imposed by a court to achieve fairness, especially when someone has possession of property that they hold for another. An equitable lien is typically used in cases where a party wrongfully used or acquired property belonging to another person or entity.

The origins of the equitable lien can be traced back to early English common law, where courts would use this remedy to secure assets or property to ensure that a party was able to collect a debt owed to them. As the law evolved, equitable liens became an essential tool for courts to ensure that parties were held accountable for their actions.

Examples of Equitable Lien

  1. A contractor who renovates a home and never receives payment can put a lien on the property and sell it to recover their losses.

  2. A vendor claiming non-payment can request an equitable lien on the products that were sold to the purchaser.

  3. In a divorce, an equitable lien may be placed on marital property to ensure that the assets are divided equally between the couple.

Legal Terms Similar to Equitable Lien

  1. Legal Lien - A legal claim on assets to ensure repayment of a debt or obligation.

  2. General Lien - A lien on all property owned by an individual, regardless of the source of the debt.

  3. Specific Lien - A lien on a specific piece of property used to secure a debt.