Legal English – Peter’s Pills – Lesson 61 – Liens

Legal English for Notaries - By Federnotizie




Today we look at liens. A lien (pegno/vincolo) is a legal right that grants one party the authority to retain (trattenere) or sell specific property until a debt is settled (saldato). It serves as a guarantee or security interest for the party owed money (a cui è dovuto il denaro), ensuring (garantendo) they have a lawful means to recover what they are owed.

In the UK there are two primary categories of liens:

Possessory Lien: This type enables a creditor to keep possession of a debtor’s property until the debt is paid. For example, an auto repair shop can retain a vehicle until repair costs are covered.

Equitable Lien: Unlike possessory liens, equitable liens do not require physical possession. Instead, they are created through court orders or equitable principles, often pertaining to mortgages or property interests.

Liens operate within a well-defined framework:

Creation: A lien is established when a valid debt or obligation exists between a creditor and a debtor.

Possession or Control: For a possessory lien, the creditor must have control or possession of the debtor’s property. Equitable liens, on the other hand, are created through court orders or equitable principles.

Notice (avviso): It’s crucial to inform the debtor about the lien’s existence for transparency and debt settlement.

Enforcement: If the debtor defaults (non rispetta) on payment or obligation, the creditor can enforce (eseguire) the lien by taking possession of the property, selling it, or seeking legal remedies to recover the debt.

Priority: In cases with multiple creditors holding liens on the same property, priority is typically determined by factors such as the type of lien and the timing of its creation.

Thank you, and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your legal English.

Read more about liens in common law countries here: “Lien” (from Wikipedia).

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