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The Jensen Litigation Firm, PLLC represents creditors and individuals in lien disputes. People hire us to foreclose liens, discharge liens, and litigate lien issues. If you need an attorney to handle a lien issue, we can help. Contact us now to preserve any lien rights you may have.

What is a lien?

A “lien” is a legal interest that a creditor has in a person's property. The property can be land, personal property, or even intangible property.

A lien often arises from a loan transaction and security agreement. But there are also statutory liens, including mechanic's liens, bailment liens, judgment liens, tax liens, crop input liens, livestock liens, purchase-money liens, judgment liens, child support liens, medical assistance liens, medical liens, and other liens.  

What are common types of liens in Minnesota?

General authority for security interests is contained in Minn. Stat. § 336.9-101, et seq., which is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Various statutory liens are contained in Chapter 514 of Minnesota Statutes, including mechanic's liens, some agricultural liens, some personal property liens, and medical assistance liens. Judgment liens are discussed in Minn. Stat. § 548.09.

Tax liens are covered in various Minnesota and federal tax statutes.

What does it mean to “perfect” a lien?

Creditors must “perfect” a lien for it to be valid. Different liens are perfected in different ways. Typically, a lien is perfected by giving notice to the debtor, the outside world, or both.

For example, mechanic's liens and tax liens for land are typically perfected by recording documents with the county recorder and giving notice to the owner. A judgment lien is perfected by docketing a judgment in the county where the debtor's real property is located.

The bottom line is that an unperfected lien may lose priority or may not even be enforceable.

What are common types of lien disputes?

Disputes and litigation often arises over whether a creditor's lien is valid and whether it has priority over other liens. Often, the priority of a lien depends on when the lien was perfected. A lien perfected first may have priority over later liens. There are exceptions, such as IRS tax liens that may jump ahead of other liens.

When a creditor seeks to foreclose a lien and claim the subject property, notice generally needs to be given. Notice gives the debtor and any other creditors the opportunity to dispute the lien foreclosure or to pay off the lien.

If a creditor fails to comply with all necessary procedures, it may not be able to enforce a lien and lose a lien remedy. Having an attorney work through the lien issues can mean the difference in the creditor getting paid or the debtor avoiding payment.

Why is it important to hire an attorney to address a lien issue?

Liens can be tricky issues, and they require a knowledgeable attorney.

We have the knowledge and experience to handle lien disputes. Do not hesitate to contact us if:

  • You are a creditor seeking to perfect a lien in a debtor's property.
  • You are a creditor seeking to foreclose a perfected lien.
  • You are a debtor seeking to remove a lien on your property.
  • You are a debtor that has been served with a lien foreclosure notice.
  • You are a creditor involved in a dispute over priority of a lien.

With offices in Shakopee (Scott County) and Litchfield (Meeker County), we handle lien disputes throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. 

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