A lien is a legal claim on property, either real or persona, as security for payment or performance of a debt or obligation. There are different type of liens.  The level of severity for each lien is judged by the order of their acquisition. However, the Government has the power to establish the overall and specific priorities of liens. It may choose to give a statutory lien priority over other liens, or exempt certain property from collection by creditors. Broadly speaking, a tax lien is a statutory lien.

Statutory Liens

A statutory lien is attached when a party adds value to another party’s property by agreement. Authority for a statutory lien is based on State law. Many such liens are based on the right of one person to retain possession of another person’s property until the owner pays for the goods or services. However, certain statutory liens are non-possessory. Statutory liens include the follow:

  1. Artisan’s Lien-An artisan’s lien is held by a repairer or improver of personal property, such as an automobile or computer, who retains possession of the property until paid.
  2. Mechanic Lien- A mechanic lien is a lien against the real property benefited. Mechanic lien are not possessory. The lien secure unpaid bills from contracts for materials or services to improve specific real property.
  3. Bailee’s Lien-A bailee’s lien is granted to a common carrier or warehouse to whom the debtor has entrusted goods. A bailee’s lien is a possessory lien and it secures payment of shipment or storage charges.
  4. Tax Lien- Tax liens secure payment of taxes owed to the Government. They can be imposed on real property to secure payment; it can also be imposed on all assets of a delinquent taxpayer. Only Federal statutes, not State statutes, may exempt debtor assets from Federal liens. For example, Federal law exempts Social Security benefits from garnishment.

State Homestead Exemptions Act may shield a debtor’s equity in his or her home from most liens. However, a  mortgage lien and  a tax lien are not exempted.


Artisan’s and mechanic’s liens have priority over all other security interests in property unless a statute expressly provides otherwise.

Statutes typically give a tax lien priority over otherwise superior liens.

Alexander Tax Defense was founded with one goal in mind: To provide clarity and guidance to taxpayers who have issue their State or Federal imposed tax ordinance. Our group of Professional tax advisors is here at your service, to help you avoid the experience of dealing with the IRS or local tax agencies. We know how to solve your tax issue, and we will always work toward an outcome which you will benefit.

In our experience, we have found that most taxpayers simply want an answer to their tax question. For this reason, Alexander Tax Defense will always provide free consultation for any taxpayer with questions about their tax case. At Alexander Tax Defense, we are here for you. Give us a call today if you have any tax question – We are always happy to help.

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Originally posted 2018-07-23 23:17:20.


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