A claim against property designed to secure a debt. For instance, a home remodeler might place a mechanic’s lien on your home so that he can recoup costs if you fail to pay his final invoice (he recoups costs by inserting himself into the equity stream of your home). Once his invoice is paid, the lien is released via a written waiver. Other common liens include tax liens, mortgage liens, HOA liens, and judgment liens. More information on real estate liens.