The Boating Barrister

Highwayman and Sailors: Understanding the Maritime Lien

By John K. Fulweiler

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What’s a maritime lien? In broad speak, a lien is a legal claim against property arising as a result of a loan, a debt, a service, etc. In the housing world, the treatment of liens seems pretty straightforward in that they’re identified on the property records. In other words, in almost every instance concerning real estate, the world is on notice of the lien. But boy, that’s about as different from the maritime world of liens as is the difference between being afloat or ashore.

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