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A claim of lien is a legal claim to property as security against any amount of money or services owed to another person or entity. In some states, a claim of lien must be filed in the office of the clerk of the court or a suit brought within a limited time.
A lien is a claim to property for the payment of a debt, typically one connected to the property. Because a lien is something that is filed with the local recorder's office, it can be a powerful legal tool. It is a public record, available to anyone, that alleges a valid, unpaid debt against the specific real estate named in the lien.
In North Carolina, for example, claims of lien may be filed at any time after the maturity of the obligation secured thereby but not later than 120 days after the last furnishing of labor or materials at the site of the improvement by the person claiming the lien.