A lien of execution is a method of enforcing a judgment against the property of a person against whom a judgment has been rendered (judgment debtor). Laws governing liens of execution vary by state, and may require that a writ of execution, which authorizes property to be sold to satisfy a debt, be filed with the appropriate authority in order to become a lien upon the property of the judgment debtor. State laws establish the priority of liens against property of a debtor, and vary by state.
A garnishment proceeding is a separate proceeding in which the judgment creditor enforces the "lien of his execution" against property or contractual rights of the judgment debtor which are in the hands of a third person, the garnishee. Such a writ is a lien upon the personal property of the defendant subject to levy and sale from the time only that the writ is levied upon such personal property.
The following is an example of a state statute regarding liens of execution:
"When writ of execution becomes lien.
A writ of execution is a lien only within the county in which it is received by the officer authorized to execute it on the lands of the defendant in such county subject to levy and sale from the time the writ is levied by him and notice of levy as provided in Section 35-4-132 is filed for record with the judge of probate of such county. Such writ is a lien upon the personal property of the defendant subject to levy and sale from the time only that the writ is levied upon such personal property."