Can I put a lien on a rental property for an unpaid car loan if the person doesn’t own the property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I put a lien on a rental property for an unpaid car loan if the person doesn’t own the property?

When I got divorced my partner was allowed to keep his vehicle provided hes got the loan

refinanced and he was to make payments on the loan while he had it in my name, he made no payments and did not get it refinanced and the vehicle is being repossessed and put on my credit, am I allowed to put a lien on his rental property which he rents from my parents for the past due amount of the loan? If not on his rental property can I put a lien on anything?

Asked on December 11, 2017 under Business Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you may NOT put a lien on person B's property (e.g. his parents) for something person A (e.g. your partner) owes you: you can lien (or attach, execute on, garnish, etc.) something someone *owns*, not something they rent. If you know where his bank account is, you can go after the money in the account; if he owns valuable personal property (e.g. an expensive TV or gaming or sound system; fine watches or jewlery; etc.), you can try to go after it; if you know where he works, you can try to garnish his wages--but it has to be *his*, not someone else's.
Also, you first have to sue him for the money he owes you (such as for violating his agreement about refinancing the loan) and get a court judgment against him (an order that he must pay you money due to his breach or other wrongful act) before you can do any of the above; a private citizen may not seize or garnish another person's assets or income without a judgment in her favor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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