Can there be a lien in 2 states for the same debt?

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2019

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Can there be a lien in 2 states for the same debt?

We owe state taxes in IA in the amount of $80,000. We have property in NE also. Can a lien be placed in both states for the one debt?

Asked on March 7, 2019 under Bankruptcy Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it can be. A lien secures payment of a debt, and can be placed on multiple items of property or belongings, and on property which greatly exceeds the value of the debt. That doesn't mean that the creditor can be paid twice (they only entitled to the amount of the debt plus any costs, like possibly legal fees, the underlying contract or agreement lets them recover if they need to take legal action), or can force the sale of property 2 after already having been paid by forcing the sale of property 1 (though if property 1 doesn't fully pay the debt, then can force the sale of property 2 and apply some of the proceeds thereof to the debt). It merely means that the creditor has more security for the debt and more options as to how to get paid.

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