What is an accountant’s lien?

Lien laws govern who has ownership rights to certain properties, such as homes, documents, personnel belongings, cargo or equipment. Lien laws are extremely complex. Simply put, the regulations state that liens represent a form of security interest over an item of property. The most common example would be a bank who lends an individual money to purchase a home. The bank would retain place a lien on the home if the buyer defaulted on their loan. An accountant’s lien allows an accountant to retain their clients’ papers until the accountant had been paid for their services or fees owed. Not every state has introduced accountants’ liens. However, a few have amended lien laws to provide accountants with the legal authority to place liens on their clients’ paperwork until payment is received.

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