Kiritsis & Associates


Updated August 2021: What exactly is a lien under New York law?

Aug 5, 2021

Phone # 212 922 0005 Kiritsis Law

By: John Kiritsis, Esq., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M


There seems to be a lot of confusions and misconceptions among the general public, with regards to liens in New York State. Although, the general notion of a lien being a legal claim type of interest on real property is usually correct, there are ample of legal exceptions with such broad overgeneralized legal assertion(s). 


Broad Overview.

If the law in this area seems confusing, one needs to understand that the law related to this practice area is oftentimes confusing among many lawyers and judges. The ability to collect on a lien will often depend on the so called legal mechanics used to attach in sort to an underlying real property ownership interest. How to go about in enforcing New York lien law rights, may often be governed by the very nature of the underlying legal documents giving rise to said legal lien.


Zooming in on specifics.

In New York, all proper mortgages are liens on real property. However, not all real property liens are (or legally caused by) mortgages. In its essence, a lien can be thought of as an interest or legal claim on an interest to a piece of property ( in this article, the discussion is mostly limited to real property liens). An advantage conferred on lien holder creditors versus non lien holder creditors, is that they may under certain circumstances seize/foreclose on and dispose/discharge of a hypothenticated real property secured by the lien, in cases when a debtor would fail to honor certain contractual obligations.


List of some useful citations and possible references could include:

– U.S. Constitution

– New York Constitution 

– New York Real Property Law

– New York GOL (General Obligations Law)

– New York Condominium Act

– New York BCL (Business Corporation Law)

– New York LLC (Limited Liability Company) Law

– New York State Bar Association

– New York City Bar Association

– COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020

– HSTPA of 2019

– Bankruptcy Code

– Internal Revenue Code

– Covid-19 Emergency Protect our Small Businesses Act of 2021

– New York UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) Laws

– New York Lien Law

– New York Landlord-Tenant Law

– New York City Housing Court

– New York Small Claims Court

– New York Supreme Court

– NYS Appellate Court

– NY Appellate Division

– New York Court of Appeals

– U.S. Supreme Court

– New York State Executive Laws Section 296

– NYC Board of Standards and Appeals

– New York Real Estate Finance Bureau

– Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (UULURP)

– New York City Planning Commission

– Department of Buildings

– Department of Finance

– New York City Council

–New York State Assembly

– Martin Act

– SBRA (Small Businesses Reorganization Corporation Law)

– New York Labor Law Section 2408241 (Scaffolding Law)

– New York Assembly Bill No. A2554

 – Federal & New York State Case Law.


212 922 0005


Law Offices of Kiritsis & Associates 

Phone # 212 922 0005

Manhattan Office (Main Office):

633 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Suite 1306

Brooklyn Office (By Appointment Only):

1023 74th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11228

1st Floor

New Jersey Office:

7309 Ventnor Avenue

Ventnor, NJ 08406

2nd Floor






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Phone# 212-922-0005

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