A lien is a method of putting an attachment on a person's assets when that person is indebted to you. It is a court order that can be put on a house that will allow you to collect that debt if the owner sells the house. The process is relatively simple and is often done in small claims court. Follow a step-by-step guide on how you can put a lien on a house.
Secure a note from the borrower along with a copy of his mortgage to get a lien. This method is more difficult because it requires cooperation from the borrower/homeowner.
Check with the local probate judge regarding liens filed in small claims courts. Each state has different laws as far as the amount that you can collect on a lien.
File a judgment with your local small claims court (in many states this will be in the district court). The district court magistrate or one of the judge's secretaries will be able to assist you in filing your lien. Take a copy of your judgment to your local tax assessor's office. The assessor will include the judgment with the property file to put a lien against the property so you can claim if the property is sold.
Hire an attorney for larger cases or if you are unsure about all of the procedures. If your case is too big for small claims court (this will vary by state and district), you probably should seek legal help.
Write a demand letter to the debtor or get an attorney to do it for you. If you threaten a lien or litigation, this is sometimes effective in getting the debtor to pay without the hassle of involving the courts.