Skip to main content

I gave my sister money over the years totaling $100,000. Is it possible for me to do a lien on her house? Her house is $500,000.

Washington, DC |

My sister lives in another state.
Over the years, I gave her money when she asked.
The amounts were small ($1000, $4000, $6000, etc).
The total amount she has borrowed from me is now at $100,000.

Is it possible for me to do a lien on her house?
Her house worth 500,000.
How much would it cost to lien?
And what steps should I take?

Your advice is very needed.
Thank you in advance!

Attorney Answers 3


Loans in of themselves do not automatically give you a right to file a lien against another person's real estate, unless you have an agreement specifying that the loans are secured by the property and/or you have a judgment lien against the owner of the property. Placing an unauthorized lien on the real estate of another may considered actionable Slander of Title. Contact a local debt collection lawyer and real estate lawyer for more detailed advice in your jurisdiction.

Mark as helpful

6 lawyers agree


You say you "gave" her money. Then you say it was a "loan." The question is, which is it? And is it in writing? Without a writing she's going to argue it was a gift or series of gifts. You'd have to have a judgment or security interest (mortgage) in order to have a lien against the property.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature.

Mark as helpful

6 lawyers agree


If these were truly loans and were in writing, you may be able to get a lien. However, it sounds as if they might be just informal loans and/or gifts, in which case you would be out of luck. The amount in question is large enough that you would benefit from hiring an attorney to help you pursue this.

This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Bankruptcy and debt topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics