General Lien & Particular Lien [Comprehensive Guide]

general lien particular lien definition types difference example

General Lien

A general lien is the right of one person to retain any property or goods which are in his possession belonging to another person until the promise or liability is discharged. It is a right to retain the property belonging to another for a general balance of the account.

Example of General Lien

A has two accounts in a bank. In the savings bank account, he has a credit balance of $500.

In the current account, the lie has an overdraft of $1,000. The bank can exercise the right of lien on the savings account for the amount due on the current account.

It should be noted that the right of the lien will not apply to properties deposited for safe custody or a specific purpose.

  1. This right can be exercised against any property belonging to the other party in possession of the person exercising the right.
  2. This right can be exercised for a general balance of the account, i.e., for any amount due.
  3. This right is available only to bankers, factors wharfingers, attorneys of High Courts, and policy brokers.

A lender of last resort is an institution that is willing to offer loans as a last resort. Such an institution is usually a country’s central bank.

A central bank offers an extension of credit to financial institutions experiencing financial difficulties that cannot obtain necessary funds elsewhere.

The main task in front of the lender of last resort is to preserve the stability of the banking and financial system by protecting individuals’ deposited funds and preventing panic-ridden withdrawing from banks with temporarily limited liquidity.

For more than a century and a half, central banks have been trying to avoid great depressions by acting as lenders of last resort in times of financial crisis.

At first, this act provides liquidity at a penalty rate.

Subsequently, through open market operations, it lowers interest rates on safe assets. And finally, this process involves direct market support.

Commercial banks usually resort to lenders’ help only in times of crisis because such actions indicate financial difficulties.

Loans may be granted to commercial banks and any other eligible financial institution, even private companies, which is considered highly risky.

There are widespread arguments against it. Such an extension of credit can conceal the true financial state of an institution and prolong its failure. Eventually, the body fails to cure the current financial crises and instead creates new ones.

Particular Lien

A lien is available only against the property on which the bailee has expended labor and skill.

A bailee is entitled to a particular lien only.

An example of Particular Lein

A gives two cars—an Ambassador and a Fiat—for repairs to B. B repairs only the Ambassador car.

A took delivery of the Ambassador car without making the payment of the repair charges, and B cannot retain the Fiat car for the repair charges due in respect of the Ambassador car.

The lien is possessory; hence, if possession is lost, the lien is also lost.

Conditions for Exercise of Particular Lien

To exercise a particular lien, the following conditions are essential:

  1. The right of lien can be exercised only when the bailee has expended his labor and skill on the goods bailed. Therefore, mere custody of goods does not give a right of lien.
  2. The right of lien can be exercised only when the work has been completed in lime.
  3. The right of lien can be exercised only if the payment is due. The lien cannot be exercised if the payment is to be made on delivery but at a future date.

Difference Between General Lien and Particular Lien

The chart given below describes the difference between a general lien and a particular lien in detail:

BasisGeneral lienParticular lien
MeaningA general lien implies the right to keep possession of goods belonging to others against the general balance of the account.Particular lien implies a right of the bailee to retain specific goods bailed for non­payment of amount.
AvailabilityAny goods, in respect of which the amount is due to another person.Only against the goods, in which skill and labor are exercised.
Right to sell goodsNo right to sell the goods.In general, there is no right to sell goods. However, the right can be conferred to the bailee in special circumstances.
Exercised byBankers, Wharfngers, factors, policy brokers, attorneys, etc.Bailee, pledgee, finder of goods, agent, partner, unpaid seller, etc.