Can I file a lien against my brothers property if he owes me money?

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Can I file a lien against my brothers property if he owes me money?

I am currently living in my brothers old home. I gave him 22,000 dollars for
an investment which he promised to pay back, however the deal went bad.
He is trying to sell house, however, I am unable to move because I need that
22000 to move

Asked on July 31, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't file a lis pendens: a lis pendens is filed when there is a lawsuit over who owns property or who has some other right over it, but is inappropriate when you are entitled to money only, as you are. 
You can sue him for the money if, per the terms of the agreement, he should have repaid you already (e.g. there was a repayment date in the agreement, which he missed). IF you win the lawsuit and he still doesn't pay, THEN you may be able to put a lien on the home to secure payment. The problem is, since he did not have you a mortgage or other right to the home, your only interest is being repaid money, not in the property, which means you can only file a lien as a way to collect *after* you sue him, win, and get a judgment in your favor.
Note that if there was no firm date for repayment in your loan agreement which he has violated, he has not breached or violated the agreement and you can't necessarily sue him: e.g. if he was not supposed to pay yet, he has done nothing legally wrong.


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