A lien is a claim or charge by a creditor upon the real property of a debtor. Three examples of recordable liens include a Mechanic's Lien recorded by the person furnishing labor or materials for construction work; a Tax Lien recorded by a government agency for the failure of the owner to pay personal, business or real property taxes; and a Judgment Lien issued by a court on all real property owned by the judgment debtor.

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) applies to any transaction intended to create a security interest in personal property. This interest can be viewed as a lien on personal property. These are five year mortgages, unless the financing agent continues the UCC by filing a continuation.  As of December 1, 2014, all UCC's must be filed with the MN Secretary of State.

For almost every type of document that places a liability on the land, a related recordable document reverses the original action. Many are simply called releases while other terms include satisfaction, termination, cancellation or discharge.