A claim against the property which the possessor may retain until the satisfaction of some demand or a debt due him. A mortgage is a " lien." " Liens," however, vary in their character. One may hold the first " lien " against a property which would be equal to holding the first mortgage; in other words, nobody has a prior claim against it. A " second lien " would be equal to a second mortgage and so on. This word "lien" has been used in such ways as to confuse the investor. There was an issue of bonds brought out by one of our large railroad companies some years ago, which were called " prior liens," and many investors assumed that these were secured by a mortgage prior to any other, while, as a matter of fact, this was not the case, there having been another issue brought out previous to these, and there was also an issue which came after the " prior liens." The "prior liens," so-called, did take precedence over some other obligation, but there was still an obligation preceding them. Many investors who bought these bonds without this understanding lost money thereby.