A lien is essentially a claim put on a piece of property owned by someone else. For example, when a party takes out a loan to purchase a house or other piece of property, they sign a contract agreeing to pay back the debt they owe. Due to the amount being borrowed by the purchaser, which is typically an amount larger than a normal purchase, the creditor requires some form of security in the event the debtor stops paying back or defaults on the debt they owe.
Buying a foreclosed home is a high-risk, high-reward situation, and with 676,535 US properties being foreclosed in 20171, there are more than enough options for the interested buyer. A house is subject to foreclosure when the current owners are unable to pay their mortgage and the bank or investors buy the house back from them. Most foreclosed homes are then bought by investors or private parties with the intent of updating or fixing them, and flipping them back on the market for a higher price than they were purchased for.