A: A lien is a promise to pay a debt. In some cases, you may have to repay a debt, even though you didn't even agree to repay it. Here's what I mean. If you've received Medicaid to help pay for your medical expenses, and you bring a lawsuit and you are successful in obtaining compensation for your injuries, medicaid has a legal right to ask you to repay the money that they paid in your behalf, for your medical expenses. The same goes for Medicare. Sometimes we can negotiate with these agencies to get them to reduce the amount of money they are seeking for repayment, depending upon the amount of money we recover for you. Also, some doctors do not get paid after treating you, for a variety of reasons. Occassionaly, they will agree to continue treating you if you promise to repay them their professional fees if you recover money in a lawsuit for your injuries. You must tell your attorney if you know of any liens being made against you from any source. You must also tell your attorney if you have received Medicare or Medicaid at any time. Only by providing this information can your attorney help you and guide you through the legal minefields and avoid the pitfalls that less experienced counsel might fall into.