The web Browser you are currently using is unsupported, and some features of this site may not work as intended. Please update to a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge to experience all features Michigan.gov has to offer.
What is the difference between a lien, levy, warrant and a garnishment?
Liens are filed with the county Register of Deeds and/or the Secretary of State as security that a debt will be paid from proceeds when a taxpayer sells real or personal property.
Levies are a specialized form of warrant and are generally used to withdraw funds from a taxpayer's financial institution account or garnish a taxpayer's wages. Levies are generally used when a taxpayer has failed to resolve a debt through voluntary payment.
Warrants are used to close a taxpayer's business and/or seize a taxpayer's real or personal property other than a financial institution account or wages. Warrants are generally used when a taxpayer has failed to resolve their debt through voluntary payments and the debt is continuing to escalate.
Garnishments are court orders, legal procedures which the earnings or refund of an individual or entity are withheld for payment of a debt. Third-party creditors (Plaintiffs) petition the court for garnishment of refund monies.