Tax liens are claims that are imposed on property to secure payment of taxes. While personal debt follows you wherever you go, tax liens on real estate stay with the property. This means that the property owner is responsible for payment even if the tax delinquency was incurred by a prior owner. Tax liens can be paid in a variety of ways, including through an escrow account. If the lien goes unpaid for a long time, the property may be seized and sold at a property tax sale.