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Few reported cases have addressed the relative priority rights of a mortgage lender and the IRS for rents from real estate. In Bloomfield State Bank v. United States, No. 10-3939, 2011 WL 1773953 (7th Cir. May 11, 2011), Judge Richard Posner provided the first reported federal appellate opinion; under its analysis, State Bank would have priority over the IRS in the above hypothetical for the rents due from both tenants. This article discusses Judge Posner's opinion, both for its result (which the author believes is ultimately the correct result) and how it characterizes background principles of real estate finance law (as it turns out, not entirely correctly). Before getting to the opinion, however, this article begins with a brief primer on federal tax liens.

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