Atlanta residents are familiar with Mary J. Blige, the famed hip-hop and soul singer known for countless hits. She has had a very successful career that certainly led to her obtaining numerous assets -- and debts. It appears the latter has caught up with her, as federal authorities filed a tax lien of more than $3 million against Blige for a bevy of unpaid taxes from 2009 to 2011.

Blige owes roughly $3.4 million in back taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. A source close to Mary J. Blige said that she is considering her legal options now that the lien has been filed against her.

A tax lien is a very serious matter. When a lien is placed in your name, it means that you will be virtually locked out of any credit lines you are considering. Loans and credit cards will be nearly impossible to obtain or use. If you own a home or a car, transferring the title can be very difficult. Once the tax debt is paid in full, the lien will be removed from your record.

However, as serious as a tax lien is, it is important to remember that anyone under a lien does have options. As it appears Blige is finding out, there are ways to combat the lien, or to reduce the effects of it. For example, if federal authorities botched paperwork while filing the lien, you could successfully challenge its legality. Another example is that, if the lien is legitimate, the person under the lien can negotiate a deal to pay back the debt in a reasonable way.

Source: Associated Press, "Mary J. Blige faces $3.4M federal tax lien in NJ," May 23, 2013