What is Lis Pendens and When to File?


The real estate market is littered with confusing terms that can turn someone away from buying a property. One of the terms people might not be familiar with is lis pendens. A lis pendens is a term a lawyer uses for a pending lawsuit related to the title of a property. The term is Latin for “a suit pending.

Lis pendens is a document that indicates someone has filed a lawsuit on a specific property. Once the court has received notice, it is then certified and committed to record by the county recorder. When a lis pendens is filed, it must specify the exact property, the individual involved, and the relief sought for the property.

One of the biggest filings of a lis pendens happens because of lender foreclosures, but they can also be filed for short sales and other real estate sales. When a lender starts the steps of the foreclosure process, one of the first things they do is file a lis pendens. This alerts the owner of the property that the property is under dispute and the lender is attempting to seize ownership as collateral for the loan that the borrower has defaulted on. Most creditors whose debt is waged against a piece of real estate may also file lis pendens.

While a lis pendens can be filed during the foreclosure process, it can also be filed when someone believes that a title of the property belongs to someone. In these cases, there is a motive to prove ownership before the property can eventually be sold. The sale helps bind the defendant to the property until ownership is settled.

The rest of this blog can be found on Michael Fourte’s website


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