What is a Lis Pendens?

A lis pendens translates to ‘suit pending’. It means there is a pending lawsuit against a real estate property to reclaim ownership or assert some other claim that materially affects the value of that property to a potential buyer or lender. Lis pendens can also signal the start of the foreclosure process. Why is filed and what exactly does it do?

Why is a Lis Pendens Filed?

You must ensure you have a suitable claim to a property before filing for a lis pendens. One can be sued for slander of title for misfiling a lis pendens. 

4 Reasons Why a Lis Pendens is Filed:

  1. Title Transfer: If someone wants to change the title of a property. Title insurance protects the homeowner and lender from potential legal fees, but a title insurance policy will not be issued if there is a lis pendens filed against the property.
  2. Unpaid Charges: A lender may file a lis pendens against a homeowner who has been delinquent on their mortgage payments. A contractor can also file for a lis pendens if they haven’t been paid for their work. 
  3. Ownership: Anyone with a suitable claim and an interest in a property can file a lis pendens. This includes spouses divorcing and dividing assets and heirs fighting over a deceased’s estate. 
  4. Property Damages: A town or city can file a lis pendens if your building is deemed unsafe.

Foreclosures and Lis Pendens

A lender can foreclose on a home if timely mortgage payments are not made. A lender will file a lis pendens when the foreclosure suit is filed. A lis pendens notice is public record and, therefore, puts the public on notice of its existence.

In Florida, it can take as long as 15 months after a lis pendens notice is filed before your foreclosures. Many investors seek properties with notice of lis pendens with the hopes of buying a property before it hits the foreclosure market.

Lis Pendens EffectsLis pendens can negatively affect the buying and selling of a property since the ownership of the property is under consideration, all parties need to be wary of the potential outcome. Lis pendens often dissuades buyers and can prevent a sale.

Title Services, Jupiter

Florida National Title Services

Florida National Title is available to help with many of your real estate needs. Florida National Title Services works under the supervision of attorneys Michele Lewis and Richard S. Weinstein, experienced real estate attorneys. They work to ensure the title of the home you desire is clear and marketable and that title insurance policies are properly issued.

Florida National Title Services provides expert title services. When you are renting, we can help with every step of the way. Florida National Title has years of experience guiding Florida homebuyers through the real estate purchase and refinance experience and has helped them solve the problems that come up in the process. We will decipher the “legalese” and explain what we need and why we need it each step of the way. The blogs to follow will address specific issues to guide buyers to understand the process better and to help them avoid many of the pitfalls. Call us at (561) 408-0729 or visit our website.

Florida National Title Services, LLC
250 S. Central Blvd., Suite 101
Jupiter, Florida 33458
(561) 408-0729

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