Lis pendens is a Latin term that means literally “suit pending” and may be used to refer to any pending lawsuit.
In real estate terms, it is the notice of a lawsuit against the owner of a real property. The document must contain a legal description of the property involved in the lawsuit,
it must be filed in the court to notify the owner that there's a claim on that specific property and then it must be recorded with the county to notify the general public.
When placing a Lis-Pendens on a real estate property, one has to be sure it is being placed on a property that is involved in a lawsuit. To have one on the wrong property, or on a property that is not part of a lawsuit, may be a costly mistake for the plaintiff (the person recording the document). An example of a false filed complaint follows:
Mr. Smith owns house A and house B. Mr. Smith hires Bob's Pools & Repair to build a pool on house A. Mr. Smith decides he cannot afford to pay Bob for the pool. Bob places a Mechanic lien on house A, but records the lis-pendens with the legal description of house B instead. Although both houses A and B belong to Mr. Smith, Bob will be penalized for placing it on the wrong property that does not have a Mechanic lien against it and is not part of a lawsuit.
Being equipped with knowledge about court filed documents can leave you out of the dark and prepare you to fight battles you didn't even know were possible. A couple other documents crucial to the foreclosure are notice of default and notice of sale. Be sure you familiarize yourself with these documents as well as they may also help you if you're currently undergoing foreclosure.
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