What Is the Purpose of a “Lis Pendens” in Real Estate Law?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on March 27, 2014

Post image for What Is the Purpose of a “Lis Pendens” in Real Estate Law?

It can sometimes be confusing dealing with all the legalese, hence the reason for having a qualified real estate attorney on your side to educate you on all the language associated with the courtroom. It can be quite confusing, without a doubt, and I’ll tell you this – sometimes knowing what they mean can prepare you for the long haul of constant trouble with a case, at the very least!question mark-2

I am, of course, talking about what’s commonly called a lis pendens motion. Under real estate law, this is an action taken during a real estate transaction dispute basically “questioning the ownership” of a particular title of property. It arises when evidence is shown to raise the question of who owns said property. There are reasons for filing this lawsuit, one being of the utmost importance – all parties need to know who receives purchases of property and other aspects of a transaction. However, such a lawsuit can throw a wrench into an entire real estate proceeding involving the sale of a property.

Let’s say you’re a buyer interested in a property. You’re prepared to make an offer. There’s just one slight problem: there’s now a dispute over who actually owns that property! As a buyer, you understand the consequences. You may make your payments to one party with said “title,” so to speak, but it may turn out that another completely different party actually has the true title to the property. Now everything’s screwed up.

A lis pendens lawsuit seeks to remedy the situation before any transactions occur. This was the way it worked for Recontrust Company, N.A. and Zhang  over a Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. lawsuit filed for the plaintiff over a piece of property. Any decision made involving the transaction of the property in question had to be halted until the lawsuit was resolved from as high up as the Supreme Court (which the case, in fact, did go that far). Word of advice – you hear about a lis pendens, be prepared for a major waiting game. That’s just how the real estate industry legally works.

Previous post:

Next post: