Lis Pendens


When a person is filing a lawsuit affecting (or should we say challenging) legal title or possession to real property, it is usually proper to file a “lis pendens” which generally just means “litigation is pending.”

NOTE: There are strict rules which must be followed, so please consult a foreclosure defense lawyer before trying this.  If you fail to follow proper protocall you could be liable for the other party’s attorney fees for improperly filing a lis pendens.

Lis PendensThe reason you would want to file a lis pendens in the foreclosure context, is that you want to put the rest of the world on notice that you are filing a lawsuit (alleging your good faith foreclosure defense claims) that affects the right of possession of title to your property.  If you merely file a lawsuit but fail to file the lis pendens afterwards, and if the foreclosure sale proceeds then a person who has no notice of your legal challenge may acquire title to the property and there may not be much you can do about it.  These good faith purchasers who have no notice of your claims, who pay value for your property at a foreclosure sale may acquire what’s known as “bona fide purchaser for value” or “BFP” status.  If the buyer is deemed a BFP who had no notice of your claims or defenses to the property, then you may be out of luck trying to force them to give you the property back, and at that point, all you would have is a pending lawsuit.

So, be careful, this is a tricky area.  We will be posting a more detailed blog on this topic in the near future so please subscribe to our blog, or check back in a month or two.

This page will discuss the Lis Pendens in California and Arizona and some general rules you should be aware of. The following information is general in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. Although we have tried to be as accurate as possible, the following information may be inaccurate, missing some information, or outdated – as law can frequently change or become modified. If you have questions about your case, please contact a foreclosure defense lawyer in your area.

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