What is a Lis Pendens?
Lis pendens is a paper filed with the court and in the public records when a lawsuit is commenced and gives notice “to the world” that a claim has been asserted against a specific property that is the subject of that lawsuit. A lis pendens is a commonly used document to alert anyone who may be considering buying that property or using that property as collateral in a future transaction that the claim against the property may taint its value and the property may not serve its purpose as the collateral it is intended to be. Until released, a lis pendens will prevent a title insurance policy from being issued on the sale or refinance of the property.
To allow proper notice and identification, the notice of lis pendens must be recorded and must include the parties’ names, the date, and case number of the lawsuit, clear identification of the property on which the claim is asserted and the name of the court where the lawsuit was filed.
Lis Pendens and Their Effect on a Property
A lis pendens protects the party filing the lawsuit and functions as a cloud on the title of the property and effectively prevents an owner from selling a property with a lis pendens notice under Florida law. A lis pendens notice may deter buyers from purchasing a property, mortgage lenders from providing financing, and title companies may refuse to provide title insurance on a property with a lis pendens notice.
Parties who work in real estate should know these four things about lis pendens:
- The content of the lis pendens notice does matter. The party serving the notice must adhere to the statute’s requirements and include the necessary information for the notice to be valid. A defective lis pendens will not protect the filer.
- A lis pendens can be powerful. Anyone interested in a property after the lis pendens notice is on record must consider the claim against the property noticed in the lis pendens.
- Lis pendens must be recorded correctly. Recording a lis pendens prematurely or incorrectly can create liability to the filer.
- One must understand the law as it pertains to lis pendens.
When Can a Lis Pendens be Properly Filed Against a Property?
A lis pendens is commonly filed when a party forecloses a mortgage or construction lien in Florida.
A lis pendens is a standard tool used in many Florida lawsuits involving titles that must be appropriately filed. Plaintiffs should obtain legal advice before filing a lis pendens. A real estate attorney may help a property owner remove a lis pendens and recover damages.
Richard S. Weinstein
A real estate attorney can help you with all of your real estate needs. Richard S. Weinstein is an experienced real estate attorney and title agent who can help you with your real estate transactions. Having legal representation makes good real estate business sense. A competent and experienced attorney will protect your interests.
With over 50 years of experience as an attorney, Richard S. Weinstein assists clients with the important financial situations in their lives. Whether you are dealing with bankruptcy, real estate (both commercial and residential, including short sales, foreclosures, and title insurance), estate planning, probate, business formations, or sales or mergers, Richard S. Weinstein is the attorney with the education, experience, and knowledge you need! Call us at (561) 745-3040 or visit his website at rweinsteinlaw.com.
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