Lis Pendens

Lis Pendens


A legal term that means "suit pending". This is a legal notice filed against a property that a foreclosure lawsuit has been initiated against a homeowner who has defaulted on mortgage payments.

Lis Pendens Foreclosures

Lis Pendens

The word lis pendens is translated from Latin and means "lawsuit pending". This is an action filed against real estate which shows that the property's title may be in question. It simply means that there is a lawsuit which involves the property that either is occurring or could happen very soon. It's basically a form of notification for the public to show that this property is involved to a lawsuit in some way. Obviously, this kind of issue can greatly diminish the value of a home in the eyes of buyers since it will likely cause many complications in the title transfer or getting a mortgage.

What Does a Lis Pendens Mean in the Foreclosure Legal Process?

Lis Pendens Foreclosure Opportunities

When it comes to foreclosed homes, a lis pendens can be filed by the lender showing formal notice of the beginning of the foreclosure process. Even though a lawsuit is technically pending at that point, the homeowner still retains ownership of the property. This means that they can go about trying to figure out how to sell the property to someone as a pre-foreclosure. Although public notice has gone out by way of having a notice of Lis Pendens, it does not prohibit the owner from trying to get out of the situation by finding someone to buy the property. In an effort to avoid a foreclosure on their credit, many homeowners are more than willing to work with a reputable investor who can help them out of a nasty situation.

Lis pendens foreclosures happen in the states that have a judicial foreclosure process. Houses that are in these states will get a lis pendens filed against them if their mortgage or deed of trust goes into default. In states that have a nonjudicial foreclosure process, the lender simply uses something called a notice of default. Non-judicial foreclosure states have a more streamlined approach to defaults, and they don't require nearly as much time for the lender to take ownership of the home. Real estate is quite different from state to state, so it's important to understand the process before you look to purchase properties in other areas.

Once notification has been filed by the bank or government entity on a lis pendens form, the property is officially in pre-foreclosure. It remains a pre-foreclosure until it comes up for sale at auction. Each state has their own rules and regulations on these kinds of properties, so it's impossible to say how long it will be from the time that the notice is filed until the property goes up for public auction. Nonjudicial foreclosure states typically move the process along a lot faster while states that require a judicial foreclosure process could take many months.

During this time, buyers who are interested in investing in pre-foreclosures will find that they need to look at the lis pendens list in their specific area in order to find properties that may make a great investment. It's not hard to find these properties since they are listed as a public notice in the legal newspaper.

How to Proceed on a Lis Pendens House?

If you are interested in buying a house with a lis pendens filed against it, you have to be careful as you are now and tricky waters. First, you need to do some research to find out exactly what kind of lawsuit is against the property. In order to do that, you might decide to hire a real estate attorney or title company that can research the issue. Depending upon how extensive and costly the lawsuit is, you may decide to continue pursuing the property or walk away. The homeowner should also be able to give you information on the lawsuit.

The only way to get a release lis pendens is to settle the lawsuit. However, that could mean settling with a specific party or the bank that holds the mortgage depending on what kind of lawsuit is involved. Some homeowners are unwilling or unable to do this. This is why you see lis pendens foreclosures every month. If you want to see a lis pendens sample, simply look in the legal newspaper for your county to get an idea of what one looks like.

What Does a Lis Pendens Mean to a Potential Buyer?

Lis pendens foreclosures are potentially great buys for an investor. However, any time a lawsuit is involved you can find yourself in the midst of a complex situation. That's why it's so important to do your research beforehand so that you know exactly what's going on with the property. Not every lis pendens foreclosure is a great deal, especially if you find yourself up to your eyeballs in legal issues while waiting for the property. Sometimes, it's simply better to move on to the next property. However, these kinds of pre-foreclosure homes can mean a great bargain in many situations.

If the seller is ready and able to deal, you might find yourself with a great bargain. It all depends upon how much the seller owes on the property and whether or not you are able to pull them out of the situation by purchasing it before it goes to foreclosure. Once it goes to foreclosure, you will have to go through the normal process of going to the auction or possibly purchasing the property as an REO.

In order to find a list of lis pendens foreclosures each month, don't spend your time scouting around at all of the legal newspapers in your area. Not only does it waste a lot of your time, but it's tedious work that can be done easily with a few clicks of your mouse. is a great one-stop shop for any kind of foreclosures that you're looking for. Instead of spending your time looking for lis pendens leads, this will allow you to focus on getting the proper research done so that you can get bargain properties under contract before your competition even knows what hit them.

FAQ about Lis Pendens

  • A notice of lis pendens is public record and alerts a buyer that the property is in foreclosure. This is a huge benefit because the buyer can virtually name their price as the homeowner tries to avoid foreclosure.

  • Lis pendens foreclosure varies by state. In some states the law may allow the process to take up to a year. Others are within 90 days.

  • If a notice of lis pendens also called a notice of default in some states, will be served to you once it is filed. You may also check county records.

  • For a buyer, lis pendens could be a dream come true, because the buyer or investor will have the opportunity to purchase property from lis pendens list anywhere in the USA at rock-bottom prices. For a homeowner a lis pendens foreclosure is a nightmare.

Go to the Foreclosures FAQ page


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