In this week's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, we're starting a brand-new series to kick off the year, and that is the Top Ten Topics in 2024. Every week we will cover a very popular topic from last year that has become a “bestseller” in the Freedom Friday blog, and although these topics are not being presented in rank order, the juicier topics are being saved for last. In this week's Freedom Friday blog, we're going to cover a topic that was kind of a surprise as a popular topic last year. Even towards the end of the year, this one was getting hits. In this week's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter I'm answering the question, “What does lis pendens mean?”
If you're interested in real estate, buying rental properties, or flipping houses, you need to know what “lis pendens” means, because if one of those is filed in the land records for the property you're interested in purchasing, you probably won't want to buy it. “Lis pendens” is a fancy Latin legal term which means, “pending suit.” In Oklahoma, this is also called a “Notice of Pendency of Action”. It is an official notice to the public that a lawsuit involving a claim on real property has been filed. It's very common to see a “lis pendens” in a foreclosure case, where there are HOA fees due, sometimes in a divorce, and many times in contested will actions. These are also filed in “quiet title” suits, which are cases in which the ownership of real property is disputed. A “lis pendens” provides constructive notice or a warning that the actual ownership and/or title of real property, e.g. a home, physical building, or land, is in dispute and a lawsuit is pending.
For example, in a foreclosure case, the bank or lender that filed the lawsuit will also file a “lis pendens” at the same time the lawsuit is filed. The “lis pendens” will usually be filed not only in the case itself, but in the land records to attach to the real property. When a plaintiff files a “lis pendens,” the plaintiff is protecting its claim to title of the property pending the outcome of the litigation. A “lis pendens” can only be filed if a claim specifically related to the property is at stake, and it can only be lifted or released after the lawsuit is settled or resolved.
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