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Lis Pendens

This is the term for the formal process that begins the action of foreclosure. It is a written notice that litigation concerning real estate has been filed. It can involve either the claim of ownership in a property or a title claim. It serves notice to the homeowner that a claim has been filed against their property, and it also notifies the public that a particular piece of property has a potential claim on it. Within the foreclosure process, a lis pendens tells the homeowner or anyone else with interest in the property, that it is facing foreclosure. This can affect anyone researching the property such as a lender involved in refinancing or a title company researching it for a sale or other reason. The lis pendens stipulates that the homeowner has 30 days to stop the legal process by paying what they owe. Once a lis pendens is filed, the property is considered to be in the process of pre foreclosure until it is sold at auction or the process is halted. Even though this is technically a pending lawsuit, as long as the homeowner retains ownership to the property, they can still refinance or sell it. The lis pendens is essentially a warning to anyone with interest in the property that ownership is disputed. Anyone who eventually buys the house, refinances it or rents it will have to abide by the resolution of the lis pendens. Title companies typically will not insure a property title with a lis pendens.

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