Apr 11, 2018

What is a Lis Pendens?

What is a Lis Pendens?
It is a formal notice of pending legal action. The Lis Pendens is filed with the clerk of the court and then filed with the proper Arizona County Recorder. It must be filed subsequent to the beginning of a lawsuit surrounding the property in question.

What is the purpose of filing a Lis Pendens?
A Lis Pendens provides notice of a claim involving specific real estate to potential buyer, lender, and the general public. It will basically freeze an Arizona property so that it cannot be sold or refinanced.  

What is the effect of a Lis Pendens?
Any future person who acquires an interest in the property after a Lis Pendens is recorded is bound by the ultimate results of the pending lawsuit. So even though the Lis Pendens doesn't legally prevent a sale or loan from a practical point it does. Most prospective buyers, lenders and title insurers are very reluctant to become involved with property that could be adversely impacted by a pending suit.

When will the Lis Pendens be released?
Typically a court will not release the Lis Pendens until the underlying suit has been resolved in favor of the property owner.Therefore, from a practical perspective the lis pendens can tie up a property for years. This can be devastating for the owner and enormous leverage for the claimant. 

Is a Lis Pendens a lien?
No, in and of itself, a Lis Pendens does not place a legal lien on a property but it does carry some of the traits of a traditional lien.

If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact Clint Dunaway at clint@dunawaylg.com or 480-389-6529.