I see questions all the time about Lis Pendens in online Real Estate discussion forums all the time. Before diving into the information below please understand the following. This information pertains to California Real Estate Law. This information was obtained with permission from the California Association of Realtors Legal Department. I am not an attorney and this information is not intended to be legal advise from me, please seek professional legal help with this matter.
Q 1. What is a Lis Pendens?
Q 2. What is the purpose of a Lis Pendens?
A: The purpose of a Lis Pendens is to notify prospective purchasers, encumbrancersand other real property interest holders that any interest acquired by them in the property is subject to the outcome of a legal action currently in progress concerning the real property. Although recording the Lis Pendens doesn’t legally stop a buyer from purchasing the property, the buyer is subject to losing the property to the claimant should the claimant ultimately prevail in the litigation regarding entitlement to the property. Therefore, for all practical purposes, the Lis Pendens assures the person recording it (the claimant) that the property in question will not be transferred before the lawsuit is resolved (See Question 3).
Q 3. Can property be transferred if a Lis Pendens is recorded against it?
Q 4. Who can record a Lis Pendens?
Q 5. Can a buyer record a Lis Pendens against a seller who refuses to close escrow?
Q 6. Can a buyer record a Lis Pendens against a seller who refuses to return a deposit?
Q 7. Can a seller record a Lis Pendens against a buyer who breaches the contract?
Q 8. Does a liquidated damage clause affect a buyer’s ability to record a Lis Pendens?
Q 9. What does a Lis Pendens claimant have to do in order to record a Lis Pendens?
Q 10. Can a Lis Pendens be recorded if the purchase contract requires arbitration and not litigation?
Q 11. Once a Lis Pendens has been recorded, how can it be removed from title?
Q 12. What does “preponderance of the evidence” mentioned in the previous question mean?
Q 13. What does “probable validity of the claim” mean?
Q 14. Who has the burden of proof in a motion to expunge a Lis Pendens?
Q 15. How long does a property owner or other party bringing the motion to expunge (“moving party”) have to post a bond if ordered to do so as a condition of granting the motion to expunge?
Q 16. Can a Lis Pendens claimant ever be required to post a bond in order to keep the Lis Pendens of record?
Q 17. What is the effect of a Lis Pendens if it has been expunged or released?
Q 18. Can attorney fees be awarded as a result of a motion concerning expungement or maintenance of a Lis Pendens?
Q 19. What effect does expungement of a Lis Pendens have on any lawsuit between the claimant and the property owner?
Q 20. If a Lis Pendens has been expunged or removed, does a subsequent purchaser of the property take title subject to the outcome of any lawsuit still pending between the claimant and the property owner?