What is Lis Pendens

What is a Lis Pendens?

Lis Pendens is a formal notice recorded with the local county recorder that puts the world on notice that there is pending legal action regarding a specific piece of real property. 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.

lis pendens and law suits

In order to record a lis pendens there must be an ongoing lawsuit. A lis pendens literally means a “Notice of Pending Action.” In other words, it is a notice to the world that there is a lawsuit regarding title to that real estate. A lis pendens is not a lien and it cannot stop someone from selling or getting a loan secured by real property. However, it usually does effectively deter others from buying, selling or borrowing money because it means the ownership rights to that property are 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. As such, prospective buyers, lenders and title insurers are very reluctant to become involved with property that could be adversely impacted by a pending suit.

Release of Lis Pendens

In Arizona, a lis pendens is typically removed by filing a Release of Lis Pendens with the Court and then the county. This is a voluntary act made by the party that recorded and filed the lis pendens in the first place, and usually occurs as a result of the settlement of the litigation or some other agreement between the litigants.

Wrongfully recording a lis pendens can result in statutory and actual damages against the filing party. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with these laws and has experience with litigation involving a lis pendens

If you have a real estate dispute and need help from an experience Arizona real estate lawyer then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or by sending us a message HERE.

Author: Clint Dunaway

Arizona attorney.