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What It Means When a Lis Pendens is Filed


Lis pendens, which is Latin for “suit pending,” is a notice declaring that a lawsuit has been filed in regards to land or property. If you are facing a Florida foreclosure and receive a notice of default followed by a notice of lis pendens at the beginning of the foreclosure process, it means that a notice has been put on public record that a foreclosure has been filed against your property. The notice will appear in any title report that is pulled.



What are the reasons a lis pendens may be filed?


While foreclosure is one reason, lis pendens may be filed in Florida for several other reasons as well. For example, it is typically filed in cases of ownership disputes. During such cases, the purpose of the lis pendens can be for a party to protect its claim on a property and make it difficult to sell the property. This is common in cases of divorce or when wills are contested.


A lis pendens can also be filed because of title changes on a property, delinquent mortgage or property tax payments, or unsafe conditions and property damages.


Once a lis pendens is filed, notice is officially recorded in the property’s county and that record is reflected in any title pulls, which can make buying and selling the property more difficult. When a lis pendens is in place, purchasers are made aware that someone else has claims on the property and that there is litigation pending.


Can you remove a lis pendens?


Yes, but only once the lawsuit has been settled, which can take months and even years. The lis pendens can be settled in or out of court if an agreement can be settled against the title owner and the filer of the suit. In court, the lawsuit must be settled and the court will rule on an outcome. Out of court, an agreement can be settled against the title owner and the filer of the suit.

In Florida, a lis pendens will expire after one year if no action has been taken, but to officially remove a lis pendens, it must be expunged or withdrawn, and this must be recorded according to state and local requirements.


If you have questions about what it a lis pendens means in Florida and what you can do to defend yourself against foreclosure, call the experienced Florida trial lawyers of Jacobs Legal at 305-358-7991.


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