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What is a Lis Pendens, and How Can I file a Lis Pendens in California

A lis pendens, properly referred to as a “Notice of Pendency of Action,” is a very simple document which, in California, is recorded against real property after a lawsuit is filed with the court.  A lis pendens creates a lien against the affected property for any judgment obtained in the lawsuit.

Just filing a lawsuit, however, does not necessarily entitle a plaintiff to record a lis pendens.  Only those plaintiffs who assert a real property claim in the lawsuit may record a lis pendens. This means the lawsuit must allege a claim to the property itself.  If, for example, the lawsuit merely seeks damages, that is not a real property claim.

A properly used lis pendens can be a very effective tool since it places a lien on the property which typically prevents the owner of the property to sell the property or borrow against the property until after resolving the lawsuit.

I regularly represent clients in lawsuits involving lis pendens’. If you have questions, or need representation by a California real estate lawyer in an action involving a real property claim or a lis pendens, please feel free to contact me to arrange for a consultation at (510) 465-0025.

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