An Understandable Guide for All: What is a lis pendens in real estate?

An Understandable Guide for All: What is a lis pendens in real estate?

In the world of real estate transactions, legal terminology often seems like a foreign language. One such term that you might come across is "Lis Pendens." While it may sound complex, understanding Lis Pendens in Real Estate requirements is crucial for anyone involved in real estate deals, whether you're a buyer, seller, or investor. Discovery of a Lis Pendens in a preliminary title report can be nerve-wracking because it introduces uncertainty, potential delays, and complexities that can impact buyers, sellers, and investors alike. So, we’re here to help!

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What Is a Lis Pendens?

Let's start with the basics. The definition of Lis Pendens is derived from Latin and translates to "suit pending." Essentially, it's a legal notice indicating a pending lawsuit involving a specific property. This notice is typically filed in the county where the property is located and serves as a warning to potential buyers or lenders about a legal dispute over the property.

Who Issues Lis Pendens?

Lis Pendens is typically issued by one of the parties involved in a property dispute. It can be filed by the plaintiff (the party initiating the lawsuit) or the defendant (the party being sued). The goal is to alert third parties, such as buyers or lenders, that there is an ongoing legal battle concerning the property.

How Long Does A Lis Pendens Last?

The effectiveness of a Lis Pendens action varies from one jurisdiction to another. In most cases, it remains in effect until the litigation or lawsuit is resolved, withdrawn, or otherwise disposed of. This means that during the pendency of the lawsuit, potential buyers or lenders must proceed with caution when dealing with the property in question.

What is the Statute of Lis Pendens in Texas?

Since real estate laws can vary significantly from one state to another, it's important to understand the specific regulations governing Lis Pendens in your area. In Texas, for example, the statute of Lis Pendens can be found in the Texas Property Code.

What Does It Mean When a Lawsuit Is Pending?

When a lawsuit is pending, a legal case related to the property is currently active in the court system. This lawsuit could involve various issues, such as disputes over ownership, foreclosure, or other claims against the property. Until the lawsuit is resolved, the property's status remains uncertain, which can have significant implications for potential buyers or lenders.

How Much Does It Cost To File A Lis Pendens?

The cost to file a Lis Pendens can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction and the case's specific circumstances. Generally, filing fees for legal documents, including Lis Pendens, are determined by the local government or court where the filing takes place. These fees can range from a relatively low amount to several hundred dollars.

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Can You Sell A Property With A Lis Pendens?

Selling a property with a Lis Pendens can be challenging, but it's not impossible. However, there are several factors and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Disclosure Requirements: In many jurisdictions, the law mandates that sellers disclose the Lis Pendens in real estate sales to potential buyers. Failure to disclose this information can lead to legal consequences. Be transparent about the situation.
  • Buyer's Perspective: Some buyers may shy away from such properties, while others may negotiate for a lower price or additional protections.
  • Financing Issues: Lenders may hesitate to provide financing for properties with Lis Pendens. This can limit the pool of potential buyers, as cash buyers or those with alternative financing options may be more interested.
  • Resolving the Lawsuit: The pending lawsuit must be resolved or withdrawn to facilitate the sale. This can be a lengthy and complex process, often requiring cooperation from all parties involved in the dispute.
  • Title Insurance: Title insurance provides financial coverage in case the Lis Pendens results in a claim against the property's title in the future.
  • Legal Counsel: It is highly advisable to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in real estate and property law when selling a property with a Lis Pendens.

The Intricate Web of Implications in Real Estate: What Happens After Lis Pendens Is Filed?


Lis Pendens, once filed, casts a profound shadow over the property at its center, setting in motion a sequence of events and considerations that must be carefully weighed by all parties involved. Let's delve into the intricacies of these implications, each layer revealing the multifaceted nature of this legal notice:

  • Clouded Title: An example of Lis Pendens can be seen when it clouds the title of a property, making it challenging to sell or obtain financing. This cloud on the title can deter potential buyers and lenders, affecting the property's marketability.
  • Risk Assessment: Buyers and lenders must perform due diligence when dealing with a property under Lis Pendens. They need to assess the risks involved and consider the potential outcomes of the pending lawsuit before proceeding with the transaction.
  • Potential Delays: Lis Pendens can lead to delays in real estate transactions. The lawsuit must be resolved or withdrawn before the property can be sold or refinanced without impediments.
  • Negotiation Power: Depending on the circumstances, Lis Pendens can provide leverage to one party over the other during negotiations. It can impact the terms of settlement or the final sale price of the property.
  • Title Insurance: Title insurance is often required to protect the interests of buyers and lenders when Lis Pendens is involved. This additional layer of protection can provide peace of mind in uncertain situations.

What Is A Notice Of Lis Pendens?

A Notice of Lis Pendens means a legal notice filed with the appropriate government authority, typically the county clerk's office or a similar entity, to inform the public of a pending lawsuit related to a specific piece of real property. 

Here are the key components and purposes of Lis Pendens Notice:

  • Legal Notice: It serves as an official legal notice of an ongoing lawsuit or legal action related to a particular property.
  • Public Record: Once filed, a Lis Pendens becomes part of the public record, and interested parties, such as potential buyers, lenders, and other stakeholders, can access this information.
  • Property Encumbrance: What does Lis Pendens mean when filled? Filing a Lis Pendens places a cloud on the property title in question. This cloud signifies that there is a dispute or claim that could potentially affect the property's ownership or rights.
  • Alerting Interested Parties: One of the primary purposes of a Lis Pendens is to alert third parties to the existence of the pending lawsuit. This helps ensure that anyone considering dealing with the property is aware of the legal dispute.
  • Protecting Interests: For the party initiating the lawsuit (the plaintiff), filing a Lis Pendens can help protect their interests in the property by preventing the property from being sold or transferred during the litigation process.
  • Due Diligence: Prospective buyers, lenders, and other interested parties may use the information from Lis Pendens to conduct due diligence and assess the potential risks associated with the property.

An overwhelmed by documents woman

How Do I Find Lis Pendens on My Property?


To find foreclosure Lis Pendens related to your property’s mortgage, you should start by visiting the county clerk's office in the county where your property is located. They maintain public records, including Lis Pendens filings. You can search these records in person at the office or check their official website for online access to property records, including Lis Pendens filings.

If you encounter difficulties or need professional guidance, consider consulting with a real estate attorney. They can help you navigate the process and access the necessary records. Title insurance companies also have access to property records and may assist in searching for Lis Pendens filings, particularly if you're involved in a real estate transaction.

In some cases, you may need to submit a public records request to the county clerk's office to obtain specific documents related to your property, including Lis Pendens filings. Ensure you have accurate information about your property, such as its legal description or parcel number, as records are typically organized using this information. Understanding the legal implications of a Lis Pendens filing is essential, as it can impact your property's marketability and any potential real estate transactions involving the property.

Navigating Lis Pendens Real Estate Definition - Insights To Safeguard Your Property        


In the ever-evolving landscape of real estate transactions, understanding the lis pendens meaning in real estate, especially for home buyers and sellers, is crucial for anyone involved in property transactions. The intricate web of implications that this legal notice casts can reverberate through the real estate market, affecting not only the immediate parties involved but also the broader sphere of potential buyers, sellers, and investors. Thus, grasping the multifaceted nature of Lis Pendens is tantamount to success in the real estate arena. With our guidance, you can navigate it to safeguard your real estate journey and succeed in this dynamic field.

Don't hesitate to Contact Us today, and let us guide you through the complexities of real estate transactions! Our company, CertSimple, is here to assist you.

FAQ: Lis Pendens Meaning in Real Estate 

1. Who Issues Lis Pendens? 

      A lis pendens is typically issued by an individual or their attorney and filed with the appropriate government authority, often the county recorder's office or a similar entity, in the jurisdiction where a real property is located. 

2.  What is the time period when a lis pendens is effective?

      A lis pendens remains in effect as long as the lawsuit it is associated with remains unresolved. Once the lawsuit is resolved, either through a settlement, dismissal, or a final judgment, the lis pendens is "released" from the property's title.

3. What is the statute of lis pendens in Texas?

     The Texas lis pendens statute, found in Section 12.007 of the Texas Property Code, requires filing a notice in the county clerk's office where the property is located to indicate a pending legal action involving the property.

4. What does it mean when a lawsuit is pending?

      A lawsuit is pending when it has been filed and is in progress but has not yet been resolved. It involves legal proceedings like discovery, hearings, and possibly a trial awaiting a final judgment or settlement.