For people who are looking to buy a home in Florida, a Lis Pendens is a very important legal notification. It is a signal that some piece of property will soon be involved in a lawsuit, which is generally a negative sign for the property’s value and the legal status of ownership.
When a buyer wants to acquire property from a seller, one of the basic facts to establish is that the seller actually does own the property. If there is a lis pendens attached to the house or land, then it means that the seller’s ownership may soon be in question due to a pending lawsuit. Common reasons for a lis pendens include a divorce where the other spouse is seeking part or all of the ownership of the property or foreclosure by a bank that is about to take control of the property. In either case or other situations, a lis pendens is bad news for the buyer. At best, it means that the sale will face additional legal hurdles and complexity. At worst, it might mean the seller never had control of the property and is unable to legally sell it.
There are plenty of cases in between. For example, the sale might go ahead, but with a different owner after the lawsuit takes place. This could significantly extend how long it takes the sale to close. A lis pendens is a major problem for real estate because it jeopardizes the deal’s likelihood of closing.
A lis pendens is a warning sign to a real estate buyer that the property may soon have a different owner and will be part of some form of legal proceedings.