Like a lot of important legal terms, “lis pendens” is Latin. It’s also possible that it does not make sense to a non-lawyer. As an expression that is important to become thoroughly familiar with, the examination below will give you some background.
Interpreted directly, “lis pendens” means “suit pending.” Any court case currently pending in the United States can be referred to as this. So how does this affect you, the potential homeowner? More than you might originally think, actually.
Lis pendens has a more real estate-specific meaning today, even though it was customarily an expression used to refer to any currently open lawsuit. Lis pendens now only refers to a filed written notice about real property, and sometimes also in instances of parental responsibility. Lis pendens involves the title to the land itself or a situation where someone has declared an ownership interest in the property. A county land records office is normally where the lis pendens, or notification, can be located.
The ramifications for a potential homebuyer are important to know. The lis pendens acts as notification to you, the buyer, that the property’s title is being challenged in some way. If you do not heed the warnings of a lis pendens for a specific piece of property and you buy it anyway, there are other complications with which you now have to contend. You will end up taking the property subject to any final decision that is later rendered if you purchase land that is described in the lis pendens. Property mentioned in a lis pendens is considered by buyers or lenders to be indisputably less attractive.
You might want to educate yourself on an additional legal expression prior to going any further: caveat emptor. Once you learn the term’s English translation, you probably won’t need it to be defined further. Interpreted as “buyer beware,” due diligence needs to be utilized at every turn, just like every other aspect of the home buying process. The local county land records office is there to help, so you can make sure no encumbrances exist on the property’s title. One quick and easy task could spare you a lot of home buying heartache in the future.
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