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Lis Pendens and Foreclosure

Founding Member of Moshes Law, P.C.
During his years of practice, Yuriy has concentrated in litigation and real estate transactions as his areas of expertise.

If you are facing foreclosure on your home, there is a good chance you will receive a lis pendens at some point during the process. The term lis pendens means “a suit pending” in Latin and is used to put the public on notice that there is a pending lawsuit over a particular real estate or a piece of land. Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney? If you need legal help with a real estate transaction, set up a FREE consultation today. CONTACT US NOW A lis pendens can significantly af…

Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney?

If you need legal help with a real estate transaction, set up a FREE consultation today.

A lis pendens can significantly affect the ownership of a property, and it is important that you understand all the legal implications of this document. If you have received a lis Pendens, you should contact a lawyer to learn about your options and next steps. The lawyers at Moshes Law, P.C. are experienced in lis pendens and foreclosure. There is no reason to face these proceedings alone; call today for a free consultation.

What Is Lis Pendens Foreclosure

A legal notice plays a crucial role in various legal matters such as divorce cases or disputes over contracts. In foreclosure proceedings, it’s commonly utilized. This notice, typically initiated by the lender when a homeowner fails to meet mortgage payments, ensures that the homeowner bears responsibility for any outstanding real estate fees rather than the lender.

In foreclosure cases, this notification serves to alert interested parties, such as potential buyers, about an ongoing property dispute. Prospective buyers typically prefer properties with clear titles. This notice discourages buyers and prohibits the property owner from selling the property until the legal dispute is settled.

Lis Pendens and Foreclosure

Any party who claims rights or ownership to real estate can legally file a lis pendens. If a homeowner defaults on their mortgage payments and breaks a contract with the creditor, the creditor can file a lis pendens on the property when they begin the foreclosure proceedings.

There are two primary types of foreclosure proceedings: judicial and non-judicial. In a judicial foreclosure, lenders need to submit a notice and complaint to the court. In certain states, a specific document, which is optional in some places, is required. Twenty-two states, including New York, mandate that lenders file this document along with foreclosure paperwork. In these states, a foreclosure judgment cannot be issued unless this specific document has been on file for at least twenty days. On the other hand, in a non-judicial foreclosure, the creditor doesn’t submit the same document but instead records a notice of default.

Whether a lender is required to file a lis pendens or chooses to file the document, it needs to be filed with the county recorder’s office in the county the foreclosure is taking place. A lis pendens generally has information about the property like a description and includes details about the nature of the claim.

Once a lis pendens is filed, the real estate is considered to be in pre-foreclosure. This is sometimes referred to as a pre-foreclosure Lis pendens. The property will stay in this status until the property is sold.


A legal notice about ongoing litigation can bring various implications to real estate and foreclosure proceedings. Its primary impact involves ownership and the homeowner’s ability to sell their property. Once filed, this notice becomes a part of the public record. Any potential buyer conducting a title check will encounter the notice and the ongoing lawsuit details. Consequently, most buyers are discouraged from pursuing such a property due to the legal entanglements and complexities associated with it.

Moreover, this notice can have repercussions for homeowners in the future, especially if they intend to buy another house. As this document is publicly accessible, lenders and homeowners’ insurance companies may access it. This visibility could potentially lead to denial of financing or insurance coverage.


To remove or expunge a claim like a lis pendens, a homeowner has a few options. They can satisfy the claim by addressing the underlying issue. One approach is to post a bond—money or collateral—with the court, covering the amount stated in the claim. The court decides the bond’s size, taking into account property value and other relevant factors. The specific procedure for settling a claim with payment differs according to state laws.


When a homeowner defaults on their mortgage, it can be assumed that they are probably facing other financial issues as well. Unfortunately, foreclosures and bankruptcies often go hand in hand.

Sometimes, a homeowner can use bankruptcy as a strategic way to pause the lis pendens foreclosure and buy themselves some more time. This varies by state and whether bankruptcy will end up resulting in an extension of time on the lis pendens depends on the court.

If you are subject to a foreclosure lis pendens and you are considering bankruptcy, you should first contact Moshes Law, P.C. for a free consultation. Your experienced foreclosure lawyer from Moshes Law, P.C., will be able to guide you through this process and help you make the best decision for your future.

Homeowners Associations

Many homeowners don’t realize that if they belong to a homeowners association and fail to pay their dues, the HOA may have the right to file a lis pendens and foreclose on the property.

Every homeowner’s association charges fees and assessments that must be paid by property owners who belong to the association. The HOA will also have covenants and will be subject to state laws that give the HOA rights to get a lien on a property in the event the homeowner fails to pay the assessments.

If an HOA files a lien, it will automatically attach to the property, and the HOA has the option of filing the lien with the county recorder’s office to create a public notice of the legal action. The HOA now has the right to foreclose on the property and force the sale of the home.

When does a Lis Pendens Expire in a Foreclosure Action?

The duration for which a notice of pending litigation lasts in a foreclosure case depends on the laws of the state. In certain states, this notice may lapse within a few months, whereas in places like New York, it remains effective for up to three years. Once the notice expires in New York, it cannot be refiled. Your foreclosure attorney can provide comprehensive guidance on your state’s foreclosure regulations and the expiration periods for such notices.

How Long from Notice of Lis Pendens to Foreclosure

Like the expiration time period, how long from notice of Lis pendens to foreclosure will be based on local and state laws. Any state that requires a Lis pendens to be filed in a foreclosure proceeding requires that the Lis pendens be on record for at least twenty days to issue a foreclosure order.

If you have questions about a lis pendens and foreclosure, it is best to consult with an experienced lawyer for answers that are accurate for your state and situation.

What Is the Difference Between Foreclosure and Lis Pendens?

While a lis pendens and a foreclosure are part of the same proceedings, they are not the same document or legal process. A foreclosure is a formal court proceeding in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a homeowner who has defaulted on mortgage payments. The foreclosure allows the lender to reclaim ownership of the real estate and sell the property to satisfy the existing loan.

A lis pendens, on the other hand, is a notice that lenders use when they initiate the foreclosure. The lis pendens notifies all parties that the property is part of a lawsuit and is filed with the county recorder’s office and made public record. Twenty-two states, New York being one of them, require that a lis pendens be filed with a foreclosure; however, it is an optional document in all other states.

Can a Lis Pendens Stop a Foreclosure

When a homeowner faces foreclosure, they cannot use a specific document to stop the process. Lenders usually file a particular document, commonly known as part of the foreclosure process. However, if the homeowner questions the document’s validity, they have the right to challenge it.

Challenging this document requires the homeowner to prove in court that it’s either based on fraud or a document that hasn’t been officially recorded. Yet, this can be a difficult task because anyone with a legitimate claim on the property can submit such a document.

While contesting this document might not completely halt the foreclosure, taking legal action could potentially delay the proceedings.

Get Help from Foreclosure Right Now

If you are facing a foreclosure and have just received a lis pendens, you should contact a lawyer right away. The foreclosure process can be a tough legal battle to navigate, and a lis pendens can have lasting effects on your ability to get a mortgage or homeowner’s insurance.

At Moshes Law, P.C., we have experienced lawyers waiting to help guide you through this difficult time. Moshes Law Office offers free consultations so you can sit down with an attorney, go over your case, learn about your options, and make the best decision for your home and your future.

Don’t hesitate to call today for your free consultation.

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