Lis pendens is Latin for "suit pending."
This may refer to any pending lawsuit or to a specific situation
with a public notice of litigation that has been recorded
in the same location where the title of real property has
been recorded. This notice secures a plaintiff's claim on
the property so that the sale, mortgage, or encumbrance of
the property will not diminish plaintiff's rights to the property,
should the plaintiff prevail in its case. In some jurisdictions,
when the notice is properly recorded, lis pendens is considered
constructive notice to the other litigants or other unrecorded
or subordinate lienholders. The term is sometimes abbreviated
as "lis pend".
In current practice, a lis pendens is a written notice that
a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving
either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest
in it. The notice is usually filed in the county land records
office. Recording a lis pendens against a piece of property
alerts a potential purchaser or lender that the property’s
title is in question, which makes the property less attractive
to a buyer or lender. After the notice is filed, anyone who
nevertheless purchases the land or property described in the
notice takes subject to the ultimate decision of the lawsuit.
A foreclosure will wipe out a lis pendens, unless the mortgage
or other lien which is being foreclosed was created after
the suit was filed.