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Lis Pendens - What is it? How does it help collection?

A lis pendens (which means litigation pending) is not a lien on real property.  It provides notice of record to the world that there is litigation or other legal proceedings pending which may affect title to real property.  The notice, the language of which is typically governed by state law, must be filed in the county in which the real property is located.  Notice is effective from the time of filing.  Lis pendens do not create a cloud on title.  Filing is effective even though the parties a proceeding have not been officially notified. TEX. PROP. CODE ANN. § 13.004(a).

A transfer of real property involved in a legal proceeding to a third party who has paid valuable consideration and who does not have actual or constructive notice of the proceeding is effective, even though the judgment is against the party transferring the property, unless a lis pendens has been recorded under that party’s name in the county in which the property is located. Id. at § 13.004(b).

On the motion of a party, the court may cancel the lis pendens at any time during the proceeding if the court determines that the party seeking affirmative relief can be adequately protected by the deposit of money into court or by the giving of an undertaking. Id. at §12.008(a).

Sarah Grace Chastain