Lis Pendens

Written by Linda Alexander
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A Lis Pendens, in judicial foreclosure states, is the initial document filed on a foreclosure. In non-judicial foreclosure states, the document that gives public notice of the foreclosure is called a Notice of Default. These are the documents you will use to identify pre foreclosures if you choose to invest in them.

After the Lis Pendens is filed, and before the foreclosure sale, is called a reinstatement period. Depending on the state, it can be as short as 21 days or as long as a year. This is your window of opportunity to rescue a house from foreclosure. You will be helping the homeowner, saving their credit, and profiting from it!

Why Step in Right after the Lis Pendens?

Often during this period, while the lender begins the foreclosure proceedings, the owner still has possession of the property and the right to sell it. You will be able to find out about these opportunities at the county recorder's office in the county where the home is located. You could do an online search for the names of the homeowners, or you can visit the recorder's office to find them and view them.

If you buy a pre foreclosure home after the Lis Pendens is filed, you will be buying the property "subject to" any leans or other "encumbrances" on the property. Your benefit here, though, is that the homeowner might sign a quit claim deed to you, pay as little as a few thousand dollars, and then you will take ownership of the house. If you wait to buy at the foreclosure sale, any liens will be wiped out, but you must also pay in cash, usually immediately.

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