If title to your real property has been fraudulently transferred, if you have a title dispute, or if a co-owner is attempting to refinance the property and siphon off the equity without your consent, you can "lock up" the title and equity by filing a lawsuit and concurrently recording a "Lis Pendens", also known as a "Notice of Pending Action". An experienced real estate attorney can quickly draft and file the lawsuit and record the Lis Pendens.
Title insurance companies will not insure any deed or trust deed recorded after a valid Lis Pendens appears on title. Any deed or deed of trust recorded while the Lis Pendens is in effect will be suspect, and may be cancelled. The Lis Pendens is terminated upon dismissal of the lawsuit. Additionally, a Lis Pendens may be terminated by a "motion to expunge" if the lawsuit does not state a real property claim. A mere "money claim" will not support a Lis Pendens. A real estate attorney can determine whether you have a real property claim or a money claim. Warning: an improper Lis Pendens may subject you to a lawsuit for slander of title.
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