Lis Pendence

August 12, 2023


I am a judgment broker, not a lawyer, and this article is my opinion, please consult with a lawyer if you need legal advice. There is no such thing as “took a name off of the deed”. They either sold their interest in a property, or they transferred it to someone else using a quitclaim deed.

Quitclaim deeds are subject to existing judgment liens. Existing creditors having a secured lien can begin a judicial foreclosure.

If a quitclaim deed is completely invalid, the creditor can ask the court to void it. The judgment creditor can either (a) wait for the debtor’s house to sell; because you are still on title to their real property; or after they sell it, (b) start a foreclosure proceeding and snap the new owner’s head to attention, and then hopefully you will be paid soon after either of these two actions.

Judgment creditors can answer a complaint. If there are errors in the other party’s pleadings, the judgment creditor can make a motion to strike; in which case the other party can try again. If the other side fails to state a cause of action in their pleadings; the creditor can file a demurrer to the cause of action, asking the court to sustain a demurrer to the action, without leave to amend. (This closes the matter if the court agrees there is a lack of a sufficient cause of action.)

Usually, the court will require a “Notice of Pendancy of Action” as the first step in any new lawsuit involving real property.

Judgment creditors attempting to get a new judgment for fraudulent transfer should always start by recording a lis pendens (“notice of pendancy of action”), with the court’s approval; before bringing a complaint against the (e.g.,) other spouse as a fraudulent transferee of the real property. By doing so, any loans made subsequent to the recordation of your lis pendens would be subject to the ruling of the court in the matter referenced by your lis pendens.

If you win a judgment and record a lien, your lien will be superior to any lenders that made a loan after the date on which you recorded your lis pendens, except perhaps in crazy places such as Florida.

In some jurisdictions, creditors must file an undertaking with their new lawsuit. Sometimes the court allows you to state your case, and if the court believes you have a high likelihood of prevailing on the merits; the undertaking might be mercifully small. If you are playing a long shot, then the undertaking might be as much as the amount of the judgment you seek to enforce!

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