Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

We have a lien on a property in Washington State, for $9500. The property is in short sale status. Can we file a lis pendens based upon the lien to protect our interests from the bank (BofA) merely dismissing our interest?

Asked on 7/12/12, 8:29 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kevin Britt Law Office of Kevin L. Britt, P.S.

A lis pendens is a document recorded with the county by plaintiffs in legal actions concerning real property. It is meant to alert other interested parties that a lawsuit is pending regarding that property. Recording a lis pendens is not appropriate in this situation because you are not a plaintiff in a legal action. In addition, recording such a document would not change the priority of your lien in relation to the bank's lien.

As the holder of a lien on the property, you have the ability to block a short sale that does not adequately compensate you. However, this may simply lead to the bank foreclosing, which will eliminate your lien if it is of a lesser priority than the bank's lien. You should consider retaining an attorney to negotiate with the interested parties and/or pursue the owner of the property at issue personally. My office is available to assist you if you decide to pursue that course of action.

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Answered on 7/12/12, 8:56 am

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