Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

What is Lis Pendens?

Support Enforcement has put a lien on 5 acres that my husband & I have been buying together ever since our marriage in 1992. It has been suggested to me that I place a lien of my own on this property - as well as a Lis Pendens. What exactly is a Lis Pendens?

And how would I go about this?

Asked on 1/15/99, 7:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gary Preble Preble Law Firm, P.S.

Re: What is Lis Pendens?

I assume your husband has a support arrearage from a prior relationship.

Neither a lien nor a lis pendens will solve your problem, and neither are available to you.

A lien is for one to whom you owe money, and it arises from contract (mortgage, deed of trust, etc) or judgment. The purpose of the lien is to secure your obligation to them. But since you OWN the property (subject probably to the bank's lien), you have no need for a lien. You can't put a lien on your own property any more than you can owe yourself money.

A lis pendens is a recorded notice that a legal action is pending concerning the property and that someone may have an interest in the property as a result of the suit. See RCW 4.28.328

You may have several options. One is that there is an automatic homestead on property you live on. The second is that it would be best if your husband did not have an ownership interest in the property.

Title 6 RCW Enforcement of Judgements will lead you to how you might be able to protect yourself.

Gary Preble

Olympia, WA


Gary Preble

Preble Law Firm

2120 State Avenue NE

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Answered on 1/28/99, 1:56 am

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