Can I have a lis pendens filed if I am a tenant in a lease option contract?

Asked by Markart, 92372 Thu Oct 1, 2009

May 2007 we signed a lease option for 1 year. When the time came to exercise our option the value of the house dropped by 50%, we had communications with the owners and they agreed to extend our option at 6 month intervals until we were ready. The market has completely dropped, we have been here for over 2 years now and the owner never sent us our extention contracts. In September we just found a note on the door stating the house will go to auction, we notified the owners and they said they would call the bank. The auction was postponed until October 25th and the owners stated that they are trying to do a work out with the bank. I assume that they haven't been paying the mortgage for the last 9 months at least, we have paid every month with out fail. Do we have a case? Can we prevent the foreclosure and file the Les pendence before the auction date?

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Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Thu Oct 1, 2009
A Lis Pendens does not stop or prevent a foreclosure. The term Lis Pendens means law suit pending and is a written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest in it. In this case it would come from the lender and be filed on the homeowner.

I'm not sure what the value dropping has to do with anything unless you are leasing with option to buy. If it's just a standard lease, then you have a lease agreement with the owner but do not have any interest in ownership. Regardless of what the owner is doing with your rent payments, you are still bound by the terms of the lease agreement at this time. Should the house become foreclosed on then things may change and the lease could become null and void. Check with an attorney to be sure.
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Barry Shapiro, Agent, Camarillo, CA
Thu Oct 1, 2009
Markart,

#1: Consult with a Real Estate Attorney immediately.
#2: Consult with a Real Estate Attorney immediately.
#3: Consult with a Real Estate Attorney immediately.

If you don't have one, I can give you some names.
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