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When Does A Lis Pendens Expire In A Foreclosure Action?

When Does A Lis Pendens Expire In A Foreclosure Action?

In the recent case of Ober v. Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D245a (Fla. 4th DCA, January 25, 2017), it was determined that the lis pendens did not expire upon entry of the final judgment, but remained effective through the judicial sale and issuance of the Certificate of Title.
The effect of recording a Notice of Lis Pendens is to bar enforcement against the property of all interests and liens unrecorded at the time of recording of the Notice.
The Town recorded several code enforcement liens on the property foreclosed upon, but after the entry of Final Judgment and before issuance of the Certificate of Title. The Town argued that entry of Final Judgment served to terminate the Lis Pendens, making their liens effective. The court, in considering section 48.23, the lis pendens statute, found that the language of the statute is broad and encompasses “all interests and liens,” and contemplates that all liens would be barred through a “judicial sale,” which is how a foreclosure operates in in the real world since the final judgment is not, in effect, the end of a foreclosure suit. The court held that all liens recorded after the recording of the lis pendens, regardless of whether they are recorded prior to or after the final judgment is issued, are discharged from the property unless the lienholder intervenes in the action within 30 days of the recording of the lis pendens.

 

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