My dad passed away in 2010 and shortly after his wife filed an affidavit with the court house saying he had no children and she was the only heir. In 2018 I filed a lis penden on the property and a determination of heirship. She tried to sell in 2018 but she wouldn’t settle so the potential buyers backed out. I found out the home was relisted for sale a few days ago. I called the county clerk to verify that the lis pendon was still on file and it was. I just received notification that she sold the home 2 months ago and an investor purchased it and relisted it for sale. How was the lis pendon missed? Shouldn’t it have come up when the title work was being done. What are my options now?
Hi Ashley, It’s been so long since your dad passed, I’m worried you may be up against the statute of limitations for resolving your claim. The lis pendens should have been filed as part of your civil case against his wife. What is the status of that case? Did you ever even file it? Regardless I suspect your only path forward is to hire a competent attorney in whatever state the property is located in. Search for real estate or estate attorneys locally, try to find one that will give you a free initial consultation, has a good reputation, and will give you an estimate of the costs to litigate your case - if that is even still possible. Be prepared when you meet with them, and bring a copy of anything you have, including the lis pendens, a copy of the deed transferring the property from the wife to the investor, etc. Cheaper for you to do that legwork than to have them do it.
Note that a lis pendens doesn’t stop a sale, it simply puts would-be buyers on notice that there is pending litigation. A savvy investor might not let that stop them, instead, they might look at the lis pendens itself to see if it is valid, check the status of the case, etc. Based on that they may calculate that the risk is low enough to proceed. It’s also possible they don’t know what they are doing, and missed it - if that’s what happened and your case is valid, it will be a very bad day for them.
Best of luck in resolving this. Hopefully you didn’t miss any important deadlines.
The lis pendon was filed in 2018 when she tried to sell the property the first time. I’m his only biological child in the matter. Would the title policy that was done by the title company cover a mistake by them?
There is an open case for a determination of heirship is why the lis pendon was filed. She took the home off of the market in 2018 after she lost the sale due to the lis pendon.