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Attorney & Mediator
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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how do I file a lis pendens in florida

Resolved Question:

I was told to file a lis pendens against a house that I was building. The builder will not accept our financing and we haven't received our money back (about 6500.00). How do I do this in Baker County Florida?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
I want some clarifciation to see if a Lis pendens is what you are needing in this case. A Lis pendens is a notice of pending litigation,to let the other party know that there has been a lawsuit filed. You can read the definition here. Is this what you are asking for more information about or are you interested in filing a lien to protect an amount owed in the property in question.

Please provide more specific details to see if I could help you or direct you in the right direction.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Lawyer, Broker 's Post: I guess I need to file a lien. We signed a contract with a small local builder and got preapproved with an FHA mortgage. After investing about $6500.00 in the house and being lied to several times about scheduling closing, we were told that they would not accept FHA financing because they couldn't pass an FHA inspection (with a well and septic tank). We were verbally told we would receive all of our money back that we've invested. It's been almost 2 months and we haven't seen a dime or received a phone call back from them. Not to mention that we haven't released them from the contract and they have the house back on the market. My husband and I want to place a lien on the property so that they can't sell it without us getting our money back.

Thank you for your help
Expert:  4ren6 replied 9 years ago.
Sir normally the contractor prior to the FHA approval must pass a FHA approval was this done.
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your reply, based on the new information you have provided, it does not appear that you need a lien, rather you need to file a civil complaint for breach of contract against the small local builder because as you stated, they first agreed to build based on FHA funding and they are now not willing to return the funds you have already invested when they said they will and are not responding to your calls, etc...

Since your amount of damages is more than $5,000 for a small claims suit, you will need to file a complaint for breach of contract with your county court. County Courts will hear civil cases with the jursdictional amount of $15,000 or less in damages. Typically higher courts require that you have an attorney represent your interest. You can access the directory for the court's contact information. However, as of the time of this reply their website is down.

Once your civil claim is filed, then you will infact need to file a lis pendens to preserve your interest on that property from being sold.

As discussed in my first reply to you, a lis pendens will notify all parties that a pending litigation is in progress and that the property should not be sold until the litigation is resolved.

Typically, a lis pendens is a motion that you prepare and not a form you obtain from court. Here is a sample of lis pendens. Here you will find information regarding Florida Statues regarding construction liens, if you wish to research further.

I highly advice you to speak with an attorney regarding your rights. The attorney will be able to review all the facts of your case, make a last attempt to recover against the builder, by preparing a demand letter and finally if the demand does not work, prepare all necessary paperwork for your civil complaint and lis pendens.

Let me know if you need further assistance or clarification.

Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20012
Experience: Attorney & Certified Mediator
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