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Lis Pendens Acts Like a Writ of Attachment: Recordation Date Establishes Early Priority “Relation Back” Date for Creditor’s Eventual Lien on a Judgment for Money Damages.

January 20, 2016

A judgment granting a fraudulent transfer claim, and resulting monetary damages, relates back to the date on which the claimants recorded a lis pendens and establishes such early date for purposes of judgment lien priority.    We have known since   Kirkeby v. Superior Court, 33 Cal.4th 642 (2004) that lis pendens can be recorded in fraudulent transfer actions with a  “real property claim.”    Now, even though a lis pendens  is supposed to be appropriate only for a case affecting title or right to possession of specific real property, a recent case holds that an eventual money judgment in a fraudulent transfer case relates back to the recordation date of the  lis pendens  for purposes of determining judgment lien priority.  Mira Overseas Consulting Ltd. v. Muse Family Enterprises, Ltd. (2015) 2015 S.O.S. 2751.  This has expanded the creditor’s advantage of recording a lis pendens in a fraudulent transfer case: not only does the creditor’s lis pendens stand in the way of a sale or refinance of the property, but also establishes early priority for eventual judgment liens and the race between creditors.  

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