Secaucus, NJ asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Maine

Q: Buying a bank owned foreclosure with a Les Pendens

We are in the process of purchasing a bank foreclosed property at auction, the property has a Les Pendens on it from a local hospital here in Maine. We paid 37,000 at auction. The preforclosure started in September of 2017, the bank wanted 160,000 so they took a large loss. The Les Pendens was started March 19th of 2018, 3 days later the foreclosure completed the process. Does the timing even matter? my understanding is that the bank has priority over the pending lawsuit as it was started first and as the bank failed to recoup fully the debt that any judgments or liens would be wiped.

If my understanding is wrong would our best option be to get a lawyer to contact the hospitals lawyer and negotiate to pay the debt?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Fred Bopp III
Fred Bopp III
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Yarmouth, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: I think you mean lis pendens, but in any event, the answer to your question is, as long as the foreclosing bank properly recorded a copy of the foreclosure complaint or what is known as a clerk’s certificate in each registry of deeds in which the mortgage deed is or by law ought to be recorded, then Maine law provides as follows: “Any other party having a claim to the real estate whose claim is not recorded in the registry of deeds as of the time of recording of the copy of the complaint or the clerk’s certificate need not be joined in the foreclosure action, and any such party has no claim against the real estate after completion of the foreclosure sale, except that any such party may move to intervene in the action for the purpose of being added as a party in interest at any time prior to the entry of judgment.” 14 M.R.S. § 6321. Based on my understanding of the facts as you have outlined them, in this situation, the hospital would have no claim against the real estate after completion of the foreclosure sale (except that, as provided in the statutory language above, it could move to intervene, but only prior to the entry of judgment). In a nutshell, your understanding is correct. I don’t know what you mean when you say “the foreclosure completed the process.” This presumably could mean either the foreclosure judgment entered then or the foreclosure sale happened then, but which event it was does not appear to matter given the facts as you have outlined them.

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