The Florida Supreme Court recently made a ruling that could potentially affect thousands of people across the state. Up until recently, lenders had five years to bring a home foreclosure action. However, the state’s highest court recently ruled that the statute of limitations no longer applies.
The court reasoned that the statute of limitations changes with every month that a borrower is delinquent on mortgage loan payments. This is a change from the previous understanding that the time began running from a specific moment in time and could not be changed. It is estimated that the ruling affects approximately $400 million in mortgage loan debt throughout the state.
The ruling arose out of a case filed by U.S. Bank in 2006 against a homeowner. When the lender’s foreclosure law firm closed, the case languished. In 2011, the homeowner requested that the case be dismissed since the statute of limitations had run, and that request was granted. U.S. Bank filed an appeal to Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal, and the court ruled in favor of the bank. The homeowner then appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which resulted in its ruling.
Homeowners around the state who are delinquent on their mortgage loans and possibly facing home foreclosure need to know how this ruling could affect them. They can no longer count on the expiration of the five-year statute of limitations to protect them from potentially losing their homes. It would be advantageous to seek the advice and guidance of an attorney who can provide them with the information they need and their legal options.
Source: therealdeal.com, “Court allows lenders to restart foreclosures any time“, Mike Seemuth, Nov. 13, 2016