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Mortgage Foreclosure and the Statute of Limitations in Florida

home-in-foreclosure-thumb-250x166-2941When the foreclosure crisis began, many Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense Attorney’s argued that a mortgage foreclosure action must be brought within five years after the borrower defaulted on their mortgage payments. However, time and time again the Foreclosure Judges in the Jacksonville and surrounding areas ruled that mortgage foreclosure actions were not barred by Florida’s five year statute of limitations as defined by Florida Statute 95.11(2)(c). Yet, the Florida Supreme Court had not spoken on this matter until now.

The Florida Supreme Court has finally spoken and confirmed that Florida’s five year statute of limitations, which is a question of great public importance, defined by Florida Statute 95.11(2)(c) does not apply to mortgage foreclosure actions. The decision came on November 3, 2016 in U.S. Bank v. Bartram; SC14-1265 (Fla. Nov. 3, 2016). The certified question before the Florida Supreme Court answered is as follows:

Does acceleration of payments due under a residential note and mortgage with a reinstatement provision in a foreclosure action that was dismissed pursuant to Rule 1.420(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, trigger application of the statute of limitations to prevent a subsequent foreclosure action by the mortgagee based on payment defaults occurring subsequent to dismissal of the first foreclosure suit?

In Bartram, the Florida Supreme Court held with each “subsequent default, the statute of limitations runs from the date of each new default providing the mortgagee the right, but not the obligation, to accelerate all sums then due under the note and mortgage.” What this means is that with each month that passes and you default on another mortgage payment, a new statute of limitations begins to run. In reaching this decision, the Florida Supreme Court relied heavily on Singleton v. Greymar Associates, 882 So. 2d 1004 (Fla. 2004) in which the Court held that a second foreclosure action after the initial foreclosure action has been involuntarily dismissed was not barred by the five year statute of limitations.

Nonetheless, this ruling does not affect your ability to try to save your home through applying for a loan modification or absolving yourself from the mortgage debt liability through a Short Sale in the Jacksonville area. Depending on your situation, a Jacksonville Bankruptcy might be your best option to help you save your home or walk away from your home. Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC today if you are facing foreclosure. An experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorney and Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney can help you figure out the best options for you and your family.

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