The Florida Supreme Court ruled in an important decision on November 3 that will impact current and future mortgage foreclosure cases. The ruling in Bartram v. U.S. Bank (SC14-1265) directly affects Florida’s five-year statute of limitations in mortgage foreclosure cases. The ruling holds that the statute of limitations does NOT prevent a mortgage servicer from multiple, successive foreclosure lawsuits against a borrower.
This means that even if a prior foreclosure case was dismissed or the mortgage servicer lost at trial, the mortgage servicer can commence another foreclosure suit against the borrower if the borrower defaults again within five years simply by setting a new default date. Therefore homeowners are still obligated to pay their mortgage obligations even if a lender unsuccessfully attempted foreclosure in the past. A past dismissal will not prevent future filing.
There appears to also be a bit of good news. The Florida Supreme Court also ruled that when a foreclosure is involuntarily dismissed, the borrower now has the right to resume making monthly payments to avoid a new default and subsequent foreclosure. What happens to all those missed payments? Good question with no answer at the moment.
If you think this ruling may affect you, we’d like to help. Mortgage defaults and multiple filings are complicated. We can help determine if a lender is incorrectly trying to collect money beyond any new default date or erroneously continuing a lawsuit based on an incorrect default date. We’re here to help so call today….
Parker and DuFresne