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Statute of Limitations in Foreclosure Cases

On April 13, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeal issued an en banc opinion in the case of Deutsche Bank Trust Co. v. Beauvais.

In this opinion, the Court agreed with other appellate courts in the State of Florida that the statute of limitations does not necessarily apply to foreclosure actions. In theory, the opinion is based upon the belief that each month that a monthly payment is missed restarts the statute of limitations. In order to accomplish this, the Court determined that when the Bank accelerated your loan and demanded that you pay the entire amount of the loan (plus interest, fees, and costs) in order to restate your loan, the acceleration was limited in scope and simply disappeared if the earlier lawsuit (or lawsuits) was dismissed.

In practical terms, this means that the Bank can repeatedly sue you over the life of the loan, no matter how many times a court may have determined they did not have standing, could not identify the correct parties, or otherwise could not prove their case.

The dissent in Beauvais was scathing, to say the least. In simplest terms, the dissent rationalized the majority's opinion as one based upon moral obligations, as opposed to the actual application of the law.

In the end, the Florida Supreme Court will have the final say on this matter when it decides the case of Bartram v. U.S. Bank. It will be interesting to see if the Florida Supreme Court will apply the law as written, or otherwise create a special statute of limitations for foreclosure actions.