The Florida Supreme Court handed down a landmark foreclosure decision in November that basically gives the banks a second chance at foreclosure after the expiration of the five-year statute of limitations.
The Florida Circuit Courts were split as to how the statute of limitations applied in foreclosure cases. Parts of Florida applied the law differently, so an appeal was brought to the Supreme Court for clarification.
Supporters of the decision say that the ruling brings clarity to the foreclosure process in Florida and will effectively clear the backlog of foreclosure cases by defining which loans are eligible for foreclosure actions. Supporters also say that this is a fair decision that prevents people from getting a free home after the statute of limitations expires from the date of the first missed payment.
Critics say that this decision violates the res judicata principals, and that each missed payment does not create a new and separate cause of action after the first default. Critics also offer that the ruling will only add confusion to foreclosure cases and could reward the banks for bad practices.
Although this decision favors the banks, we are all now forced to comply with this Florida Supreme Court precedent. The outcome of this decision is likely to result in an increase of Florida foreclosure cases.
If you find yourself facing a new foreclosure case from a bank that had their case previously dismissed, know that you still have options to avoid the foreclosure. The sooner you retain counsel and start negotiating a solution with the bank, the more options you have available to you, and the more likely you are to achieve a favorable outcome.
If you have any questions about your mortgage foreclosure case in Florida, our attorneys are standing by to offer you a free case evaluation.
Daniel de Paz, Esq.