Florida homeowners succeeded in getting a judgment in favor of Wells Fargo dismissed, allowing them to reverse a foreclosure action previously in favor of the bank. The case, Hicks v. Wells Fargo, reached the Fifth District Court of Appeals in the State of Florida. According to the complaint, the issue turned on the statute of limitations, with the Fifth District holding that the bank’s foreclosure claim was time barred by Florida’s five-year statute of limitations for foreclosure.
The homeowners claim it all began when an initial default occurred on June 1, 2006. At some point, a prior holder of the note sued to foreclose on Sept. 8, 2006, but the case was voluntarily dismissed in 2008. Then, in 2011, the current note holder (Wells Fargo) sent a notice to accelerate to the borrowers. The second foreclosure action did not occur until 2013, which is seven years past the original default date.
The appellate court agreed with the borrowers that the 2013 foreclosure action by Wells Fargo is “time-barred” by the state’s five-year statute of limitations; however, the bank is not barred from pursuing new or remaining foreclosure claims that fall within the statute of limitations period.
“Despite the previous acceleration of the balance owed in both the instant suit and prior suit, the bank is not precluded from filing a new foreclosure action based on different acts or dates of default not previously alleged, provided that the subsequent foreclosure action on the subsequent defaults is brought within the statute of limitations period,” the court wrote.
So what can be taken away from this case? Florida’s statute of limitations period is sensitive and acceleration actions cannot suffice without a timely foreclosure action. However, not all is lost if a bank fails to file on time, as long as there is a new valid claim to bring forth.
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Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.