The Florida Supreme Court ruled that mortgage lenders can restart a suspended foreclosure at any time instead of within five years after a borrower defaults.
The court ruled that the five-year statute of limitations for foreclosure cases is dynamic, not static, resetting each month a mortgage borrower remains in default.
Michele Stocker, an attorney in Fort Lauderdale who represents mortgage lenders, told the Tampa Bay Times the state Supreme Court’s decision “effectively removes the unfair notion that people can live in a home for free after an extended period of time. It could help clear out the backlog of cases that have been sitting around for a while.”
The ruling arose from the 10-year-old case of Lewis Bartram, who defaulted on a $650,000 loan secured by a home in Ponte Vedra Beach.
U.S. Bank began foreclosure proceedings against Bartram in 2006, but the case languished because the bank’s law firm, a foreclosure mill headed by attorney David Stern, went out of business.