Florida Supreme Court Set to Hear Oral Arguments in Foreclosure Statute of Limitations Case Bartram

On April 1, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court finally set a date to hear the Bartram case, where the Court will decide the fate of the statute of limitations in foreclosure cases.  

The Bartram Court in the 5th DCA decided that the five-year deadline to collect started anew when each mortgage payment was missed. That essentially means the bank is under no deadline to refile for the life of the mortgage, typically 30 years, plus 5 years.

As a defense lawyer, I personally do not expect the Florida Supreme Court to wipe away tens of millions of dollars in mortgage debt, or give hundreds of Florida homeowners essentially free houses.  I fully expect the Florida Supreme Court to come to that final decision and then craft legal reasoning to reach that final decision, mostly by affirming its prior ruling in Singleton vs. Greymar; the very case the Bartram court used in its reasoning.  The Singleton court was the originator of the theory that each new mortgage payment missed was the basis for a continuing default, and that essentially the bank could re-file foreclosure over and over again alleging a newer default date.   

I fully expect the Florida Supreme Court to affirm its own ruling in Singleton, thus affirming Bartram.  It sounds like a lot of the big name foreclosure defense lawyers concur, finally accepting that even if legally correct it will not be the outcome due to equity (what is fair, which is not a landslide victory for homeowners giving free homes) reasons.

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