Mortgage Borrower Cannot Sue Under FDCPA For Receiving Mortgage Statement Including Amounts Possibly Barred by Statute of Limitations

In a recent Middle District of Florida federal case, Garrison v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc., Case No. 6:16-cv-978-Orl-37DCI, a mortgage borrower sued their lender after receiving a mortgage statement showing that the full balance of the mortgage was still in effect.  Borrower’s contention was that as the foreclosure case brought in 2009 was dismissed in 2014, per the recent Bartram decision and independent default reasoning that the bank could name a new default but only within 5  years going back from current date, that the amounts beyond 5 years  back were not collectible.  Which said argument makes sense; those amounts likely are not collectible in a future foreclosure action (although there is no case law on the issue yet).

The borrower alleged that attempting to collect an uncollectible debt was a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violation and sued under federal law in federal court for these alleged violations.

The court found that statute of limitations was a defense to foreclosure, but not an independent cause of action that one could sue upon.  While the borrower may be able to defend the amount due in a subsequent foreclosure action, it was not a FDCPA violation to send a mortgage statement showing the full mortgage balance still due.  The borrowers remedy was to use this argument as a defense if lender tried to foreclose and reduce the amount of the judgment owed to lender.

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