Legal Memorandum: Statue of Limitation and Acceleration of a Debt

Issue: Under Florida law, does acceleration of a mortgage debt renew the statute of limitations on a prior mortgage action that was dismissed?

Area of Law: Banking & Finance Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Statute of limitations; Acceleration of a debt; Mortgage
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 140 So. 3d 1007; 156 So. 3d 538; 882 So. 2d 1004
Cited Statutes: Florida Statute § 95.111(2)(c)
Date: 07/01/2015

Florida Statute § 95.111(2)(c) bars recovery on mortgage defaults after five years. Acceleration of a debt after a first complaint, filed within the time, does not renew the statue of limitations. 

In Snow v. Wells Fargo, N.A., 156 So. 3d 538 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015), the Third District concluded only that the effective date of acceleration is the date on which the option to accelerate is exercised rather than the date on which notice of default is given. 

Under Singleton v. Greymar Assocs., 882 So. 2d 1004 (Fla. 2004), the Florida Supreme Court established that a successive foreclosure suit is not categorically precluded by principles of res judicata, even where a mortgagee successfully exercises its acceleration rights in an earlier foreclosure action that results in a judgment on the merits.  Singleton has since been extended to apply to a statute of limitations defense by numerous courts throughout the state.  See U.S. Bank N.A. v. Bartram, 140 So. 3d 1007, 1011-12 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014); Evergrene Ptrs., Inc. v. Citibank, N.A., 143 So. 3d 954, 956 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) (“any acts of default still within the statute of limitations may be raised in a subsequent suit”); Kaan v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 981 F. Supp. 2d 1271 (S.D. Fla. 2013); Dorta v. Wilmington Trust Nat’l Assn., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41596 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 24, 2014).  In each of these cases, the courts have […]

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