The term “statutes of limitations” defines the laws that set deadlines for filing a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is brought up against you after the permitted time period, asserting the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that you can use. As long as the statute has expired, a lawsuit is barred by the statute of limitations and it no longer matters whether or not you owe money to the creditor.

In the state of Florida, a lawsuit is the only way for a mortgage holder to foreclose on their real estate. In the case of a judgment of foreclosure, the court can sell the mortgaged property at a foreclosure sale. A deficiency judgment can be made against you if the price of the sale isn’t enough to cover the price of the judgment, forcing you to pay the difference.

Florida rules state that a mortgage holder is permitted five years from the date of default to either foreclose or pursue deficiency action. You are defaulting on your obligation under the mortgage each time that you fail to make a payment on time or within the grace period. If more than one payment was not met on time, the mortgage holder could then select any date to use as the default date for the foreclosure suit.

As for deficiency judgments in connection with foreclosure, the statute of limitations is one year. The time period for this statute starts when the buyer receives a certificate of title in the foreclosure sale. Until your property has been sold for less than what you owed the mortgage holder, the mortgage holder is not entitled to a deficiency judgment.

Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.

The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.