Although it could take a mortgage lender months or even years to initiate a foreclosure after a homeowner has stopped making payments, it’s important that borrowers know what the statute of limitations is and their set time limit. Here’s an overview of the statute of limitations and how it applies to your mortgages.

Keep the Statute of Limitations in Mind

A statute of limitations is a set time limit for starting a legal claim. There are all kinds of legal actions that have a statute of limitations, each with a varying time frame based on the kind of action or claim. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the statute of limitations as it pertains to home foreclosure.

Generally, if the statute of limitations expires before the mortgage lender initiates the foreclosure, the lender’s claim becomes invalid. In this case, the lender isn’t entitled to foreclosing your home. This expiring time limit varies by state.

Learn More About Your State’s Statute of Limitations

It’s important to remember that each state has its own statutes of limitations. For example, Florida’s current statute of limitations for written contracts – mortgages – is five years. Although most states fall within the three-to-six-year range, some extend as far out as 15. Research your state’s statute of limitations to see how much time you’ll have once you default on your mortgage – first and/or second.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your mortgage and your state’s statute of limitations, you should seek legal counsel immediately.

Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida foreclosure 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.