Category: Quiet Title

quiet title

Florida Supreme Court decides Bartram Quiet Title Case

On November 3, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court released its Quiet Title decision in Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A.  The court affirmed the decision of the Fifth District Court of Appeals. In layman’s terms, the homeowners lost and the lenders won. The court held that the lender could sue based on new defaults that occurred even when the initial defaulted payments and acceleration were past the five-year statute of limitations.

The court rationalized that the dismissal of the foreclosure action returned the parties back to where they were before the acceleration and the foreclosure action was filed. Therefore, if the lender lists the newer defaults on the payments that were not barred by the five-year statute of limitations, the lender can file a new foreclosure and fix the deficiencies of the old foreclosure case that was dismissed.

This means that for a homeowner to win in a quiet title action the note would have to come due (reach its maturity date), then have five years pass in order to render all payments under the loan due and all barred by the statute of limitations. In this situation, the lender would be out of luck because the five-year statute of limitations will have run and there is no possibility for new defaults to restart the clock allowing a lender additional attempts to get the property back if the foreclosure was dismissed.



Oral Argument heard on Bartram, what to expect?

Oral argument in the landmark Bartram case was heard by the Florida Supreme Court on November 4, 2015.  As you will recall, Bartram is the statute of limitations case that deals with whether a mortgagee is time-barred from foreclosing if its previous foreclosure was dismissed and more than five years has passed from the date the foreclosure was commenced.

What can we expect?  Well, with the amount of money at stake for the banks and homeowners likely in the billions of dollars, we can expect the court to take its time and consider the issues carefully.  Six months or more is not an inordinate amount of time for the Florida Supreme Court to render a ruling on a case of this magnitude.  That having been said, it has already been five months, so a ruling could come any day now!

For those you interested in watching the video of the oral arguments, click here.

It seems some of the Supreme Justices are leaning toward Bartram and some are leaning toward U.S. Bank, N.A.  The ruling, when it comes, will not likely be unanimous.

If you or your client has property that was the subject of a dismissed foreclosure that was begun more than five years ago, call our office on (30) 278 0811 for your free consultation.

At the Bankruptcy Law Offices of James Schwitalla, P.A., our Miami bankruptcy lawyers have been committed to helping people get debt relief through bankruptcy for over 18 years. Contact us to learn more about consultations with a Bankruptcy Attorney.