The Real Deal Miami

Thousands of borrowers could elude foreclosure

Florida's five-year statue of limitations on pursuing debt could shield some borrowers

August 19, 2013 01:00PM

  • Print
bill-lilly-valerie-kaan

From left: 700 Sanctuary Drive in Boca Raton, Bill Lilly and Valerie Kaan (Credit: Panache Mag)

Thousands of defaulted borrowers across Florida could benefit from the state’s five-year statute of limitations on redressing debts, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The state’s common contract law says a person has five years to sue on a debt, with the right to collect that money expiring at the end of the time period. The state’s application of this law in foreclosure cases is unclear, the Post said, but in recent cases, judges have favored borrowers.

In Palm Beach County, there are more than 1,500 cases that are five years or older still in the system, according to the newspaper.

“These cases are out there, and we are educating our clients,” Hollywood-based attorney Ronnie Bronstein, who represents homeowners associations, told the Post.

In May, the firm won a $1 million condo for one of its clients because the bank missed a filing deadline by less than two weeks. The bank filed for foreclosure Nov. 8, 2007. When the lender failed to show up for trial in 2011, the case was dismissed.

Citing a lapsed statue of limitations, Palm Beach County foreclosure judge Rodger Colton ruled last month in favor of convicted fraudster and one-time condo king Bill Lilly and former fitness instructor Valerie Kaan, allowing them to keep their $8.4 million estate in the Sanctuary section of Boca Raton, as The Real Deal previously reported. [Palm Beach Post]Emily Schmall

MENU