by Jonathan Paul

Have you completed a short sale on your primary home in the last 5 years or less?

I hope that a part of that negotiation with the lender included an agreement (in writing) to waive the deficiency. If it wasn’t you may now be facing the possibility of a real financial calamity – as if losing your house wasn’t enough!

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal recently handed down an opinion informing lenders – and their attorneys – that they had 5 years, not 1 year, to pursue a deficiency as a result of a short sale. This is counter to the evaluations offered by many, many attorneys’ throughout the state since the statute of limitations on deficiencies was changed a few years ago.

The First District Court of Appeal determined that the language of the statute limiting deficiency actions to 1 year was related only to foreclosure actions that resulted in a sale of the property through a foreclosure auction.

Short sale transactions are not included in the 1 year limitation, and instead Florida’s normal 5 year statute of limitations applies.

Should lenders start taking action on these cases, it could exact significant financial harm on those that did not adequately negotiate their short sale.

If you have completed a short sale in the last several years, our office would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your issues, potential concerns, and remedies.