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Statute of limitations and Florida foreclosures

When a mortgage lender initiates foreclosure proceedings on a home, it can be frightening and devastating to the people who live in it. There are several ways in which a person can defend against a foreclosure, however, including arguing that the statute of limitations has expired.

According to many observers, foreclosure cases sometimes drag on for years as the court system is bogged down. Some states like Florida require judges to sign off on a lender's foreclosure before it can happen. Backlogs in the court system have made some foreclosure cases drag on for five or more years.

People are allowed to continue living in their homes throughout the foreclosure process. Florida, like all states, has statutes of limitations that vary depending on the type of court case. Attorneys in states like Florida that require the court process before the finalization of foreclosure have noted the statute of limitations in arguing that lenders may not take possession after the statute runs. This legal loophole has the potential to prevent the lender from ever foreclosing on the home, even if the resident is not paying.

Simply trying to wait out the statute of limitations is not often the best approach. People who are facing the loss of their home may instead want to explore other avenues of stopping the foreclosure. There are ways to defend against foreclosure or even to avoid it. Those in this situation may want to seek the advice of a real estate lawyer who has experience with these matters. The lawyer may choose to attempt at the outset to negotiate with the lender on the client's behalf. The lawyer can also advise clients regarding other options they may have available to them in lieu of foreclosure, such as negotiated short sales or federal loan modification programs.

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