A recent court ruling may have major implications for condominium and homeowners’ associations throughout South Florida. In Deutsche Bank vs. Harry Beauvais, the Third District Court of Appeals held that the lender’s acceleration of the debt triggered the commencement of the (5) year statute of limitations. Because the lender failed to file their foreclosure action within the (5) year period, they were barred from filing their lawsuit. The facts in this case were as follows. The borrower failed to make the mortgage payment due on September 1, 2006. The lender elected to accelerate payment of the balance. The lender filed its foreclosure action in January 2007. In December 2010, the trial court dismissed the lender’s foreclosure case without prejudice because the lender failed to appear at a case management conference. The Aqua Master Association filed its own separate foreclosure action and took title to the property in 2011. In December 2012, the lender filed a second foreclosure action against the borrower. As stated above, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the lender was barred from foreclosing on its mortgage because the (5) year statute of limitation had already expired. The Court also ruled that the mortgage would continue to remain attached to the property until the expiration of the mortgage. This decision is a major victory for associations that have taken title to units and the bank’s (5) year window to file its foreclosure case has already expired. If you are a condominium or homeowners’ association that has a similar situation, please contact us.