I always tell my clients not to be oversold on a particular legal argument, in other words not to drink their own “Kool-Aid.” The Bartram oral arguments have shown me very clearly that the banks are drinking their own “Kool-Aid.” They are trying to convince the Florida Supreme Court that there should be an unlimited amount of time (statute of limitation) for them to continue coming after a borrower for money that has not been paid on an installment contract or promissory note. The bank’s argument flies in the face of the Florida legislature which has clearly spoken and said, five years is enough. Previously the statute of limitations used to be twenty years and in the 1970s the legislature purposefully rolled it back to five years, showing a clear intent to further limit the amount of time banks have to pursue a borrower.
During oral arguments, the banks had to admit that what they were arguing is a minority position in terms of the law of the land. They were grasping and trying to find appropriate jurisprudence that would allow them to basically disregard the most important purpose behind the statute of limitations, and that is to give finality to the homeowner. In fact a client of mine said it best, “it is basically Un-American to allow someone to keep coming at you time and time and time again.” At the end of the day it appears that the banks are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take a sip of their “Kool-Aid.”
Let’s hope the Florida Supreme Court does what’s right for the judicial system in the state of Florida and for the average person. I look forward to further communicating with you as we await and see how the Florida Supreme Court ultimately rules.
From the trenches,