2

Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

Who Are the "Unknown Parties" In Your Foreclosure Case?

Homeowners who fall seriously behind on their mortgage often notice something strange when they are served a foreclosure complaint: under defendants, alongside their name, there are other “unknown” defendants listed. Who the heck are these “Unknown Parties”, and why are they on your complaint? 

Before I answer that, let's look at an example of a foreclosure complaint from a recent client of our firm in Collier county, Florida (my bold):

“VERIFIED MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association, sues Defendants (Names Redacted); Any and All Unknown Parties Claiming By, Through, Under, and Against the Herein Named Individual Defendant(s) Who Are Not Known to be Dead or Alive, Whether Said Unknown Parties May Claim an Interest as Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees, or Other Claimants; Unknown Party #1, Unknown Party #2, Unknown Party #3 and Unknown Party #4, the names being fictitious to account for parties in possession, and alleges...”

You can see from that excerpt that US Bank is suing homeowners in a foreclosure lawsuit. After the owners names, they also list as defendants “Any and All Unknown Parties (who)...May Claim an Interest” in the property. They use language that covers any possible way that a person could have an interest in the subject property, such as “Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees”.

Be Smart Fighting Foreclosure in FL - Know About the 5 Year Statute of Limitations

What does the acceleration of Florida's five year statute of limitations mean? It means that the plaintiff within 5 years after the mortgage loan goes into default is the time that they can sue for foreclosure. But let's say that the court dismisses the action without prejudice. The plaintiff can then pick a more recent breach date (time that loan is in default) and restart the limitation clock. Only if the plaintiff does not file a new action within 5 years of the most recent breach will the Statute of Limitations prohibits the court from hearing the case. However, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Florida has, since January 2015 a unique yet narrow interpretation stemming from the ruling in Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, v. Harry Beauvais, et al., No. 3D14-575 where it deems basically that a dismissal with prejudice merely resets the clock. Please note that there are 5 District Court of Appeals in Florida. Therefore, the jurisdiction your home is in is also a factor.

It is important to know that:

  1. Acceleration is a term in a loan agreement that requires the borrower to pay off the loan immediately under certain conditions.
  2. The five year Florida statute of limitations period begins when the lender files its first action.
  3. Only valid mortgage notes can go into foreclosure.
  4. Only a dismissal with prejudice stops the clock for purposes of the Statute of Limitations.

Is Your Home Free If You Don't Pay Your Mortgage for 5 Years?

We've heard all types of questions from our clients, but one question that we're hearing often is this: "can my mortgage be canceled if I don't make my mortgage payments for 5 years?Some foreclosure defense lawyers and "foreclosure rescue" companies have been advertising that Florida homeowners can get out of foreclosure by not paying on their home for 5 years, and homeowners aren't sure whether to believe these claims or not.

In fact, Florida law does state that there's a 5 year statute of limitations on foreclosures (technically on promissory notes). Although this may seem straightforward enough, it gets a bit complicated when you delve into the specifics of the law.

Foreclosure Process in Florida

Defending your home against foreclosure in Florida can be complicated and scary. If you've been served foreclosure papers, chances are you're looking into foreclosure defense in Florida. Only a licensed foreclosure lawyer can help you stay in your home and discuss your foreclosure options. Keep a list of questions to ask your foreclosure defense lawyer.  In the meantime, we'll let you know what you can expect in the foreclosure process:

30 Days past due: If you haven't paid your mortgage in at least 30 days, your lender may report this to the credit bureau. Your credit report is now showing a mortgage deficiency and chances are you will be served foreclosure papers in the future if you are unable to get in touch with your bank.

About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

Click to Read Our Super Loan Mod Success Stories

Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all
Quick Foreclosure Quiz

Foreclosure Process Handbook