The short answer is: not really.
It is highly unlikely that your foreclosure lawsuit will end in you getting your house for free. The only way this could happen, is through multiple oversights on the bank's part. Your lender would have to neglect to file a foreclosure action after you default on your payments of a matured loan AND they would have to neglect filing that action for several years. Each state has its own Statute of Limitations which determines how long the bank has to proceed with the foreclosure of your home.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Your State?
Florida = 5 years
Illinois = 10 years
New York = 6 years
New Jersey = 6 years
Pennsylvania = no statute of limitations
It is not just the time limit that determines whether you get your house for free or not. The statute of limitations does not start to run until your loan has matured or, in some courts, when the bank accelerates the loan. Upon maturation or acceleration of the loan, if the bank does not begin foreclosure proceedings in the amount of time allotted by the statute, the bank forfeits its right to foreclose. However, if the loan has not matured or the bank does not accelerate the loan (or even if the bank retracts the acceleration) the clock does not start ticking upon default.
Statute of Limitations Defense
The Statute of Limitations is an affirmative defense, which means that it is the job of the borrower to raise it in court. If the defense is not raised it is considered waived and the bank can proceed with the foreclosure. If you have a foreclosure defense attorney working on your foreclosure case, your attorney will know what defenses to raise on your behalf.
Loan Modification Can Help You Keep Your Home
Homeowners should not rely on the Statute of Limitations to save their homes. It is a better idea to speak to a foreclosure defense attorney about getting a loan modification. This is a great option for both you and the bank, and is a more reliable way to try and save your home. The bank is motivated to modify your loan because it is a way for them to avoid the hassle of foreclosing on your home, while still collecting payments from you.
Your bank is not motivated to give you your home for free, and will not likely violate the statute of limitations.
Aside from a loan modification, there are many other ways to defend your home against foreclosure such as lack of standing, failure of condition precedent, unfair lending practices, and challenging the party in interest. You can represent yourself in court, or hire a foreclosure defense attorney to take care of it for you.