Nine years after a local family was about to lose their home, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that their mortgage is extinguished and the lender is not entitled to foreclose on their home. Recently, Orlando attorney Barry Miller secured a victory that started during the 2007/2008 Financial Crisis. During the fallout from the Recession, a lender filed a foreclosure suit against the firm’s clients. Throughout the course of the case, the bank agreed to various settlements (such as allowing the clients a trial modification and agreeing to cease pursuing the foreclosure action while our clients attempted). Unfortunately, the lender—on multiple occasions—failed to adhere to the agreements reached and failed to adhere to court orders. The judge, therefore, dismissed the case and extinguished the lender’s mortgage thereby rendering the mortgage of any force or effect against the clients’ property.
Fast forward nearly four years later and the bank began to stir again. They began to file documents in the trial court seeking reconsideration of the judge’s ruling nearly four years earlier. The trial court denied the motions and the bank appealed. The District Court of Appeal for the Fifth District again sided with the Clients.
Now, nearly eight (8) years after the judge’s ruling, the lender appealed and clients found their case before the Florida Supreme Court. The case was tagged to another case from Volusia County, Florida wherein a woman, who was being foreclosed, was also successful in having her mortgage extinguished. Barry Miller Law appeared in that suit as an amicus curia—a friend of the Court—and filed an extensive brief covering the issues on appeal. The issue basically boiled down to this: What are the limits and breadth of a Florida trial court’s subject-matter jurisdiction. After briefing and oral argument, the Supreme Court ultimately decided it would not hear that case and dismissed, the appeal of the Lender, accordingly. The Court then determined that the firm’s Clients’ case should also be dismissed because it was, in essence, the same case the Court just dismissed.
As such, nearly nine (9) years after the bank started their suit, the Orlando family finally have closure. They now own their home free and clear, without any encumbrance by the lender’s mortgage.
About Barry Miller Law
Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Barry Miller Law serves clients in all aspects of real estate transactions including closings, short sale mitigation, foreclosure defense, and buyer representation. The firm’s founder, Mr. Barry L. Miller, has been practicing real estate law for more than 30 years and is a member of The Florida, New York, and Massachusetts Bar Associations. Mr. Miller also leads The Closing Agent, Inc., one of the oldest and largest independent title agencies with offices in Altamonte Springs, Celebration, Ocoee, Orlando and Winter Park, Florida. An industry leader within Florida, The Closing Agent provides title insurance, closing, and escrow services to consumers, businesses and real estate professionals. For more information, visit www.theclosingagent.com or call (407) 425-2400.