The dissent in Beauvais is pretty scathing. The dissent essentially adopts my argument and recognizes that the court is not relying upon sound legal analysis to find that statute of limitations should not apply to one category of litigants that appear before Florida Courts.

The language in the dissent really is a fair treatment of a very important issue before the court…every court in this state.

My fear…and a fear that seems clearly expressed in the dissenting opinion…is that political considerations are weighing more than solid legal analysis.

This opinion really is quite extraordinary….and is a very important commentary on what’s happening across this state….and country.

Here is the opinion:

Relying on a sweepingly broad interpretation of Singleton v. Greymar
Associates – a Florida Supreme Court case in which the term “statute of
limitations” is not even mentioned – the en banc majority opinion reverses the
summary judgment and, in the process: (i) creates the legal fiction that a lender’s
acceleration does not affect the installment nature of the note; (ii) rewrites the
acceleration and reinstatement provisions of the parties’ note and mortgage; and
(iii) effectively rewrites the statute of limitations for mortgage foreclosure actions
in Florida.

(And Pay Particular Attention to the Following Language)

Yet it seems that equitable considerations* – rather than any explicit pronouncement in Singleton – fuel the majority opinion’s sweeping construction of Singleton to the detriment of well-established precedent.

Regrettably, the lure of equity diverts the majority from a proper distinguishing of Singleton, and causes the majority effectively to overrule cases that Singleton does not mention, much less disrupt.

Examples abound.

I am not unmindful of the moral imperative driving both the majority’s opinion and a host of other State appellate court and federal decisions: borrowers should pay their mortgage obligations. The expiration of a statute of limitations, however, generally results in a windfall for the escaping defendant. In my view, neither the moral imperative that borrowers pay their obligations, nor Singleton, has abrogated decades of Florida jurisprudence governing the statute of limitations in foreclosure cases.

I would affirm that part of the trial court’s final judgment holding that the statute of limitations precludes Deutsche Bank’s foreclosure action.

Matt here again….so now you read what the appellate court thought…the problem is…that is the dissent.  The majority opinion was equally blunt…but the majority opinion was pretty darn defensive…..

3) Our analysis in no way perpetuates an upheaval to long-standing law on
the effect of a dismissal. Rather, as previously stated, the law has been
and continues to be that an action dismissed without a final adjudication
on the merits leaves the parties as though the suit had never been filed,
which is no more than exactly the conclusion we reach herein.

4) Our conclusion in no way results in a cataclysmic change in Florida law
or the way in which lenders proceed against defaulting borrowers.
Rather, as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Florida Bar confirm, our
analysis is in keeping with the understanding of members of the
mortgage industry and those who represent both borrowers and lenders.

5) Our conclusion is not the result of any perceived “moral imperative” or
quest for equity run amuck. Rather, it is the result of what the Supreme
Court has said, what the contract provides, and what a dismissal does.

I really encourage people to not just read the full opinion, but pay very close attention to  what no less an authority to what three very esteemed appellate judges are saying here. They couch a very important and very serious analysis into deferential language using the words, “equitable considerations”, but the  real issue here is not “equitable considerations” at all, it is the far too prevalent problem of the improper influence of corporate money on government…and even the judicial branch.

This decision is not based on the law….this decision is based on giving back to the lending and business community.

What this ongoing debate and issue tells us all is how important it is for consumers to have experienced legal counsel representing them in all their legal matters….

The full opinion is found below:

3D14-0575.rh

 

2 Comments

  • Mark Bowen says:

    It’s interesting that the dissenting view is longer than the majority decision. I’ve been making the dissenter’s arguments for years, my arguments always seeming to fall on deaf ears. I find one thing puzzling; at least, it would be puzzling if the majority decision weren’t so obviously fueled by the bankers’ lobby, and that is this:
    If the legal definition of “acceleration” is applied to the majority decision, that decision fails at law. If that same definition is applied to the dissention, the law prevails. Why is the legal definition of that contractual term never applied to any of the Court’s decisions? Follow the $$$.
    BTW…Black’s Law Dictionary (Eighth Edition) provides the following definition for “acceleration”:
    “The advancing of a loan agreement’s maturity date so that payment of the entire debt is due immediately.”
    Under that definition, how can the amortization (payment) schedule continue to accrue payments due beyond the “new/accelerated” maturity date? No mortgage, and especially not the Fannie Mae standard mortgage, in any way contemplates payments due after the maturity date, regardless of how the date is established.
    These judges are a disgrace to the State of Florida.

  • Mark Grayson says:

    You could see this coming a mile away. The ‘en-banc’ hearing appears to be carefully orchestrated from Tallahassee and designed to pre-empt the coming decision in the Bartram case. The fact that not a single judge from the original trial decision stuck to their guns is also significant. It’s amazing what money can buy. Apparently the Florida judicial system.

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