3rd Party Purchaser No Standing to Contest – Pealer v. Wilmington Trust.

Pealer v. Wilmington Trust Nat’l Ass’n, 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 3643 (Fla. 2nd DCA March 17, 2017).  Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal (“DCA”) recently entered a per curiam affirmed opinion with a specially concurring opinion from Judge Sleet in which Judge Sleet reaffirms Florida’s appellate courts’ opinions concerning third party purchasers’ inability to challenge the validity of a mortgage in a foreclosure action, including their inability to challenge the statute of limitations.  Although persuasive – not binding – case law, the value in this opinion is that Judge Sleet has compiled a wealth of case law from every Florida DCA concerning a third party purchaser’s standing to contest a foreclosure action, and also seems to shed light on the what may be the Second DCA’s interpretation of case law concerning statute of limitations issues with third party purchasers, taking the broader approach to the latter.

Practically, this opinion arms foreclosure plaintiff’s attorneys with a well-reasoned, statewide set of case law concluding that third party purchasers cannot participate in a foreclosure action for any purpose other than to exercise their right of redemption.  Also, specifically with the current uncertainty of Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2424 (Fla. 2016), it seems to open the reading of existing case law to preclude statute of limitations arguments by third party purchasers, as well.  Finally, it shows that the judiciary will take into account the practical concerns behind third party purchasers’ litigation goals, including the collection of rents, to weigh against any social benefits they may claim from property maintenance, taxes, and insurance.

The attorneys of ALAW remain well attuned to our ever-changing legal landscape and are prepared to provide you with unparalleled representation every step of the way.

For more information on this legal update or any other legislative matters, please contact:
Natalia C. Larson
Senior Counsel, Legal Compliance
[email protected]