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Appraiser Claim Barred by SOL

Thursday, October 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tom Jensen
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Appraiser performed a residential real estate appraisal in 2004. Lender relied upon it and transaction closed. A successor that purchased the loan sued in 2014, contending the appraisal undervalued the property such that the original lender would not have made the loan and the successor would not have purchased it. The two-year malpractice SOL did not apply because the parties were not in privity. But the trial court dismissed under the four-year negligence statute. In Llano Financing Group LLC v. Petit, Case No. ID16-3168 (Fla. App. Sept. 27, 2017) the ruling was affirmed. The issue was whether the SOL began to run upon the issuance of the appraisal and funding (barred) or upon commencement of foreclosure proceedings (not barred). Plaintiff claimed statute began to run when it suffered a loss at foreclosure. But the harm was done when the original lender financed the sale based upon the allegedly undervalued appraisal. It did not matter that damages could not be ascertained until foreclosure. Thus "[t]he statute of limitations began to run when SunTrust relied on the appraisal to fund the loan. That was in 2004, so Llano's 2015 suit was far too late."    


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