FL Ct Says Lender Was Assignee by Operation of Law & Has Limited Liability for Unpaid Assessments

Florida District Appellate Court decision (December 5, 2014).

This case involved claims by a foreclosing mortgage lender that it was entitled to limited liability under Florida’s safe harbor statutes for a homeowners association’s past unpaid assessments against the condominium that the lender had foreclosed on. The lower court found the foreclosing lender, who was not a direct assignee of the original lender, liable for all past due assessments against the condominium because it was not the “original lender” or its successor or assignee. The lender appealed contending that the subject statute affords safe harbor protection to “all subsequent assignees of the first mortgage holder,” and not just the first assignee. The homeowners association contended that the safe harbor statute only protects the “first mortgagee” or its assignee and that the lender in this case was not protected because it was not a direct assignee of the original lender.

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