A new appellate decision came out discussing the statute of limitations associated with a negligence claim against a property appraiser. In this case, Llano Financing Group, LLC v. Petit, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2071a (Fla. 1st DCA 2017), the court held that the four year statute of limitations for negligence claims commences when the lender relied on the appraisal to fund the loan. The statute of limitations does not commence years later when the property is ultimately sold at a loss. Oh no. Once the lender receives the appraisal and funds the loan, the statute of limitations for the negligence claim begins. Applying this rationale in other contexts, the statute of limitations to sue a property appraiser in negligence would commence once an appraisal is received and relied on. This is best explained by the following hypothetical footnoted by the court:
Consider this example: An appraiser negligently appraises a $100,000 house at $150,000. A buyer reasonably relies on that negligent appraisal and buys the $100,000 house for $150,000. The buyer’s damages ($50,000) are easily determined immediately after the sale. Those damages would be the same whether the buyer promptly sold the home at a loss, lived in it forever, or sold it for $200,000 after decades of market appreciation.
Llano Financing Group, supra, n. 3.
If you feel like you suffered a loss at the hands of a negligent appraisal, make sure you consult counsel. Based on the court’s decision in this case, the lender’s statute of limitations expired. Make sure this does not happen to you.
Please contact David Adelstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.