What is the Foreclosure Statute of Limitations in New York?
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The statute of limitations for a New York foreclosure action is six years. The general rule for debts payable by installment is that a separate cause of action exists for each installment and the statute of limitations runs separately against each. Monthly payments over six years past due are outside the limitations period. The loan can still be foreclosed, however monthly payments over six years old are outside the limitations period and may be uncollectable.
Recovery would be limited to only those unpaid installments which accrued within the six-year limitations period. After the loan is accelerated, the six-year statute of limitations period runs on the total debt from the date of acceleration. In most cases, acceleration occurs on the date the summons and complaint is filed. In some cases it can occur by letter sent by the servicer if the letter contains specific acceleration language. The expiration of the statute of limitations is a waivable defense. If a defendant does not timely raise or assert statute of limitations as a defense it is waived and does not apply.
However, if the loan was accelerated for over six years and a statute of limitations defense is timely raised or asserted, then the total debt is uncollectable. After prevailing on a statute of limitations argument, the time-barred mortgage can be stripped from the property through a quiet title action or through a quiet title counterclaim.
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