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Negligent Real Estate Appraisals in Florida


A real estate appraisal provides the current market value of a particular property. In other words, it determines the property’s likely market sales price.

Prospective homebuyers and homeowners rely on real estate appraisals to give a reliable estimate of what a particular home is worth. Banks, too, rely on this appraisal in approving or disapproving a loan. Insurers use it to determine how much coverage to provide for homeowners and flood insurance policies. So what happens if the appraiser doesn’t do his job properly and the appraisal is incorrect?

Faulty appraisals (either undervaluing or overvaluing a piece of property) can cause numerous problems that might lead to litigation. Consider the example discussed below in the “statute of limitations” section.

Compensable Economic Damages

Negligence liability under Florida law applies to both personal injury and property damage. In fact, state law includes “replacement value of lost personal property; loss of appraised fair market value of real property; costs of construction repairs, including labor, overhead, and profit, and any other economic loss that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action” within the meaning of “economic damages” that are compensable in a negligence lawsuit.

The “loss of appraised fair market value of real property” is what’s at stake in a negligent appraisal lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations

In 2004, Theodore Petit appraised a residential home near Jacksonville. Based on that appraisal, SunTrust Mortgage loaned money to a borrower to purchase the home. SunTrust sold that loan to an investment trust, which ultimately transferred its interests in the loan to Llano Financing Group. The investment trust filed a foreclosure lawsuit in 2011 after the borrower defaulted on the loan. The trust acquired title to the property in 2014 and sold it at a loss.

Llano, a successor in interest, filed a negligence lawsuit against Petit in 2015, arguing that he undervalued the property and that Suntrust never would have agreed to the loan without that appraisal. Petit argued that the statute of limitations (deadline for filing the lawsuit) barred Llano’s claims. Both the trial court and the appeals court agreed with Petit. The appeals court applied a four-year statute of limitations to Llano’s claims, and held that the deadline began to run in 2004 when SunTrust relied on the undervalued appraisal. In other words, the time limit for filing the negligent appraisal claim expired in 2008.

It’s imperative that you consult an experienced attorney as soon as you experience an economic loss after a negligent appraisal. We will ensure that you file a timely lawsuit and recover the compensation that you deserve.

Contact Us Today About Your Case

Contact a Miami personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you sustained economic damages because of a negligent appraisal. Our experienced attorneys will help recover the compensation that you deserve.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.



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