Please be aware that traditionally if the bank takes your home in foreclosure by short sale or a Deed In Lieu, and you have NOT had the deficiency amount waived, then the Bank (or company to who they sell that debt) WILL likely pursue that legal action against you. You may not have a home for them to take but they can still continue to litigate against other assets to satisfy the amount owed.
However, now under the recent law passed in Florida, deficiency claims are addressed as follows:
95.11 Limitations other than for the recovery of real property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows:
(2) WITHIN FIVE YEARS.—
(b) A legal or equitable action on a contract, obligation, or liability founded on a written instrument, except for an action to enforce a claim against a payment bond, which shall be governed by the applicable provisions of paragraph (5)(e), s. 255.05(10), s. 337.18(1), or s. 713.23(1)(e), and except for an action for a deficiency judgment governed by paragraph (5)(h).
(5) WITHIN ONE YEAR.—
(h) An action to enforce a claim of a deficiency related to a note secured by a mortgage against a residential property that is a one-family to four-familydwelling unit. The limitations period shall commence on the day after the certificate is issued by the clerk of court or the day after the mortgagee accepts a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Section 2. The amendments made by this act to s. 95.11, Florida Statutes, apply to any action commenced on or after July 1, 2013, regardless of when the cause of action accrued. However, any action that would not have been barred under s. 95.11(2)(b), Florida Statutes 2012, before the effective date of this act must be commenced within 5 years after the action accrued or by July 1, 2014, whichever occurs first.
This means that in Florida, if your foreclosure sale occurred before July 1, 2013, the lender had until July 1, 2014 to file suit to collect on that deficiency. If it occurred after July 1, 2013 then the time period is 1 year from the date that the certificate of title is issued to the buyer at the foreclosure sale, not the foreclosure sale. Typically the difference in timing between the sale and the certificate issued is approximately a week or so, but this could be longer.