By: Charles B. Jimerson, Esq.
Florida’s Banking Statute of Frauds was enacted in order to curb a 1980’s trend of increasing lender liability lawsuits. The enactment of this statute has made it difficult for Plaintiff’s to maintain tort based claims that might otherwise flow from the written loan documents. Typically, such claims involve oral promises pertaining to breach of an oral commitment to lend, breach of an oral agreement to refinance an existing loan, breach of an oral agreement to forbear from enforcing contractual remedies or breach of an oral agreement to take certain actions in connection with the underlying loan. By requiring that loan documents be in writing for a borrower to sue a lender on those types of claims, the Banking Statute of Frauds prevents borrowers from pursuing claims based upon oral representations or understandings. The effect of the Banking Statute of Frauds is to bar tort claims that otherwise may have been colorable under common law.