Lenders routinely accelerate notes after a default occurs, calling the entire loan due immediately. Less regularly, a lender may change its mind and unilaterally revoke the acceleration. Rarely, however, does a lender fail to foreclose on its real property collateral before the statute of limitations expires. In Andra R. Miller Designs, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 244 Ariz. 265, 418 P.3d 1038 (Ct. App. 2018), a unique set of facts involving these issues led the Arizona Court of Appeals to hold that proper revocation of acceleration resets the statute of limitations.
In Miller, a lender made a $1,940,000 loan evidenced by a promissory note and secured by a deed of trust against a home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The borrower defaulted in September 2008. The default prompted the lender to notice a default, accelerate the note, and initiate a trustee’s sale of the home in 2009. After the lender accelerated the note, the six year statute of limitations began to run. See A.R.S. § 12-548(A)(1) and A.R.S. § 33-816. Pretty standard facts so far, right? Don’t worry, it gets a bit more convoluted.