Matt Furman in a published article clarifies that the starting point for the six-year time period to file a claim to reform a deed or other recorded instrument starts when a mistake is or should be reasonably discovered, and not, as is persistently misunderstood, necessarily when the document is recorded.
The erroneous notion that the statute of limitations clock for reformation claim based on mutual mistake always starts to run upon recording is based on the idea that the recording itself is notice, Mr. Furman notes. However, Massachusetts law has never been so harsh to would-be reformers, nor should it be, he writes in the REBA News, published by the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts.
Rather, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has long held such a claim does not accrue until the mistake has been or should have been discovered, Mr. Furman observes. Tolling the statute of limitations period until meaningful notice of a problem exists is premised on the idea that these are no-fault situations making judicial protection appropriate.
Mr. Furman concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, including business, employment, and real estate disputes. He assists clients in a variety real estate matters, including claims involving the enforcement, interpretation, and reformation of recorded instruments.