What’s the statute of limitations for a lawsuit against an appraiser? This is a common question because many lawsuits against appraisers are filed years after the appraisal, sometimes 10 or more years later. The reason for this is that the plaintiff suing an appraiser may not have known there was a problem with the appraisal at the time it was received or may not have suffered any damages as a result of the alleged error until a loan default or other event has occurred years down the road. This plaintiff might be a lender who recently foreclosed on a loan or might be a borrower who believes they paid too much or borrowed too much based on an allegedly deficient appraisal.

The applicable statute of limitations for an appraisal-related claim will vary based on the nature of the claim (for example, whether it is for negligence, fraud or breach of contract), the state whose law will apply to the claim, and even in a few cases, who is making the claim. Based on these factors, the time period might be as short as one year or longer than 10. And, then there’s the discovery rule… .

What’s the “discovery rule?” The discovery rule – if followed in a given state – is a rule for determining when the statute of limitations time period begins running. In most states, the time period does not simply start running on the date of the appraisal. Instead, it generally begins running when the plaintiff has discovered the alleged error in an appraisal or suffered damage or should have discovered the error. So, that means the time period may not start running until years after the appraisal – for example, a lender may claim it did not know of the deficiencies in the appraisal until it foreclosed on the property, or a borrower may contend they didn’t know about an appraisal error until another appraiser brought it to their attention.

What’s the time period in my state? Does my state apply a discovery rule? The most common legal claim against an appraiser is for negligence. The chart below answers these questions state-by-state. If you are defending or considering an actual claim, however, you should always seek out knowledgeable legal advice in your own state (you should not rely on the chart). If you have questions about this topic or think a correction should be made, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

This chart was last updated July 1, 2020.

StateYearsDoes a "discovery rule" potentially apply to a professional negligence claim against an appraiser?Underlying State Statutory Source
Alabama2No, unless fraud.Alabama Code § 6-2-38
Alaska2YesAlaska Code of Civil Proc. § 09.10.070
Arizona2YesAriz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-542
Arkansas3No. Arkansas has adopted an appraiser-specific statute of limitations with no discovery rule, unless the claim is for intentional fraud.Ark. Code § 17-14-206(c)(1) (as amended by SB 394 in 2019)
California2YesCal. Civil Proc. Code §§ 338(d), 339, subd. 1
Colorado2YesColo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-102
Connecticut2YesConn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 52-584
Delaware3Yes10 Del. Code § 8106
Florida2, for claims by clientsYes, for claims by clients or those in "privity" with appraiser. For claims by other parties, the limitations period is 4 years with no discovery rule.Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11(4)(a). Pursuant to Fla. Stat. §475.611(1)(h), an appraiser is a professional within the meaning of §95.11(4)(a).
Georgia4The limitations time period and whether a discovery rule applies for negligence claims against appraisers in Georgia has not been difinitively determined.Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-31
Hawaii6Not determined. The case law in Hawaii does not support a firm conclusion as to whether the discovery rule would apply to claims against appraisers. Recent appellate decisions have applied a discovery rule to malpractice claims involving medical professionals and attorneys.Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657-1
Idaho2NoIdaho Code § 5-219
Illinois2YesIll. Ann. Stat. ch. 735, § 5/13-204(b)
Indiana2Yes Ind. Code § 34-11-2-4
Iowa2YesIowa Code Ann. § 614.1
Kansas2YesKan. Stat. Ann. § 60-513
Kentucky1YesKy. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.140(3)
Louisiana1Yes; however, with an effective date of January 1 ,2020, Louisiana has enacted a statute of limitations providing that any action against an appraiser or appraisal management company must be filed at the latest within three years from the date of the relevant act, omission or neglect.La. R.S. § 9:5610
Maine6YesMe. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 14, § 752
Maryland3YesMd. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. § 5-101
Massachusetts3YesMass. Ann. Laws ch. 260, § 4
Michigan2Yes, but the discovery rule is limited - an action must be filed within 6 months of the plaintiff's discovery of the claim.MCL 600.5805(9) and MCL 600.5838(2)
Minnesota6Yes; however, under Minn. Stat. § 82B.24, Subd. 4, an action must be filed no later than 6 years from the date of the appraisal.Minn. Stat. § 82B.24, Subd. 4
MississippiEarlier of 3 years after discovery or 5 years after intended user relies on appraisalYes, but subject to maximum time period of 5 years after intended user relies on appraisalMiss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49 and § 15-1-83
Missouri5YesMo. Ann. Stat. § 516.120
Montana3UndeterminedMont. Code Ann. § 27-2-204
Nebraska2YesNeb. Rev. Stat. § 25-222
Nevada4UndeterminedNev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 11.190
New Hampshire3YesN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:4
New Jersey6YesN.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:14-1(a)
New Mexico4YesN.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-4
New York3NoN.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 214 (6)
North Carolina3Yes; however, North Carolina has adopted a "statute of repose" that imposes a maximum time period on claims. A claim for negligence against an appraiser, even under the discovery rule, must be filed within 5 years of the appraisal. (N.C. Gen. Stat. §1-51(4).)N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-15 and § 1-52(9)
North Dakota2Yes, within 2 years of discovery up to a maxium of 6 years.N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-01, et seq.
Ohio4NoOhio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.09(D)
Oklahoma2Yes12 Okla. Stat. § 95(3)
Oregon2Yes; however, Oregon has adopted a "statute of repose" that imposes a maximum time period on claims. A claim for negligence against an appraiser, even under the discovery rule, must be filed within 5 years of the appraisal. Or. Rev. Stat. § 12.132 (as amended by HB 3218 in 2019)
Pennsylvania2Yes42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5524
Rhode Island10NoR.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-13(a). Note: Under R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14.1, the statute of limitations is 3 years with a discovery rule for "medical, veterinarian, accounting, or insurance or real estate agent or broker malpractice," but appraisers are not included within that statute.
South Carolina3YesS.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530
South Dakota3NoS.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-35
Tennessee3Yes; however, Tennessee also has adopted a "statute of repose" that imposes a maximum time period on claims. A claim for negligence against an appraiser, even under the discovery rule, must be filed within 5 years of the appraisal. Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(d). Tennessee's appraiser-specific statute of limitations with the 5-year maximum time period only applies to appraisals after July 1, 2017.
Texas2YesTex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.003
Utah4YesUtah Code Ann. § 78B-2-307(1)(a)
Vermont6Yes12 Vt. Stat. Ann. § 511
Virginia5NoVa. Code Ann. § 8.01-246. A 3-year period should apply if there was no written agreement for performance of the appraisal.
Washington3YesWash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.16.080(3)
West Virginia2YesW. Va. Code 55-2-12
Wisconsin6YesWis. Stat. Ann. § 893.53
Wyoming2YesWyo. Stat. § 1-3-107

Important: The information in this chart is the subject of ongoing legal research and may also be impacted by new statutes and cases. The information in this chart should not be relied upon in making any legal decisions, including, but not limited to, deciding whether or when to file any legal action. A reader should consult with knowledgeable local legal counsel with regard to any legal decisions. The information is also not to be construed as an admission of fact or law and is offered without prejudice to any legal position or defense of any party.