Video: 2017 South Florida Real Estate Market Developments

Blog posts   •   Jan 11, 2017 15:09 EST

Real Estate Blogger Roy Oppenheim discusses the effect that interest rates, currency exchange rates, and inflation will have on the future real estate market in South Florida.


Are you willing to stand your ground for 5 years to save your home?

Blog posts   •   Jul 09, 2015 19:10 EDT

The 5-Year-Statute-of-Limitations-Rules are complex for homeowners to wade through. One Florida court rules. Stand your ground and keep your home in some foreclosure cases.


Foreclosure Fighter

News   •   Jun 10, 2015 12:20 EDT

How Oppenheim Law became a major national figure in the nation’s mortgage meltdown. Front an center in real estate law is the 5-Year-Statute-of-Limitations rule. It has to do with the five-year limitation for finishing the foreclosure of a mortgage. The question is: What happens in Florida cases where the foreclosure lawsuit was dismissed and the five years have run out? Ask Roy.


You Won’t Believe What Decided the Fate of Foreclosure Cases at the 4th DCA | South Florida Law Blog

Blog posts   •   Jan 12, 2015 18:25 EST

“Normally you see discrepancies of this nature within different circuits. But what we’re seeing in the Fourth is among themselves,” said foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim. “It just makes this more complex. When there is cloudiness, it just creates more ambiguity and delays the conclusion of the foreclosure mess. In the end it doesn’t help anybody when you have inconsistent rules.”

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When it Comes to Real Estate, Congress Can’t Find Their Way Out of the Bag

Blog posts   •   Dec 16, 2014 10:43 EST

As very few probably know, including myself until recently, the House of Representatives has passed an early holiday gift for taxpayers concerning real estate. It is also expected that the Senate and President will follow suit in the near future. Ironically; however, it is too little, too late.

What the Bill Covers

As George Bush was leaving the presidency and the economy near collapse, the former President signed a bill providing an exemption to loan forgiveness income to those homeowners who had received any kind of loan forgiveness income. Said “loan forgiveness income” would include money derived by way of short sale, principle reduction, loan modification, or in a foreclosure where the deficiency was waived on their primary residence. When one receives income from such an exemption one would receive a 1099, meaning that the income received would need to be declared on your tax return and thus taxed. Of course, there are alternatives to paying such taxes, such as pleading with the IRS that you are insolvent and, in fact, many accountants are quite savvy at doing that and therefore possibly removing said income from taxation.

Christmas Coal for Responsible Homeowners?


However, in most circumstances people end up paying the loan forgiveness income if in fact they receive a 1099. As we approach the end of 2014 and reflect on the year in real estate, this past year a substantial portion of the population were put in the stressful situation of deciding how to handle their distressed property. Decisions needed to be made whether to engage in short sales, modifications, or battle foreclosure. Many homeowners acted in a manner that they, and most others, believed to be prudent in their property management as the tax benefit(s) had seemingly run out at the stroke of midnight the previous year. But to everyone’s surprise, Congress is now retroactively stating that any transaction involving the primary residence that occurred in the past year where there was in fact loan forgiveness income will be waived. Now this of course is a delightful holiday carol to the ears of those who were involved in such transactions, but it is an unexpected giant lump of Christma coal in the stocking for others.


Those who attempted to be prudent, opting not to engage in loan forgiveness transactions out of the fear of tax ramifications, have been retroactively moved from the Good List to theNaughty List. In fact statistically we will see that the number of short sales fell off precipitously this past year holding back the entire economy.

Unanticipated (That Should Have Been Anticipated) Consequences

Realtors, lawyers, title companies, architects, engineers, surveyors, homebuilders, as well as banks all were harmed by the fact that there was a substantial decline in short sales. Further, it probably hurt the real estate market by reducing the amount of actual transactions that occurred.

So here we have it: Congress is passing a law that is retroactive that provides no guidance whatsoever to the future conduct of an individual.

In fact, the law again is supposed to expire at midnight 2014. Isn’t that once again too little, too late?

I say Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all.

From the trenches,


So here we have it: Congress is passing a law that is retroactive that provides no guidance whatsoever to the future conduct of an individual.

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The American Horror Story winds down in Florida as cases become involuntarily dismissed by judges

News   •   Nov 16, 2014 17:17 EST

With the ‘zombie foreclosures’ still lingering, at this point let’s call it, The American Horror Story if you will; but, it seems some Florida courts have finally begun to apply the rules of law, civil procedure and evidence in foreclosure cases. Stopping the “trick -the-homeowner and treat-the-bank” system of procedure and evidence that have haunted Florida homeowners for nearly a decade; finally, the court system ‘gets it.’ And, it appears there is a growing trend of foreclosure cases being involuntarily dismissed by judges as the freak show finally winds down.

Season 1: Murder House – Banks Must Prove Standing

In order for a bank to foreclose on a homeowner, it must prove standing to collect on the subject Note and Mortgage. A bank (or servicer) has standing to foreclose if they can prove that they are the “holder in due course” of the note and mortgage. In the past, banks have desperately attempted to prove standing to collect on countless mortgages and notes that have been bundled, transferred, traded, and sold to numerous different banks, servicers, and entities of the like. These efforts often times included the procuring of forged assignments and other documents in order to prove standing to bring suit on notes and mortgages. After a slap on the wrist from the attorney general in 2010 for their exposed fraud on the court, the banks then turned to unqualified witnesses to attempt to establish standing.

Season 2: Asylum – Zombie-esque Witnesses

In thousands of foreclosure cases across the state, banks are producing witnesses to help prove their cases. In theory these witnesses are supposed to testify and lay the proper foundation for the admittance of evidence that is imperative for each individual foreclosure case across the state. Each witness should have particular knowledge about whether the evidence (various documents and system entries) presented by the bank was made at the time of the event; by a person with knowledge; kept in the ordinary course of business; and done as a regular business practice. If the witness does not meet the qualifications set out in Florida’s Evidence Code, then they are deemed unqualified and the bank’s evidence dies.

Problems arise when a homeowner who creates a note and mortgage with Bank A (which is then sold to Bank B, then assigned to Bank C, who in-turn sells it to Bank D) is foreclosed upon by Bank E. How is Bank E to prove standing to foreclose when they don’t have all the required documentation?

Without going into boring detail, the bank will produce a robo-witness (or for festive purposes, a “Zombie Witness”) from their loan servicing department to testify that at every step along the way each bank or servicer met the requirements for handling the loan and transferring or selling it to others. It doesn’t take a whole lot of common sense to see that a witness employed by Bank E does not have the requisite knowledge or foundation to testify about the happenings in Bank A, B, C, & D.

Season 3 CovenSeason 3: Coven – Houses No Longer Haunted?

Until recently, foreclosure defense attorneys had been working rigorously and zealously to prove the banks’ witnesses as unqualified to testify at trial – only to have judges blatantly overlook the rules of the court and allow robo-witnesses to validate the banks’ case.

This past month, several appellate courts across the state have changed their tune, realized their mistakes, and have begun to find banks’ witnesses to be unqualified to testify about vital documents to the case. As a result, there seems to be a growing trend of foreclosure cases being involuntarily dismissed by judges. If the trend continues, we may finally see the double-standard in foreclosure courts come crumbling down, ending the “trick-and-treat” era.

Florida Foreclosure Freak Show EndsSeason 4: Freak Show – Scary lore finally giving way to the law

In The Trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

- See more at: http://southfloridalawblog.com/fthe-american-horror-story-winds-down-in-florida-as-cases-become-involuntarily-dismissed-by-judges/#sthash.NPebPhzW.dpuf

The American Horror Story winds down in Florida as cases become involuntarily dismissed by judges - See more at: http://southfloridalawblog.com/fthe-american-horror-story-winds-down-in-florida-as-cases-become-involuntarily-dismissed-by-judges/#sthash.NPebPhzW.dpuf

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Dyck-O’Neal, Inc., – Reviving the Homeowner Foreclosure Nightmare with Deficiency Judgment Lawsuits

Blog posts   •   Jul 24, 2014 18:18 EDT

Oppenheim Law Firm has anticipated that there would be a rush by the banks to file deficiency judgment actions against homeowners as the clock ticked down to the July 1st, 2014 deadline. In fact, in June 2014 – Dyck-O’Neal, Inc., filed 323 deficiency cases in Broward County alone.


Dodd-Frank Stalls Home Seller-Financing

Blog posts   •   Jul 24, 2014 14:39 EDT

The average home buyer or seller-financer may now be breaking the law according to Dodd-Frank. Oppenheim Law blogs about the exceptions to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Dodd-Frank rules. Under the rules, take this into consideration: a seller of a residential property may not act as financer to the buyer if the seller is not a licensed mortgage originator, unless...


Lenders Lose Right To Sue To Recover On This

News   •   Jul 07, 2014 05:51 EDT

"There's been a flurry of banks filing for deficiency cases before the clock struck midnight," said Roy Oppenheim, cofounder and senior partner at Oppenheim Law in Weston. "We've seen a dramatic increase in the last several weeks with banks filing, and we've been busy on that score." Oppenheim said his caseload doubled in the months leading up to the deadline with deficiency suits.

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Gauging the real estate markets reaction to Iraq ISIS crisis

Blog posts   •   Jul 01, 2014 05:57 EDT

Real estate and ecomomic effects from ISIS crisis

Islamist militant gains in Iraq sent world oil prices higher Monday according to CNN. Photo: Reuters

Repeatedly, I am asked what my thoughts are about the implications of the situation in Iraq as it relates to the U.S. economy and the real estate market. While I nor anyone has a crystal ball, I do believe that there are certain logical implications that we can extrapolate from the Iraq crisis.

Specifically, it appears with energy prices spiking that there will be an interruption in the supply of oil from Iraq for the foreseeable future.  Of course, the oil companies will use any excuse to drive up the price of oil and thus it is logical to anticipate that we will see a spike in gasoline prices shortly.

When oil and gasoline prices rise, a number of things happen beyond the pump.

Crisis in Middle East Effects US Housing

CNN: Crisis in Middle East Effects US Housing

Those people who are on fixed incomes or have tight economic budgets begin to cut back on certain discretionary items. They may go out to eat less and/or they will make one less trip to the grocery store in order to save a little money. Thus, those real estate markets that are hypersensitive to any adjustment in disposable income such as 80 percent of the residential market will likely be the first markets to have an alteration in the pricing structure due to increased oil prices. Sustained increased prices at the gas pump are effectively a form of anti-inflation. In fact at times when the economy was heating up too much at the beginning of the millennium the government would want oil prices to go up in order to prevent the economy from overheating.

Now, of course, as we are not in a period of inflation anything that harms the economy can cause  deflation in the economy.  When money is syphoned out of the economy with increased oil prices, there is less money to spend on other items thus reducing demand in some circumstances.

Waging a war on high-end real estate

Of course, the high-end part of the real estate market will likely not be affected by any increase in oil prices because it is not as vulnerable to these small calibrations in the economy compared to the wealth that such individuals may possess. So if you are trying to read the tea leaves it is likely that we will see some changes in a downward or sideways movement as it relates to lower income and middle income housing and very little impact on the higher-end markets.

U.S. energy arena soars

US Economy and housing market

So as the Middle East erupts; U.S. is on the alternative energy front. Naturally, of course, there is always a silver lining in these situations. We live in a global oil market so as oil prices increase the desire to pursue alternative energy whether it is wind, solar, natural gas or even fracking will increase. U.S. output in oil has soared because we’ve adopted new technologies at a fairly good clip since 2008.  New technology is valuable to the U.S. economy in the sense that it will allow us to become even more independent of what goes on in the rest of the world.

Here’s the bottom line. We live in a world that runs on oil. War in the Middle-East puts that supply at risk which makes investments scarce. The local South Florida real estate market has weathered lots of storms. Stay tuned as we continue to watch the events halfway around the world affect our real estate market.

From the trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

- See more at: http://southfloridalawblog.com/gauging-the-real-estate-markets-reaction-to-isis-crisis/#sthash.qDty0jLh.dpuf

Climate Change and Real Estate, Roy Oppenheim, foreclosure and real estate defense attorney. Legal blogger and founder of the South Florida Law Blog.

Roy Oppenheim, foreclosure and real estate defense attorney. Legal blogger and founder of the South Florida Law Blog.

Oppenheim Law Firm -

Real estate and foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim passionately defends Florida homeowners and investors from foreclosure, arranging short-sales, loan modifications, mortgage advice, commercial litigation, and business related matters. Roy is also the original creator of the South Florida Law Blog, named the best business and technology blog by the Sun-Sentinel. Share your comments and thoughts on the Oppenheim Law digital media social networks; they’d love to hear from you.

- See more at: http://southfloridalawblog.com/gauging-the-real-estate-markets-reaction-to-isis-crisis/#sthash.qDty0jLh.dpuf

We live in a world that runs on oil. War in the Middle-East puts that supply at risk which makes investments scarce. The local South Florida real estate market has weathered lots of storms. Stay tuned as we continue to watch the events halfway around the world affect our real estate market.

Read more »

About Oppenheim Law

Florida Foreclosure Defense and Real Estate Law Firm

Founded in 1989 by a husband and wife legal team, Oppenheim Law is uniquely positioned as one of Florida's leading real estate and foreclosure defense law firms in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida serving national, international, and local clients.The Firm is proud to have the highest rating (A-V) conferred by Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory, the most respected directory of lawyers and law firms in the U.S.