Economic Homicide, the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the Rule of Law: 2012’s Top Headlines
Editor’s Note: As we head into 2013, I want to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year from everyone at Oppenheim Law. This has been our most successful year since the South Florida Law Blog was started in 2009. Our posts were seen by nearly 100,000 people, including our readers at Yahoo! Homes, where many of Roy Oppenheim’s blogs first appeared. For everyone who read or shared our content this year, a sincere thank you. Our mission is far from complete, and we look forward to sharing more commentary from the trenches in the New Year.
So without further adieu, here are the headlines that resonated with you over the past 12 months.
#10 — Obamacare, The Foreclosure Crisis and The Rule of Law
During the passing of the healthcare law, it seemed that the president assumed that the government had the ability to force people to buy a product from a private company that they did not necessarily want.
The mandate’s survival in the Supreme Court on a much narrower standard apparently leaves the question far from settled.
I felt that there was little, if any, constitutional analysis done by the president and his team when they decided to pass the mandate, except for the fact that they perceived a compelling need for it.
And that’s how the debate over the healthcare law reminded me of the legal debate during the foreclosure crisis.
#9 — Mortgage Interest Deduction Will Be Capped, and That’s (Probably) a Good Thing
The fiscal cliff contains many, many moving parts, which sometimes tend to get lost in a sea of white noise. But behind all the political grandstanding and theatrics, there are real Main Street issues at play.
Here is the reality. Regardless of what happens with the fiscal cliff negotiations, the real estate market is going to take a hit, particularly at the higher end of the market. It is just a matter of how substantial; whether it is a bump in the road or a major setback.
When it is all said and done, there will be some sort of tinkering or tweaking of the mortgage interest deduction that has become the vanguard of the real estate industry.
#8 — Where’s Waldo? Where’s A Copy of the Mortgage Settlement?
The dust has finally settled on last week’s mortgage settlement.
It dominated the news cycle once the details of the agreement broke. I spent the bulk of my day a week ago talking to the media and weighing in on it’s significance.
But there is one clear question that I haven’t heard anyone been able to definitely answer yet.
Has anyone seen the darn thing, in it’s entirety? I sure haven’t!
Read the full blog here.
#7 — Why The Housing Bubble Burst: Explaining Economic Homicide
It is easy to call Wall Street a villain and lay the blame for the housing collapse at their doorstep, and I did just that in one of my recent blogs, where I likened the banks’ conduct during the housing collapse to “economic homicide.”
My Rabbi asked me to further explain the concept of foreseeability, a notion I touched on in the blog, as it relates back to the banks and the real estate bubble.
So allow me to explain, but first, please grant me a few more hyperboles.
If you pour gasoline on a fire, then you’d have to know that fire would accelerate. Otherwise people would think you are a fool.
Likewise as people often refer to the real estate market as a bubble, I like to think of the banks and their agents as people who filled that bubble with helium.
#6 — Divided States of America: Judicial Vs. Non-Judicial Foreclosure
With non-judicial foreclosures, banks hold all the cards. If you are deemed by your lender to be in default, the banks can play the role of judge, jury, and executioner.
Your home can be put up for auction, and the court has no or little say in the matter.
It’s like what happens when your car is repossessed by the repo man.
This is why I like to call our country the Divided States of America. There are some states where the rule of law still matters, but there are many that have allowed banks to essentially make up the rules as they go along.
As a lawyer and someone whose job it is to help uphold the law, I think you can guess which side I am on.
The most popular blogs from 2012 —- Coming This Friday!