Oppenheim Law Featured on Law.com for The Fight for Attorney Fees in Foreclosure Defense Cases

Roy Oppenheim

Since the real estate market collapse in 2008, foreclosure defense lawyers in Broward County have worked tirelessly to defend property owners against creditors’ lawsuits seeking to collect on their real estate loans. Ever since, our real estate attorneys have helped countless borrowers hold on to their real estate. We recently prevailed on appeal in a foreclosure lawsuit, but the appellate court’s overall ruling in our case highlights a major legal fight ensuing in Broward County, which Law.com has captured in a recent article.

Our foreclosure defense team at Oppenheim Law represented Frederick and Jonelle Sabido in a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit filed by Bank of New York Mellon.  We argued that the bank was not entitled to foreclose on a “lost” promissory note, and prevailed on appeal.  However, the court denied our request for attorneys’ fees, despite the fact that they are typically awarded to the prevailing party (our clients).

According to the coverage in Law.com, “the decision in the Sabido case is at least the second time that the Fourth District Court of Appeal has declined to award attorney fees to borrowers who successfully challenged a lender’s legal standing”.

At Oppenheim Law, we, among other foreclosure defense attorneys in South Florida, view the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision as fundamentally unfair and contrary to the principle that prevailing parties typically obtain attorneys’ fees.  By denying fees, the court’s decision will likely reduce the likelihood that attorneys will take on some of these foreclosure defense cases in the future.  This would be a terrible thing to happen.

The Sabido case is a vindication for us. It’s kind of what we call a backhanded compliment: ‘Congratulations! You win, but you’re not getting paid.’ If courts think they’re going to suck the oxygen out of the room, they’re wrong. If that is the logical intent, it will backfire.

We encourage all of our friends, colleagues, clients, and partners to read the full coverage here: In a Fight for Attorney Fees, Broward Attorney Blasts Court by Samantha Joseph at Law.com.


From the trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

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