Next Foreclosure Round Will Be Expensive: Florida Lawyers Weigh in on Attorney-Fee Ruling From Appellate Court
“I believe it’ll be fair if they prevail the bank gets fees, or if we prevail we get fees. That’s the way it should be. I think this is how the legislature wanted it, and this is how the Fourth DCA is now going to rule. It’s clear that everyone is going to follow the path here of what is right.” – Roy D. Oppenheim
A new ruling from Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal could mean that the losing party—on any side of a foreclosure case—could be held accountable for attorney fees.
The modification came after the state Supreme Court remanded a case to the Fourth DCA. The Supreme Court reversed part of the lower court’s ruling in the case of plaintiffs Beverly A. and Frederick J. Ellis.
Representing the Ellises are attorneys Kendrick Almaguer, Jamie Sasson, Peter Ticktin and Michael Vater of The Ticktin Law Group in Deerfield Beach.
In this case, Almaguer and the Ticktin team argued for the Ellises in their appeal of a trial court’s order denying them court costs and attorney fees.
Based on the decision of the Supreme Court in the Page vs Deutsche Bank Trust Co. case, the court partially reversed the decision.
The Ellises will now be awarded attorney fees, but since Page case did not involve taxing costs, the decision remained the same for that portion of the appeal.
Chief Judge Spencer D. Levine and Judge Mark W. Klingensmith concurred with Judge Johnathan D. Gerber to affirm the fees and reverse the attorney fees.
“Because Page did not relate to the ground upon which we affirmed the trial court’s order denying the borrowers’ motion for taxable costs—lack of preservation—that portion of the trial court’s order remains affirmed,” the appellate panel ruled.
Roy D. Oppenheim, of Oppemheim Law in Weston. Photo: J. Albert Diaz/ALM.
And Roy Oppenheim, partner at Oppenheim Law in Weston, who is not involved in the case, agreed.
“I believe it’ll be fair if they prevail the bank gets fees, or if we prevail we get fees. That’s the way it should be. I think this is how the legislature wanted it, and this is how the Fourth DCA is now going to rule. It’s clear that everyone is going to follow the path here of what is right.”
Oppenheim said foreclosure defense firms, will be entitled to attorney fees again when they are victorious.