Oppenheim Law’s Top 15 FL Real Estate Lessons of 2009
As a foreclosure defense and real estate attorney at South Florida’s Oppenheim Law, I witnessed striking developments in the Florida real estate and legal landscape throughout this year. As 2009 comes to a close, the blogger in me decided to reflect on a year that we’ll never forget.
In 2009, the United States experienced presidential history and remarkable scandals and unbelievable Ponzi schemes costing in the billions but Oppenheim Law believes 2009 will forever be tied to memories of bank failure, economic collapse and more than 3.8 million foreclosures from coast to coast.
Practicing Florida foreclosure defense taught me times of trouble bring with them lessons learned and opportunities to be had, so without further adieu, here are Florida Attorney Roy Oppenheim’s 2009 Foreclosure Lessons:
1. Credit scores are like cigarette smoking. At one time you thought both were good for you.
2. The world has turned upside down; only folks who previously had good credit scores are in foreclosure.
3. Everything your mother taught you about always paying your bills on time is wrong: If you do, you will disqualify yourself from a short sale or mortgage modification.
4. The American Dream of home ownership is now the American nightmare.
5. Renting is in Vogue. The American Dream changed from home ownership to renting: It’s cheaper; more affordable and less risky.
6. Possession remains nine-tenths of the law. If you are in foreclosure stay put. Do not move out.
7. Prove it! Make the banks prove they own your note. Many times the banks are clueless who owns their note.
8. Banks are the biggest hypocrites. They asked the taxpayer to bail them out, yet they won’t provide meaningful help to the very taxpayers that helped the banks when they were in crisis.
9. The silver lining: During the foreclosure crisis, families are getting closer together as they double up. Grandchildren are actually getting to know their grandparents better.
10. Social infection of foreclosure. Everyone knows someone that is in foreclosure if they themselves are not in foreclosure.
11. Thus, the social stigma of foreclosure is evaporated.
12. Should I stay or should I go? Stay! Never move out of your home even after the foreclosure sale. The banks want you to stay and pay the utilities, clean the pool and schedule the bug guy.
13. Pay your homeowner association dues even if you are in foreclosure. Be a good neighbor.
14. Remember the Goldie Locks Rules when applying for a mortgage modification. You can’t be the papa bear or the little bear you need to be just right.
15. Divorce and real estate. For most of my legal career divorcing couples always fought over who got to keep the marital residence… now it’s a question of who gets stuck with the property!
For even more coverage of “The Year of Foreclosure” check out the South Florida Law Blog, follow the conversation of @OPLaw on Twitter or become a Fan on Facebook. Oppenheim Law loved your comments and reactions throughout 2009 and looks forward to even more in the New Year!