Florida Title Search Warning | Buyer Beware

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 20 November 2019 11:11

Ever see a property that seemed like a good deal to purchase? Since the foreclosure crisis, there are many distressed properties for sale. The importance of hiring competent, qualified real estate attorneys is critical, especially before purchasing distressed properties because nearly all distressed properties have title issues.

A Not-So-Pleasant Beach Front Condo

title search weston title

Take Joseph Erickson for example. Mr. Erickson found a beachfront condo that was up for sale at a foreclosure auction and successfully bought the condo for $385,000.00.  $35,000.00 went to the condo association for unpaid dues since it was in fact the condo association that had initiated the foreclosure. Mr. Erickson thought he would then receive the excess proceeds of $350,000.00 from the foreclosure sale. He did not nor was he entitled to such surplus. Then Erickson learned there was a $350,697.00 second mortgage on the property to boot.

foreclosure auction

How did this happen? Erickson was new to the wild wild west of foreclosure auctions and purchased the property without having a title company or real estate attorney provide him appropriate advice and a title search. A title search, if done properly, provides a listing of all the liens on the real property including mortgages and other types of encumbrances. Without doing the title search, unfortunately, Mr. Erickson found himself way out of his league and clueless to the nuances of purchasing foreclosed properties at auction. 

title search

Lesson Learned

The bottom line is simple: If you or someone you know is considering purchasing a distressed or foreclosed property, a title search is imperative to determine if the property is even viable to purchase. As the saying goes, “Buyer Beware!”. There is a reason why these distressed properties are sold for well below market value. There is an inherent risk to this process that is always internalized in the price. Remember the other old adage is if it’s too good to be true it’s probably not true. 

From the trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

Weston Title & Escrow
2500 Weston Rd #404,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331
(954) 384-6168
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Website: https://westontitle.com 
Original Source: https://westontitle.com/2019/11/buyer-bewaretitle-searches-are-critical-to-purchasing-real-estate/ 

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Roy Oppenheim

From Wall Street to Main Street, Roy Oppenheim is a successful serial entrepreneur and attorney focusing on Florida real estate, foreclosure defense, loss mitigation and Internet ventures.

He founded Oppenheim Law in 1989 with his wife Ellen Pilelsky and uniquely positioned the Firm as one of Florida’s leading boutique law firms in Weston, Florida.

Serving national, international, and local clients, Mr. Oppenheim has the highest rating (A-V) conferred by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, the most respected directory of lawyers and law firms in the U.S.

In 1989, Mr. Oppenheim also co-founded and served as general counsel to ShopSmart Corp., the company that originated and owned the GNC Gold Card Program, a program that continues to this day and was one of the first cross-promotional programs of its kind.

In addition, in 1994, he co-founded Weston Title & Escrow, the oldest title company in Weston, Florida, and he currently serves as its Vice President. In 1999, Mr. Oppenheim served a one-year term on the board of directors for Catalina Lighting, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Growing up in the Bronx, Mr. Oppenheim learned to be focused on success and driven to always persevere for opportunity.

In 2009, he started the South Florida Law Blog, which was voted the best business and technology blog by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He also serves as an expert witness on title industry practices.

Mr. Oppenheim has also co-authored two law review articles, Deconstructing The Black Magic of Securitized Trusts, published in the Stetson University Law Review’s Spring 2012 Edition, and The Emperor’s New Clothes, published in the William & Mary Business Law Review Volume 6.

Today, Mr. Oppenheim is a sought-after legal expert on issues relating to the real estate crisis and beyond. In addition to his own blog, he also has been a contributor to Yahoo! Homes, and featured on HuffPost Live, FOX News, and Lifetime TV. In addition he has been quoted in prominent national publications, including USA Today, The New York Times and Huffington Post, among others. Mr. Oppenheim also understands the power of social media, and can be found on a variety of social media platforms.

Mr. Oppenheim also speaks fluent German.


  • Florida Bar, 1987; Member of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section
  • New York Bar, 1987; United States District for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, 1993


  • Princeton University, A.B., cum laude, 1982
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1986
    • Member of the Northwestern University Law Review
    • Member of the National Moot Court Team

Original source:  https://www.oppenheimlaw.com/who-we-are/meet-our-team/roy-d-oppenheim-esq/ 


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