Covid-19 Foreclosures and Evictions

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 22 July 2020 10:05

As the Coronavirus pandemic unfortunately continues, a substantial number of U.S. homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages. With nearly half the U.S. population jobless,  4.6 million American homeowners were in some type of non-repayment as of last month which signals that the number of those not being able to pay their mortgage will only increase. As a result, the issue of how the banks are going to react to this upcoming crisis will be key.

covid19 foreclosure response

Will the Foreclosure Crisis of 2008 return?

We all can agree that the 2008 foreclosure crisis was a mess. There were lenders that engaged in originating questionable loans that resulted in high levels of default. In fact, many lenders viewed mortgages as a “relationship product” which enabled the lender to have their customers gain access to credit cards and deposit services. The mortgages, in essence, were an enticement for bigger business—even when the lender knew that many of the home loans were distressed.

As mortgage loans defaulted exponentially, lenders instituted foreclosures which led to Florida’s notorious “rocket docket,” where retired judges had to be brought in to help combat the enormous volume of foreclosure cases. Ultimately, a $26 billion National Mortgage Settlement  was obtained due to foreclosure abuses by the lenders such as lack of verification and proper authentication of the very documents used to support the foreclosure action in the first place.

foreclosure crisis

The key to the basis of the 2008 Foreclosure crisis was the concept of “moral hazard”—lenders belief that going easy on defaults will only encourage other borrowers to  default. This concept became a marketing nightmare for banks during the crisis because they were going after their customers who were defaulting in mortgage payments while trying to get the very customers to use other bank services such as credit cards. In fact, there were lenders and mortgage servicers that rebranded and changed their names such as Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. became Mr. Cooper in the aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis.


Having gone through the 2008 Foreclosure crisis, lenders may consider taking a different approach to dealing with the inevitable upcoming foreclosure crisis. Mitigation is one such approach.

Mitigation is a technical legal term which occurs when there is a breach of contract. One mitigates, or lessens, one’s potential damages due to the breach. In the context of foreclosures, instead of the bank’s “moral hazard” premise, the lenders may wish to come up with a plan to mitigate their damages. Simply put, the lenders may consider how to offset their costs as opposed to flooding the courthouse. One way of doing so may be to have more flexibility in the loan modification process. Or perhaps the government this time will provide assistance for homeowners as opposed to the banks as it had done during the 2008 foreclosure crisis.

Time will only tell how the lenders and the government will respond to the sheer numbers of those who can not meet their monthly mortgage payments when current forbearance plans eventually expire.

For the past thirty years, we  have been here to help you  navigate these tumultuous times.

From the Trenches


Oppenheim Law | Real Estate & Foreclosure Attorneys
2500 Weston Rd #209
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331
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We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following localities: Broward County including Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; Miami-Dade County including Aventura, Coral Gables, Country Club, Doral, Kendall, Key Biscayne, Miami, North Miami, and South Miami Heights; and Palm Beach County including Boca Del Mar, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Loxahatchee, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, and West Palm Beach and all of Florida State.

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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 authored two law review articles with Jacquelyn Trask; namely, 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

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