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FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Roy: Good afternoon. This is Roy Oppenheim at “Zoom at Noon” sponsored by our law firm Oppenheim Law and our title company Weston Title and Escrow. This is our 21st consecutive week of us broadcasting every Tuesday at noon to discuss how we’re all gonna get through this pandemic, economic and social crisis together. And today a good friend and fellow colleague, Gary Singer, an attorney who also has been in the foreclosure arena for the past 20 years or so, particularly representing both lenders and banks, is going to join us in a few minutes as we discuss what is kind of like the 900-pound gorilla in the room, and that is the impending foreclosure and eviction crisis that eventually is going to hit our community and our society.

I’d like to again thank those people who have helped us get to this point today. My wife and law partner, Ellen Pilelsky, my partner, Geoff Sherman, my daughter, Wendy Oppenheim who’s been very helpful, Paola Vergara who’s been putting these slides together week after week and Mia Singh, my associate who also helps keep me straight and on the narrow.

If we can proceed to the next slide, please. This week we’re going to be talking about is COVID-19 starting a real-estate crisis, too. We’ll do the weekly economic update, pandemic update and then we’ll talk about the rumbling of a foreclosure and eviction tsunami. As most of you know, our law firm has been serving the South Florida community for over 30 years, so has our title company. This is an interactive process and so those of you who are uninitiated to having joined us today, we ask that you provide comments, feedbacks, questions, challenge us. This doesn’t just work if we have one or two talking heads for half an hour. So, the whole concept is for you to participate, join us and provide insight from your perspective and it may be a different perspective. Our perspective is in the trenches representing tenants, landlords, lenders, borrowers and everyone in between including investors and contractors who are providing services to these entities.

Again, we have this collective experience among our lawyers of well over 75 years and so we kind of have been down this road, although we really haven’t been trained for a crisis of this magnitude. We did think that the crisis of 12 years ago was something that was gonna be a once in a lifetime event but little did we know that it was really a training ground for what we’re going to have to be dealing with today.

I wanna introduce Gary Singer. We can bring him up for a second. Gary is a board-certified attorney. I just lost his bio which I will find again. He is also a dear friend. Most importantly, he is an international civil law notary as am I. One of few in the whole country. He’s also a syndicated columnist as we have been. He continues to write for the “Sun-Sentinel” as well as for many other newspapers and Gary, most importantly, is a go-to type of guy when you have a question and we have a great professional relationship and that’s why Gary was so gracious enough to join us today. Gary, you wanna say hi?

Gary: Yeah, Roy. Thank you so much for having me. Looking forward to hear what you got to say.

Roy: Great. Well, I think more importantly, we wanna hear what you have to say, so…

Gary: You don’t gotta worry about that.

Roy: So our last discussion was about the start of the upcoming academic year and how communities were gonna try and address that both using science, community desire, the economy and, of course, the health and, of course, the overlay of politics. We had a great principal on, a parent and a son who had been homeschooled for quite some time. It was very interesting and extremely engaging. And so the purpose of these weekly get-togethers is really for us to talk about an issue and focus on that issue and then see what comes of it for the next week. In fact, next week we’re going to be talking about what…how one stays safe during nightlife and to socialize and we’re gonna have an expert on in that particular field and I think you’ll find it fascinating.

In terms of the weekly economic update going forward…can we just go back one? One of the…Robert Kaplan from the Dallas Federal Reserve has stated, “How well we follow the healthcare protocols from here on is going to be the primary economic tool we have.” So what we’re gonna find is that there’s this inverse correlation between opening the economy and how well our businesses do with the pandemic continuing to spread. And so where you have less of a pandemic, the economy actually does better. And how you get to that point is just so, so tricky.

Page seven. Our health became the most important economic index. We’re gonna see here if we can take the…our mouse. We can see that there are these little dips that are occurring. Those dips are occurring when, in fact, the economy has to shut down because of COVID. And of course, it has to shut down because COVID is rising in those particular areas. And so it’s kinda this balancing act of trying to open the economy…almost like an accordion where you’re trying to open the economy, then COVID expands, then it takes the economy back down. We’re gonna have these ripples constantly going on, these mini-hills that we had talked about was one of the possibilities in an early “Zoom at Noon” a few months back and that’s gonna continue to happen until there’s herd immunity or, most importantly, a vaccine that works. Next page.

This is kind of interesting. We’re seeing here how the habits of our community in the United States has changed in terms of how we’re eating and eating is, of course, so important right now. The orange line shows you…it shows food at home, how we were consuming food at home in 2010. It was just naturally going down through 2019. We were eating less and less at home and we were eating out more or having food delivered. That’s the blue line. And then there was this massive inversion right here. Right here, right here. Perfect. Right here, we see this inversion where the blue line comes way down. People all of a sudden are now not eating away. They’re eating at home. The orange line goes way up. We’re all cooking, baking, and trying new recipes. And then that line has come back down versus the blue line of eating food away has crossed. And now they’ve both kind of become parallel and stationary at a new position for a period of time. And so now we’re gonna see if they will come closer together or if maybe they’ll stay at that position. But it’s interesting how habits have changed so dramatically, how people aren’t eating as much at home if we go back to where it was almost in 2014. And so it’s almost like a five-year reversion back to where we were eating at home. We were eating so much out during the past five years.

PPP money is gone. Are small businesses running out of time? And this is a great question and if anyone has some feedback here, if you have a business that’s been relying on the PPP money…PPP is out and many businesses are running out of cash. Most are saying that they have one or two months, maybe three months left. Some have just a few days but the reality is that we’re looking at a maximum of maybe 90 days for small businesses. And that’s very different than large corporations. Large corporations…even a cruise line like Carnival and Norwegian that’s not operating right now, they have enough cash to sustain operations, keep the ships going and keep their advertising going and to keep their basic, core people going for another year. They have at least 12 to even 16 months of cash and that’s because they have the ability to issue junk bonds that we, through the Federal Reserve, buy. Small businesses do not have that kind of opportunity and so, as important as small businesses are to the culture and vibrancy of our community, they are right now at a point where they could become extinct.

The federal aid’s impossible balancing act. As the government continues to create more stimulus, that’s gonna continue to rise. We can take a look here at how much, I guess, benefit and stimulus we’ve provided compared to previously in other crises. If we look right here, it’s just a complete different scenario. Our ratio of debt to the GDP is astronomical right now and what’s interesting…if we look at personal bankruptcy filings, they have fallen down very, very low but trust me when I tell you that the calls that Gary is getting, I’m getting and all lawyers are getting about businesses that are gonna fail and they’re not gonna be able to pay back the PPPs, they’re not gonna be able to pay back the EIDL loans is staggering and we’re working on strategies for these folks, how not to, you know, destroy their personal lives because their businesses have failed.

And now if we look at total household debt…and this is where Gary’s gonna come in shortly. Our housing debt is now increased to a level above where it was in ’08. Non-housing debt has also increased to that point. So we are now…our debt is way above where we were in ’08 during the last economic crisis. Next page, please.

Weekly unemployment. Unemployment has kind of leveled off in terms of number of people that are continuing to apply. It’s starting to tick back up in those communities like Florida where we’ve had to close our restaurants or close our bars or limit the amount of time that these restaurants and bars can be opened.

In terms of the pandemic, there’s some interesting information if we go to the next page. This is ironic or very interesting how, really, it’s United States and South America that is really taking the brunt of it. Many parts of the world have been able to deal with it in a different way. There are lots of theories. Obviously, indoor air-conditioning, ventilation is an issue. We did better in the winter. The north in the United States did better in the summer. I think at the end of the day, we all realize that you need to be outdoors as much as possible and indoors as little as possible. We’re also finding that many countries do not have central air-conditioning like we have here in the United States.

Florida COVID deaths by date have just been announced for last…past week. What we’re seeing is that the number of deaths have gone up. The number of infections have gone up and the number of hospitalizations have gone up while the seven-day average had been falling. This little black line right here. We’re seeing it actually had dropped. Unfortunately now just today and the last few days, that average is starting to increase again. And so hopefully, we’ll be able to curb that.

The good news is that there are some vaccine testings that are going on. They’re very technical. I’m not gonna go into the technicality right now. There are some wonderful heroes out there that have decided that they are going to be part of these tests. There are about 30,000 people for each test that are gonna be selected and these people are literally modern-day heroes for getting us through this and I applaud those folks.

Gary, let me get you on, buddy. Are we on mute, Gary?

Gary: Hi there. Let me… I’m on video? I was just typing an answer in the chat when you got me.

Roy: Great, great.

Gary: There we go. There’s the video. Hey, how’s it going?

Roy: Great. Let’s go over the next “New York Times” survey if we can. So Gary, take a look at it. You probably have seen this. This is a “New York Times” survey on housing. We’re seeing that a lot of folks, maybe as many as a third may not be able to pay their rent in, you know, in July or August, and I guess that’s gonna be the big issue depending on the moratoriums and what the government does, and what are your thoughts on that?

Gary: Well, there’s definitely people who lost some money in losing their jobs, losing their businesses and I think to a large part, many of those people were people who rented rather than people who bought. Obviously, there’s a mix but the mix is renter-heavy. So I do think that there will be some people who can’t pay their rent. I also think there’s a lot of people who don’t wanna pay their rent and would rather keep the money in their pocket for now and when push comes to shove, they may or may not be able to catch up at that point. So, while I think there’s people who can’t pay their rent, I think there’s more people right now who won’t pay their rent and that’s because, you know, there’s a lot of unemployment coming in at a very high rate which, you know, is good for those people. Like, you know, I’m not passing judgment. And there’s a lot of other people who just take advantage when they can and then unfortunately there’s people who just truly can’t that are caught up in the mix. So I think that there’s gonna be a lot of evictions coming, but I don’t always trust surveys and I also know very clearly that real estate, even evictions and foreclosures, is very, very local.

Roy: That is true. So, on this next slide, it’s kind of interesting. We’re seeing that the $600 lifeline that the federal government has provided has really boosted the economy, you know, very, very substantially. And so the question is if this money dries out, to what extent are people not gonna be able to pay their rent and what’s gonna happen if the moratoriums are lifted and what happens if the moratoriums are not lifted? And that’s kind of an interesting, you know, sway.

Gary: Yeah. I agree. I mean, the moratoriums, especially the eviction one are interesting because, you know, in some ways, they are just pushing and kicking the can down the road and in some cases making the problem worse. You know, someone who maybe could scrape by and make a rent payment might not now and by the time they have to pay and catch up, they can’t, whereas if there was just maybe case by case relief in front of judges, and giving them the power to push it off rather than giving a blanket for everybody, it wouldn’t become such a global issue when it turns back on and all of a sudden everyone can rush to do evictions again. And you know, Roy, that the lawyers and the landlords are literally lining up at the courthouse. Literally.

Roy: And they are. And the only thing that’s holding them back is…in Florida, really, the Supreme Court order that restricts evictions and finishing up the foreclosures. And so, you know, there’s…it’s gonna be a tsunami. I think everyone knows that but the question is when that’s going to occur and if the banks are gonna be able to come up with a way to try and not have prices drop precipitously if too many foreclosures are let onto the street too quickly. What is your thoughts on that? Especially from a lender’s perspective.

Gary: You know, as you know, I represent both people and small owners in foreclosures, so this is, of course, a hard time for us, too, right. But, you know, I will say this. I don’t think that evictions and foreclosures should necessarily be spoken together on this point. I don’t think foreclosures are gonna be nearly as bad. Not even close as evictions. I’m talking about residential foreclosures, not commercial. Commercial’s gonna be an absolute nightmare. But residential-wise, number one, I believe that, you know…you can tell me I’m wrong here in a few months that the Fed, for all the federal-backed loans are gonna push all these missed payments to the end, 30, 20 years from now and they’re gonna let people start again in a few months without having to catch up. And that’s gonna do away with probably 80% of the foreclosures that could’ve happened. And I also think that all of the lenders are gonna be…that don’t apply to that are gonna be incentivized by the government to work it out with people.

And finally, I really think that the banks have a much better handle on loss mitigation and dealing with these problems now than they did in 2008 and 2009 where they were just making it up as it was going on. So I don’t think foreclosure’s gonna be a big problem. Of course, it’s gonna be a big problem for anyone getting foreclosed, but I don’t think that’s gonna be a tsunami. Evictions on the other hand, yes.

Roy: So anyway, this leads to this question that comes from an anonymous guest. This says, “Do you think that the banks will behave differently from the Great Recession?”

Gary: Yes, yeah, I do. I think that, number one, the government’s gonna push them in a different direction because so much of this has to do with them following the incentive money. And number two, I think they have 10 years of training. You know, when this happened in 2008, Roy, you were there. I mean, we were in the trenches truly in that we were all making it up including the banks as we went along. Now there is established bodies of law, established departments in the bank and procedures for dealing with it in place. I just don’t think foreclosures are gonna be anywhere near as bad as people think they’re gonna be. Not saying it won’t be bad, but it’s not gonna be like evictions. Evictions are gonna be a nightmare.

Roy: Well, you know, what’s interesting is last time, there was, like, a story where the banks were vilified to some extent as the bad guy. They were concerned and the government was concerned about the moral hazard of bailing people out. This time around, you know, the moral hazard really is coming with the $600 income checks because there, people are feeling, you know…the concern is that people aren’t gonna go back to work because they’d rather get the 600 bucks and not work. So, moral hazard is taking on a different tone this time but it is in this time the homeowners who are being deemed, you know, that they took advantage, that they were, you know…that they did something wrong. Of course, at the end, the banks were the real villains because it proved that they were the ones who were doing something wrong but this time, we don’t have that animosity towards the banks. We don’t have that animosity towards the homeowners because neither did anything wrong here. We all are a victim of circumstance. And in that sense, we’re all in it together. The question just is how do you not negatively impact the real estate market in such a way that you either overinflate pricing by putting too much money in or deflating it by putting too much real estate at a distressed level into the economy at one time. And that’s where I think the banks maybe have learned from their past playbook.

Gary: Yeah, I tend to agree that they’ve learned a lot. I think that the only way to be…for the banks and the government to deal with this is to deal with it on a local basis. If they try to deal with this nationally, it’s not gonna work. Okay? There’s places that are gonna be hit really hard. I think, like, in the cities, specifically New York, you’re gonna see a lot of people fleeing. You’re already seeing a lot of fleeing here in South Florida. That’s where they’re coming to. So, you know, it is a hyper-local situation, real estate always is. So you can’t deal with it on a national basis.

Roy: And I agree. And I know we wanna deal with evictions and foreclosures separately but there is one place where you have this domino effect and you and I talked about this yesterday. And then Marcie has a question which I’m gonna get to in a second and that is, if people are not paying their rent for whatever reason, whether it’s because of moratorium or because they can’t get evicted and you have 50% of the residential commercial base…that means people who are landlords, 50% are mom-and-pop little guys, not big institutions, not Wall Street types. And they have to pay their mortgage and they can’t and they’re relying on the rent from the little guy to pay them. You have this domino effect where you’re gonna have a foreclosure crisis of the mom-and-pop owners of multifamily or single-family that don’t have the wherewithal, can’t issue junk bonds for the Federal Reserve to buy, and therefore could lose their properties and their livelihoods. And that’s where you could have a really nasty foreclosure crisis. What are your thoughts on that?

Gary: I think in that small-scale commercial that you’re talking about, that’s where you’re gonna see the foreclosure crisis but I think you’re also really gonna see it in all of the other commercial as well and we’ll call that investment, the mom-and-pop that owns it. And they’re gonna have big problems the longer this eviction goes on. Now fortunately, a lot of those people own those properties outright but it doesn’t mean they don’t have to pay taxes, insurance and maintain the properties. Where you’re gonna see the real problem is in commercial. Everyone’s learned they can work from home. Office buildings are gonna have a problem. Once unemployment stop and the rent starts, all the money that’s not being pumped into rent that’s being pumped into retail’s gonna go away. The strip malls are gonna have a problem. I see that the major, major economic hazard coming up is in the commercial real estate arena and I think it’s just gonna be a firestorm.

Roy: So when you say “commercial,” you mean “office” to some extent?

Gary: I mean retail, too. If you think about it, when people have to start paying their rent…I mean, we haven’t seen a big jump in retail, but people are spending their money somewhere. So if they’re not spending on mortgage payments and rent, that means it’s going into retail but yet, you don’t have a big jump in retail volume. So, that means that money isn’t getting spent as much. When that money goes back to rent, the retail stores are screwed.

Roy: So the “Times” talked about, you know, New York City Midtown being eviscerated in terms of the office market and how that’s affecting the entire gestalt of the community, the hot dog guy, the steakhouse and it’s just like every day is like a Sunday morning in New York City right now unfortunately. But the real question, is suburban office gonna have that same impact or will there be a flight when homeowners in cities, whether it’s Miami or New York, move to the burbs that those offices may actually do okay in the outlying areas of urban centers? And that’s, I guess, the question that…

Gary: It’ll be muted. It’ll be muted, right. But not everyone’s gonna be moving into those offices. I think you’re gonna see a lot of houses…you know, we’re seeing a trend in housing where people wanted smaller houses. I think that’s gonna shift back to bigger houses, so you can have your home office.

Roy: And you can have your home office. Anyway, I mentioned I was gonna ask Marcie’s question. “Can we also talk about foreclosure and evictions related to business leases?” Gary, I’ll let you go first on that and then I’ll respond.

Gary: Sure. Well, they’ve slowed down just naturally with what’s going on in the courts. Okay? So even though you’re allowed to do commercial evictions and foreclosures, the whole court system’s naturally slowed down but they’re still happening. Right now I think that they’re all…everyone’s hanging on in the commercial, they’re typically better funded, have bigger reserves, but they can’t hold on much longer and it’s a-coming, it’s a-coming for sure.

Roy: And Gary, as you may know, we’ve had bankruptcy lawyers on previously that we’ve talked about Subchapter 5 of Chapter 11 which is…we’re already using and that’s gonna be a major, major way for these kinds of small commercial real estate owners to actually be able to figure and work something out with their lenders and I expect that to be a very, very busy area for all of us and that will be the saving grace at the end of the day. And it’s a coincidence that that came into place because that came into place before COVID but it was always a problem that small commercial companies were not doing well in the Chapter 11 arena and they were all becoming liquidations as opposed to trying to really keep the business going so we could keep the employees and not destroy a community. Next question.

“My lease is up in two months. Can my landlord kick me out if they increase my rent? Several neighbors are having their rent increased like crazy. It seems like the ones paying the rent are being punished. Should I move?” Well, that’s an interesting question.

Gary: Yes. Move. Right now a lot of smarter landlords are giving big discounts in rent. So go find a better landlord and a better place.

Roy: Yeah, you need to find a landlord that has their head in the right place. If a landlord thinks that they can gouge or take advantage, you know, the first question is are they violating some gouging law during an emergency. And so the question is do they even have the right to raise the rent and how much they have the right to raise the rent during this crisis. But I would definitely move and take a look and see if the landlord was committing some sort of violation.

Ruth has a question. Thank you. “I never heard of the term in the U.S. In Argentina, U.S. notaries are attorneys who are title agents, too, and do closing [inaudible 00:23:10].” Okay. I guess we’re talking about international civil law notaries. Yeah. Notaries here, you just need a high school education. International civil law notaries, as Gary and I know, is one of the hardest and grueling tests that you’ll take in your life and most people fail it a few times. I know I passed by the skin of my teeth. Gary, maybe you did a little better.

Gary: You passed. That’s all that matters.

Roy: By the way, there are only about 95 of us probably in Florida and not many more in the whole country and we perform the same functions as notaries do in Europe and in South America and it’s rather complicated but yes, we have the right to do things that other notaries don’t have the right to do and we’ve done a “Zoom at Noon.” You can go back on that if you wanna look at it but I don’t wanna go into the details now. Anonymous attendee asked, “Evictions. Will landlords act as the government and just extend the leases and what happens to the apartment rental sector?”

I don’t think they’re gonna act like the government. I think at some point, the landlords are gonna wanna evict because they need to pay their mortgages and get on with their lives, too.

Gary: Yeah, it’s interesting because there’s coming a lot of challenges and the governments are pushing landlords who are private individuals and companies to not take rent. There’s starting to be a lot of constitutional challenges to the government’s authority to do that and to rewrite the contracts between the parties. And there are some interesting ideas of law on both sides of it, but I don’t think you’re gonna see the status quo, particularly in commercial, if they try to do that in other states, not here in Florida. But even in residential, you’re gonna start seeing some decisions come down from the courts and they’re not gonna be all in favor of the tenants. I’ll tell you that.

Roy: Okay. I have a lot of questions here. I’m trying to hit all of them. “Do you think we’ll see a lot of short sales?” That relates to another question or comment that people have a lot of equity in their homes right now. And so if there is a foreclosure, these people should be able to sell. Maybe distress but it may not be a short sale. So the answer is if people have a lot of equity in their homes, there may be distress sales but they may not necessarily be short sales. Short sales will occur if, in fact, the banks go crazy and overload the system with too many houses where they actually change the supply and demand dynamic. Right now, there are not enough homes, not enough listings for the number of people that wanna buy. So it is a seller’s market. If that dynamic changes because the government comes in or allows too many homes to be foreclosed, then there will be more supply. If there’s more supply and the demand remains constant, prices will drop and then you will have short sales. If we can keep the equilibrium of prices together, then we will be in good shape and we won’t have that many short sales. And actually, we won’t even have that many foreclosures. We may have distress sales but we won’t have that many short sales or foreclosures. And so I think the banks have learned their lesson because if the banks hold on to an asset and it continues to drop because they are unloading those assets too quickly, the entire bank’s viability could collapse because their capital structure diminishes. And so they have to look at their bottom line first and make sure that what they’re doing does not negatively impact the viability of the existing bank.

We have some more questions here. “Do you think the situation will affect people’s credit scores?” It always affects people’s credit scores. And I’ve told people in the past if you have to do something, you call a lawyer like Gary and me ahead of time, you plan what you have to do so that you get things like leasing cars or whatever else you need to do in place first, your equity lines and then worry about your credit score. So before you tarnish your credit score, you need to borrow when you don’t need the money because banks always give you umbrellas on a sunny, blue sky day. They will not help you once your credit scores are tarnished. So, what we gotta do is while the sky is blue and while things are still okay, you need to organize your finances in such a way that if something happens, you lose your job, your company goes bankrupt, the company you’re working for lays you off, you have the wherewithal to get through the next 6 to 12 months until the economy gets back to some sense of normalcy. And it’s going to be that long, folks. We all know that now. We know that Google announced that their employees aren’t going back till June. Other companies are all gonna follow suit. So they’re telling us that indoor spaces, indoor locations for a large group of people, whether it’s a basketball game, a hockey game or a group of people working in one place, it’s not happening. And so we need to protect ourselves for that.

Next question. “What about commercial warehouses?” What about commercial warehouses? I think commercial warehouses are gonna do okay because, you know, people want their stuff delivered very quickly and faster and faster and you need to find local warehouses to put your stuff to get that stuff delivered. I’m gonna keep moving here, Gary. “I have tenants,” this is yours, “whose lease is up.” This is like the “Sun-Sentinel.” “They wanna renew but asked for a $100 reduction in the amount of the monthly rent. The landlord agreed. They are good tenants. I have tenants whose lease was up. They want to renew but asked for a $100 reduction. Should I give them the reduction?” is the question.

Gary: Yes. If they’re good tenants, give them the reduction. I mean, you know, how many months is it gonna take to refill it and what are your chances of having a bad tenant? It’s worth 100 bucks a month.

Roy: I would agree. CARES Act state that it is a…should not affect credit score but it is. Well, you know what? If the…if you have a situation where a bank is violating your scores, you send them a certified letter. If they don’t do anything, you call a lawyer and we do something for you.

Gary: Well, here’s an interesting fact about the CARES Act. I read it pretty carefully and most of the things that it has has no enforcement mechanism. So it’s telling people what to do and is silent about what you can do about it if they don’t.

Roy: This is a good question from Jerry Schecter [SP], good friend. “Does the governor’s order suspending [inaudible 00:28:47] evictions mean that a complaint filed during the stay is improper subject to dismissal?”

Gary: Yes. On evictions, yes. The governor’s order does away with the statutory cause of action which means if you file a cause of action that doesn’t exist, it’s subject to dismissal and it’s also frivolous. So in that case, I think yes, if it’s residential nonpayment of rent.

Roy: Right. But if it’s commercial, it gets more complicated.

Gary: Then it’s fine. I think it’s fine because that’s not what’s suspended.

Roy: Right. Simple question. “In your best estimation or guesstimation, when during the rest of this year do you think is a good time to buy for first-time homeowners?” I’ll give that a first shot, Gary, if I may. I think now is probably a great time because interest rates are so low. I think that price is probably gonna continue only to be the same or go up. I don’t think they’re going to come down. I think if anything, we’re going to see a few more people list their homes. We’re gonna see even more people who wanna buy especially with people coming down from the Northeast and from other parts of the world. And so I think right now is a Goldilocks time to be buying and looking for a home for the first time.

We have two more questions and then we gotta call it quits for today. Let me see where they are. We have two questions, I think, [inaudible 00:29:59]. “I feel the tenants were taking up…oh, let me see that. “I feel the tenants were taking advantage of the situation but the owner said a $100 a month was not significantly enough to him. I’m not sure…”

Gary: I think it’s a comment on the last question. If they’re good tenants, they’re good tenants. Hold on to them. It’s hard to find good tenants.

Roy: Right. Okay. And this is the last one and then we got to…I’ll conclude, Gary, if I may. “I’m seeing that many banks are not being cooperative as we would hope. They’re not honoring the federal government guidelines for forbearance in the CARES Act. They’re also making notes in people’s credit which they were not supposed to do. They’re not allowing owners to pay a forbearance on the back end. They’re not giving them six months. This is not going well. if you google ‘forbearance,’ you will see hundreds of consumers’ problems with current forbearance issues. I do not think that 10 years of learning has helped.” That’s a great one for you, Gary.

Gary: Well, you know, to some extent, they’re not and that’s why you have people like Roy and myself to help keep them honest, to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they do what they’re legally obligated to do. You can complain about it on Twitter or you can hire a good attorney like Roy.

Roy: Well, Gary, thanks. We got a good plug for you here, Gary. “I love your column,” from Bruce, he says it’s great, and Ken [inaudible 00:31:05] says, “You’re doing a great job,” so we love you, too, Ken. And on that note, I wanna thank Gary Singer once again for joining me.

Gary: Thanks for having me.

Roy: [inaudible 00:31:14] could’ve kept going. You know, in the old days, this was an hour but people said they got bored, you know, hearing us talk so we went down to half an hour but we could’ve kept going, you and I, you know, forever here. Next week with “Zoom at Noon,” Gary, we’re gonna have you back and, folks, we hope to see you next 12:00, noon, at “Zoom at Noon” when we talk about how to stay safe in the night and have fun. “Zoom at Noon,” Roy Oppenheim on behalf of Oppenheim Law and Weston Title. And thanks again, Gary Singer. All the best.

Gary: Thanks for having me.

Roy: Be safe. Take care. Bye-bye.

Gary: Bye-bye.