Mon Apr 15 14:46:20 EDT 2024
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The Podcasts Begin Again and the NAMFS Tax Returns

It’s been a tough year for Verisk‘s right hand man, Eric Miller. Miller, the Executive Director of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) — or, as many call him, the shill for the National Association of Default Professionals (NADP) — has been less and less relevant over the past several years. Fact of the matter is that his annual #FraudFest 2024 is tens of thousands of dollars underfunded and NAMFS membership has hit all time lows under 100 as we hear. Miller’s totality of failure is best summed up by Insane Clown Posse’s Suicide Hotline lyrics, “I hit rock bottom and then I fell in a hole. And then I fell through the floor of that hole some more.” Look, anyone with a Magic 8 Ball, even without batteries, knew where this was going. I mean you have Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) celebrating the term Boots on the Ground, which Miller hates and Bret Douglas and I coined over a decade ago; you have his membership — or lack thereof — collecting the the hundreds of millions of dollars in price hikes from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD all the while refusing to support Miller or NAMFS financially; and culminating the final decline of NAMFS.

For months, many of you have been asking me to get back in the podcasting seat. And we heard you. Starting next week, we will begin to crank up the Foreclosurepedia Podcast once again!

The biggest story, though is the release of the NAMFS Tax returns for the past several years, by the IRS. While 2020 is missing 2021 and 2022 paint a horrible picture there, with Eric Miller still collecting $110,000 per year plus benefits as his salary. This brought is annual salary to $118,529. To put this in clear language, Eric Miller’s salary consumes 198% of NAMFS member dues which were $59,684 for FY2022. More telling, though, is the fact that NAMFS lost $62,104 for FY2022 coming on the heels of losses in FY2021, as well. Think about that, for a moment. With consistent membership losses over the past decade, Miller’s salary has remained constant. There is no doubt that the fix is in and that the NAMFS Board of Directors are complicit. The NAMFS IRS 990 tax return spells it all out, as seen below.

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The issue that presents is with volumes at all time lows and Eric Miller’s failure as an Executive Director when it comes to recruiting and membership retention, why is he still being paid such an exorbitant salary? Moreover, though why is the NAMFS Board of Directors complicit in financial losses of nearly $70,000 in order to fund Miller’s lavish lifestyle? Anywhere else, if you have failed, for over a decade, you are not rewarded with this type of pay in addition to flights, resort destinations, banquet feasts, and an open bar tab. And when this is being done to finance Verisk’s antitrust takeover of our Industry, to whom Miller is beholden to, perhaps it is time for both the IRS and the Department of Justice to not only investigate Miller, but the very Board whom signs off on his pilfering of the coffers.

Prognostication: Multiple Pathways to Leave the Industry

Fun Fact: If you are doing inspections for less than $20 and initial grass cuts under $250, I am not your Consultant. That said, as I am not taking on a lot of new Clients unless they meet certain metrics, pricing is already dropping since the Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) purchase of Five Brothers. It should come as no surprise based upon the bottom dollar price paid for them. Adding fuel to the fire, though, GIS Field Services has begun taking over all of the inspections and are offering $7 or so in a take it or leave it offer to Labor. The sad but salient fact is that the best analysis of whether or not they will be paid is the trusty Magic 8 Ball. One thing is guaranteed, when pricing drops, the chargebacks are not far behind. And when you look at the image below, reflecting the price hicks from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD, you know it is a race to the bottom.

The easiest way to cut through the bullshit when a Prime Vendor tells you that they do not get any of the increased pricing is this: Conventional: These are the most common mortgages (around 60-70% of the market). They require private mortgage insurance (PMI) if the down payment is less than 20% and have stricter credit score requirements. FHA: While HUD doesn’t directly issue mortgages, it oversees the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program. Backed by the FHA, these loans are easier to qualify for with lower credit scores and down payments (as low as 3.5%). They account for around 15-20% of the market share. VA: Issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans are a benefit for veterans and active military personnel with even more relaxed credit score requirements and no down payment needed. They hold a share of around 10-15% of the market. USDA: Guaranteed by the Department of Agriculture, USDA loans are for rural property purchases with income limitations. They represent a smaller segment, around 5% or less of the market.

Now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pick up the vast majority of the Conventional loans and packages them up as Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). Fannie Mae acquires a significant portion of conforming conventional mortgages. The exact percentage can vary depending on market conditions. Data suggests Fannie Mae’s historical range might be around 60% to 80% of all mortgage originations.

So, mathematically, nearly 90% of all mortgages are covered by the price increases from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD. When a Prime Vendor tells you they are not being paid the prices reported for Fannie Mae here, Freddie Mac above and here, and FHA – HUD here, the are outright lying to you. Period. Drop the mic. And as the Prime Vendors continue to lie to you, chances are pretty good you will end up like Labor working for MSI whom are over 90 days late being paid. In fact, Foreclosurepedia recently had to assist an International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) Member in getting paid. Look, do the math. 90% of all inspections are paying $30 for exterior and $45 for interior inspections. You are getting, maybe, $8. So, the National Association of Mortgage Field Service (NAMFS) Cartel are taking 73.33% of the pay for exterior inspections and 82.22% for interior inspections. The real story, though is on initial grass cuts! Most folks are paid $35 per grass cut and Freddie Mac, as seen above, pays $525. That is a startling 93.33% profit to the Cartel that Labor is giving up!

Risk aversion needs to be in your vocabulary, starting today, unless you want to end up like Cyprexx, National Field Representatives (NFR), or ZVN Properties, going forward. These firms are bleeding cash like a stuck pig and the reality is that other than for perhaps NFR, there is no exit strategy, other than bankruptcy.

Now, remember, these folks are generally considered to be Regional Order Mills, although, ZVN Properties has been painfully attempting to perform on a Fannie Mae contract in the Midwest. The reality, though, is that when you put a firm such as Cyprexx between you and the Prime Vendor, the reality is that with only 6.67% left over, you are going to give more than half of that to them on a grass cut, alone. Is this really what you want? I mean recently, a couple of dozen illegal aliens were offered the same rate of pay for the same work, and they cussed out the recruiter. It blew up all over Social Media. So, Strike One against NAMFS. Strike Two in that the NAMFS Executive Director, Eric Miller, sold out to Verisk, along with the NAMFS President Matt Zoldowski. To each their own when it comes to Sherman Act antitrust violations. And Strike Three, by and through NAMFS forcing out nearly 75% of all Labor in our Industry according to their own documentation here.

Want a good retirement plan? Sue your provider claiming to be a misclassified employee. They will settle quick. And you know what? You will make FAR MORE MONEY if you sue than you ever would as a Contractor in this Industry.

If you want to get out of the rat race and make real money, you might have a chance if you leave now. The reality is that today there are less than 15,000 Contractors in our Industry regardless of what Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) claims. Oh, there are piles of Craigslist hacks that have been signed up and then the scabs that Five Brothers brought over, but true Labor whom are competent? Yeah, that number drops significantly. And for actual, bona fide, independent contractors there may be 100 tops with the remainder being misclassified employees. As I have been around longer than most people whom subscribe, in all honesty, over the past 15 years, I might have met 20 actual Contractors. Working for a NAMFS member does not make you an independent contractor. Nearly $40 Million in legal settlements against almost all of the Top 5 Prime Vendors stands as a testament to that.

MCS Full Court Press Begins as Labor Networks Begin Bleeding Away

Like a John le Carré novel playing out in real time, the absorption of the hard earned Labor from Order Mills is now underway in full earnest. For years, I have cautioned the Industry about the final gambit and it is here now, playing out in front of everyone. In reality, though, it is long overdue. In the short term, there will be a lot of pain; however, in the long term, it will focus direct work to Labor. Now, the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) has . . .

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Seven Percent Mortgages and 303K Jobs Added as Inflation Continues to Soar

With Brent Crude over $90 a barrel now and climbing, energy stocks are outperforming on Wall Street and the reality is that the $8 inspections which NAMFS members are offering while they are paid $45 are resulting in dozens of inspectors leaving the Industry each week. And when you look at the $35 paid for initial grass cuts paid to Labor as Freddie Mac pays $525 to NAMFS members, even more Field Service Technicians are leaving, this year. Adding fuel to fire is the roll out by MCS of their Labor slayer juggernaut positioning their wholly owned subsidiary Five Brothers to begin handling preservation and GIS Field Services to handle inspections. As a direct result, firms like MSI — NAMFS Board Member Kellie Chambers is a Senior VP there — is overseeing tens of thousands of dollars 90+ days overdue for multiple Contractors. Make no mistake whatsoever, it will be yet another National Field Network and not the last of them going into this summer.

Foreclosurepedia surveyed the 3 largest order mills, through whom many Prime Vendors send work to, and found that bid approvals were down 68%, initial secures were down 59% and chargebacks were up 47%.

The silver lining, if you will, is that Foreclosurepedia successfully moved five Field Service Technicians into Facilities Management over the past week, alone. And with over One Trillion Dollars of commercial real estate (CRE) going into default this year, the reality is that each and every one of those assets will need inspections and maintenance. There are no real differences in inspections, simply different radio buttons that are selected on a phone app. And the pricing is, on average 37 times higher than this Industry. When we speak about the real world property management, like tenant turns, et al., have you ever heard of BEING PAID for your bids? Yeah, that is the REAL world!

There is a reason why firms like ServiceLink pays in 5 days or less, generally. They value Labor. There is a reason why firms like 24 Asset Management and ZVN Properties wait up to 60 days to pay. It is not rocket science to figure out who is financially solvent and who is not.

If you are tired of your Vendor Managers taking your bids and selling them to the highest pay-to-play Contractor; if you are tired of your Vendor Managers haggling over your bid to pad their own bonuses; and if you are simply tired of the chargebacks cranking up out of control, then maybe it is time to get out of the rat race and look at some quality consulting from Foreclosurepedia.

FHA Tows the NAR Party Line: Will Craig Karnes and Cathy Baker Be Sued?

Housing and Urban Development (HUD), under the Biden Regime, recently witnessed the Secretary, Marcia Fudge, resign. Adrianne Todman is currently the Acting Secretary of HUD. And with only two and a half years of senior level experience at HUD, it is showing through like a slow motion trainwreck. While not perhaps important to Todman, the HUD M&M AM and FSM contracts are a disaster. Todman and Fudge casually overlooked the multi-million dollar fraud perpetrated on the . . .

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