Sat Dec 2 13:28:26 EST 2023
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The Collapse of ServiceLink, LoanCare and the Fidelity National Empire

For over a week now, the entire Fidelity National empire has been under siege. Last Tuesday, Fidelity National Financial, or FNF, a real estate services company that bills itself as the “leading provider of title insurance and escrow services, and North America’s largest title insurance company,” announced that it had experienced a cyberattack. Fidelity is simply the latest in a string of attacks that were predicted by Foreclosurepedia over the past several years. Fact of the matter is that out of the dozens of firms controlled by FNF and the hundreds of billions of dollars in current losses, the only one Labor cares about is ServiceLink. And to quote an old high school friend it has been locked up as tight as a freshman prom date. The reality is that they, along with the rest of their cohorts, have been unable to access their computers, databases, emails, or phones for over a week, now. They are all being held hostage through ransomware originating from the ALPHV hacking group — the Black Cat.

FNF filed an 8K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) just before Thanksgiving, stating that the hack had impacted “title insurance, escrow and other title-related services, mortgage transaction services, and technology to the real estate and mortgage industries”.

The sad reality is that while these obscenely wealthy firms could honestly care less about what happens as they are insured, the certainly could give a damn about Labor. And as this plays out, it will show that Labor, as well as homeowners, will foot the bill for FNF and their subsidiaries mistakes. For over a week, there has been zero access to ServiceLink — that also means zero pay. And those deadlines will still be applied against Labor, by ServiceLink, even though Labor has had no access to upload work order results. Moreover, though, the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on both Labor and homeowners is now presumed to have been compromised, as well. And having no money and your identity compromised during the holiday season is certainly two of the best reasons to leave ServiceLink.

Will the Real Richard Hoback Please Stand Up!

I received an email Thursday from a Contractor whom had pushed an issue with ZVN Properties about pay. In pertinent part, it discussed the price increases from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD with an inquiry about when those price hikes were coming for her. And the response was one of the most comedic I had ever heard. She was informed that as opposed to raising pricing, the increase in volume expected soon would far surpass any price hikes. Even in the heyday of peak foreclosures, increased volume has never translated as an increase in profit. It is the dog whistle of Management any time Labor begins to question their place within caste of the Industry. It is an outright lie predicated upon the notion that Labor lacks the ability to understand basic economics and is nothing more that a Walmart greeter whom is thankful for the third world microcredit — pay when paid — system set up by Bryan Lysikowski, ZVN’s co-owner. Lysikowski co owns and co founded ZVN Properties with his extremely flamboyant partner Richard A Hoback. The also own Granite Creek Cabinetry. Both are based out of the same office location in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Hoback is seen in the above-right photo. Without a doubt, it appears that Hoback is simply a co-owner in name, alone, and funnels his money into race cars and competitions.

Richard A Hoback’s claim to fame began with his conquering of the Ohio Mile at a then record setting speed of 202.156 mph in a stock C5 Corvette. Here are a few of the photos which were in the aforementioned article cited,

And while no one should hate the dreams of another, the questioning of how those dreams are financed certainly should be front and center. In the case of ZVN Properties, the problems are mounting when it comes to separating the where the monies flow. In March, Fannie Mae increased the inspection pricing to $30 for interior inspections and $45 for exterior inspections. ZVN Properties is a Fannie Mae Prime Vendor. To date, none of those price increases have flowed downward. In August 2023, Freddie Mac increased the inspection pricing to $30 for interior inspections and $45 for exterior inspections. ZVN Properties performs Freddie Mac work and to date, none of those price increases have flowed downward. And only several weeks ago, HUD increased the inspection pricing to $30 for interior inspections and $45 for exterior inspections. ZVN Properties performs FHA – HUD work and to date, none of those price increases have flowed downward.

When you look at ZVN Properties payroll during 2020 – 2021 of $2,692,320, it truly defines how bad it is for Labor. Before a single penny is paid to Labor, TWO MILLION SIX HUNDRED AND NINETY TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS must be put into the pockets of only 55 people. This does not even include rent, utilities, software, or the multiple junkets that Lysikowski and his specially picked friends attend, each year.

ZVN Properties’ refusal to abide by their own trade association’s guidance by the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS), to pass through some of that increased profit, is simply par for the course. Deanna Alfredo, ZVN’s Vice President of SFR Services, the former President of NAMFS and current dynamo behind the $10,000+ per attendance tour with NAMFS and the NADP has made it clear that Labor does not matter. Below is the pertinent part of the commitment document that NAMFS sent out to their Membership,

We are willing to confirm this commitment by agreeing to share all allowable increases equitably and fairly with those directly providing mortgage field services on our behalf. — NAMFS Industry Pledge

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal COVID-19 PHE declaration ended on May 11, 2023. I want everyone to remember that date as it will be important later. I digress. During COVID, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) came forward in 2020 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help certain businesses, self-employed workers, sole proprietors, certain nonprofit organizations, and tribal businesses continue paying their workers. What is important about that Act and PPP itself is the following,

In order to calculate the amount of the PPP loan, the applicant calculates its payroll costs between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019. Average monthly payroll costs are calculated by dividing this amount by 12. The PPP loan amount is equal to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs.

So, during the period of COVID and through the PPP program, ZVN Properties took several PPP loans. On 06 April 2020, ZVN Properties took a $560,900 loan from The Huntington National Bank which was alleged to have saved 55 jobs. And then on 10 February 2021, ZVN Properties took an additional $495,833 loan from The Huntington National Bank which was alleged to have saved 56 jobs.

The Devil is Always in the Details. First 55 employes saved with $560,900 and then 56 employees saved with $495,833. Why did it cost less to save more employees? In fact, according to Lysikowski and Hoback, it took $65,067 less to save more jobs than they originally swore to, under penalty of perjury.

What is on everyone’s mind is whether or not any of the PPP Loan money was spent propping up the racing career of Hoback. While neither ZVN Properties nor Granite Creek Cabinetry were forthcoming with answers, the question may be moot in light of the accelerated audits and investigations currently underway. The Small Business Administration would neither confirm nor deny that either company was under investigation during a phone call, last week.

To make sure that we were not coming up with our presumption incorrectly, we decided to pull the PPP loans made to Granite Creek Cabinetry, co-owned by both Lysikowski and Hoback. On 28 April 2020, Granite Creek Cabinetry took a $48,485 loan from The Huntington National Bank which was alleged to have saved 5 jobs. And then on 28 January 2021, Granite Creek Cabinetry took a $55,500 loan from The Huntington National Bank which was alleged to have saved 5 jobs. Interestingly, whereas ZVN Properties required more money for less employees, Granite Creek Cabinetry required $6,515 more, to save the same amount of employees.

The devil in the details is the math. It is problematic. And it becomes even more problematic when you begin to track the PPP loan money and the photo spreads of racing with ZVN Properties and Granite Creek Cabinetry, as the sponsors. Where the story takes an incredible turn is that Richard Hoback and Bryan Lysikowski are claiming a minority owned business status by and through he and Lysikowski, both owning ZVN Properties as Asian owned. According to the Hoback Family History, Hoback is an Americanized form of German Hobach, a habitational name from Hohebach near Künzelsau in Baden-Württemberg. Now, if one of the wives — or husbands — are Asian, so be it, but neither are listed as co-owners or founders. Whether or not Lysikowski or Hoback are Asian, I have no idea and no information has been forthcoming, at this time.

In our investigation we found two things that are pertinent: 1) Rick has an expired Realtor license with the State of Ohio, and at the time of publication; and 2) The Asian American Real Estate Association, the quintessential key to Hoback’s Asian status,  that both Hoback and Lysikowski rely upon to keep the minority status depends upon, doesn’t appear to exist. It could be a typo on the ZVN Properties website, though, as he was a member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) back in 2016. In fairness, most Google listings show the words Asian American inserted in the AREAA listings, nationally. Here is what they had to say,


Richard Hoback, with the email, is not actively a member with us. His membership lapsed in 2016.

It looks like the organization mentioned is actually AAREA, rather than our organization, AREAA. They are a similar organization, unfortunately I cannot locate a website for them. Hope this helps!

Regards, [Redacted], National Chapter & Membership Coordinator || AREAA Foundation Liaison

Fudging details is nothing new; however, when you hold direct Prime Vendor status with say Fannie Mae or other government sponsored entities and you are making claims which are not true — like Minority status without the proper documentation and affiliations — it could be criminal. In the instant case, the information on ZVN Properties has been an outright lie for over seven years.

This isn’t so much about yet another NAMFS member regaling in the sun spending Labor’s money like a drunken sailor. There are some serious questions that present here and whether or not ZVN Properties wants to admit it, those PPP Loans were made to Lysikowski and Hoback by and through US Taxpayer money. In fact, SBA OIG has investigated over 1,000 cases since March 2020. We have about 570 open investigations, and as of May 2023, our oversight and investigative work related to COVID-19 EIDLs and PPP loans has resulted in 1,011 indictments, 803 arrests, and 529 convictions.

In full disclosure, we reached out to Lysikowski, at ZVN Properties, for comment and none was forthcoming before we went to print. As Labor has been leaving in the droves from ZVN and rehabs have all but ended, the reality is that it probably doesn’t matter, anyway.

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