As the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) appears to be feeding cash to Gatehouse Strategies from their NAMFS Donation Campaign, many are asking precisely what the $50,000 already solicited actually pays for. According to the NAMFS website, NAMFS worked with Gatehouse to produce a slide show of roughly 30 slides which focused primarily on Inspectors. The common theme throughout the suggestions for price hikes were centralized around a $15 an hour wage which was wrongly titled Federal Minimum Wage and actually is based upon the recent increase of the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors enacted as Executive Order 14026, which came to pass in January of this year. Now, whether or not Gatehouse Strategies, a firm composed of many former Trump Administration senior level US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials, received all of the money or not, I would wager that a substantial portion has been paid to them.
One of the more accurate statements in the NAMFS slideshow I enjoyed was that a Rural Interior Inspection is actually valuated at $41.19 and that SEVENTY PERCENT of all Labor has left the Industry under the reign of Eric Miller at NAMFS.
The irony of the approach NAMFS and Gatehouse took, as former senior HUD officials, is that instead of working with HUD and attempting to impact the Mortgagee Letter (ML), they instead focused on Fannie Mae. Here is how the NAMFS website put it,
NAMFS was able to present these two documents to Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) on March 10, 2022. The feedback received was positive and our information will be added to their current evaluation on pricing.
The first document is the slideshow, and the second document is a comical, wink and a nod pledge to — and I quote here — to share all allowable increases equitably and fairly. Really? Tell that to the victims of the National Field Network involuntary bankruptcy. Nowhere does NAMFS quantify that Labor is to receive a single penny. In fact, Eric Miller is specific about who gets any potential price hikes — and I quote here — those directly providing mortgage field services on our behalf. Now, I am not a lobbyist nor do I have a hell of a lot of legislative experience. What I do know is that when NAMFS and Gatehouse hinged their report to a minimum wage for Labor — and then even broke it down to how much time Labor spends on a given task — it has many within the public and private sector on edge. The reason is quite simple. When we look at the public sector — HUD, Fannie Mae and other Government Sponsored Entities, et al. — these types of public statements trespass dangerously close to creating a Doctrine of Privity between Labor and the public entities. Moreover, though, NAMFS members have spent tens of millions of dollars settling litigation that Labor are actually misclassified employees. That is terrifying to both the public and private sector. And measuring the time Labor works and relating that to a minimum wage is generally a slam dunk for any first year law student.
Fifty grand for a poorly worded slideshow that simply echos what Foreclosurepedia has published on, for free, over the past decade. And remember, NAMFS never has and never will guarantee a single penny of any price hikes will ever make it down to Labor.
By way of comparison, the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) placed two reports in front of HUD’s Single Family Housing, the actual folks whom have the legal ability to adjust the pricing on the ML. To that point, SF Housing is moving up their meeting and has agreed to review the IAFST’s information. Speaking of information, while NAMFS and Gatehouse attempted to play down the need for increases in pay hikes by citing a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) which is generally only used for social security recipients, IAFST pegged the raise to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. It is generally used by the US government and the Federal Reserve Board to truly understand inflation. The IAFST report on fuel and price increases is located here. The IAFST report on a Technology Fee to replace the ML Photos Line Item is located here.
In closing, below is an unredacted price sheet just submitted this afternoon. To show you precisely how bad the Mortgage Field Services Industry has become, we are talking about $20 a cubic yard debris removal and $7 a cubic yard — that is not a typo — personal property removal to include transportation to a storage unit! The time is TODAY to make a change!