For years, the siloing of data in the Mortgage Field Services Industry has come at the detriment to US Taxpayers and Clients alike. Take, for example, the Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) debacle back in January, 2020. Or the multitude of data breaches by Assurant Field Asset Services and others which are partially to blame based upon lack of continuity, regulation, and training. The reality is that there are as many versions of half baked software out there are there are National and Regional providers. And while only a few flavors have access to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s (HUD) P260 system, it is how the information flows upward, towards systems like the P260, that is sending alarm bells ringing in light of the SolarWinds breach.
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it, Money for nothin’ and chicks for free. Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it, Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb, Maybe get a blister on your little finger, Maybe get a blister on your thumb. — Dire Straits
Foreclosurepedia was joined by Ed Delgado, several years ago, preaching the gospel of Universal Work Order systems. Delgado penned a document in 2017 entitled PROPOSAL FOR STANDARDIZATION OF KEY DEFINITIONS, GUIDANCE, AND BEST PRACTICES FOR THE PRESERVATION AND MAINTENANCE OF VACANT & ABANDONED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES which you may read in our article here. The problem was that Delgado, whom chairs such entities as the Five Star Institute, wasn’t pitching a path for the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) to line their pockets. And NAMFS Executive Director, Eric Miller, has always ensured that those whom refused to bring in the revenue — in light of his annual NAMFS salary consuming over 99.7% of all NAMFS member dues — were always ostracized. Moreover, though, NAMFS continued plying of conflicts of interest upon its membership has caused a virtual vacuum wherein competition and technological advancements have been stifled. Go no further than Jonnie Rumbaugh, York Jersey Co Owner, being hired as the Consultant for National Field Representatives (NFR). Here was the insurance industry forcing products and funneling of cash out of the pockets of Labor.
Just as problematic as the flavors of Client side software have been, there are even fewer ways of getting the results from the Vendor to the Client. Today, there are four primary phone app solutions to push and pull data to and from each party. Property Preservation Wizard, Pruvan, InspectorADE, and EZinspections round out the providers. PPW and Pruvan primarily address the Field Service Technician side with InspectorADE and EZinspections holding the lion’s share of inspections. And speaking as a coder whom built platforms light years ahead of the Industry — we brought video capture and encrypted compression 4 years before anyone else — the reality is that only because of anti-trust tactics, our Industry suffers with software from the 1990s. And we do such at our own peril.
To the point of the phone app providers, according to multiple reports in social media, one has stood out with multiple issues on the inspections side this previous week — EZinspections. As one of only two major inspection phone apps in the Industry and boosting of over 12 million work orders processed per year, many are claiming that EZinspections has been a veritable nightmare over the past week. Even the most basic of requirements such as the date an order may begin were apparently unmanageable. Uploading photos through EZinspections in the field has been all but impossible over the past week according to many inspectors on social media. Being that there is no proverbial lifeguard on duty, it is fair to say that EZinspections has caused a lot of financial pain to their victims. This is based upon the fact that many inspectors are having to return to re-perform services because the software failed. And to date, there has been zero offer to compensate the victims.
EZinspections.com is owned by Harmonisoft Inc. — owned by Zang — whom was the recipient of $102,000 in COVID bailouts.
EZinspections advised Foreclosurepedia the following today , after we reached out for comment last week,
We received the reports over the weekend from both customer admins and inspectors, and worked hard to fix the issues ASAP. We also communicated updates to them as quickly as we could.
As of earlier today, inspectors on social media did not agree with Zang. Regardless, we did a deeper dive in order to understand what role these unregulated companies play when it comes to rights. And the results were shocking, to say the least. The Terms of Service (ToS) all read like a one way street and is to be expected by NAMFS members. One thing was a constant with all providers, they can terminate you at any time for any reason. As a footnote here, InspectorADE did not have any front facing ToS; however, we have spoken with several folks whom have confirmed as much. So, if you lose your account, EZinspections states you lose all of your data. Property Preservation Wizard (PPW) appears to give you 30 days to get your data — kinda. If they believe you did something wrong, all bets are off. Pruvan has no information about your data in their ToS. When we look at liability and damages EZinspections seemed to state that damages were limited to actual and direct and only if they — EZinspections — were negligent. PPW states no matter what they will never be liable for damages and limited their liability to $100.
All of these software providers are fairly blunt that they can provide and/or sell your information — anonymized or otherwise — to third parties.
That is the main problem that I have, at the end of the day. Labor is used like a cadaver in that Labor is financially carved up into multiple revenue streams with absolutely no concern of the consequences. Do I believe that Paul Palmer, Pruvan’s owner; Yan Zang, owner of EZinspections; Scott Nerdin, operator of InspectorADE; or Xactware, owner of PPW, get up in the morning and plot on how to fuck Labor? No — not exactly. These four companies, by and through NAMFS and their fellow members, though, have created a Chinese Wall to prevent competition. The refusal of NAMFS members to provide API access when their Clients, the financial institutions, and the US government itself allows such is testament alone. Somewhat more troubling is the simple and salient fact that foreign nationals are involved in the coding process as well as in ownership. Moreover, though, the rolling out of services in an untested setting, is the quintessential definition of foreseeable liability.
One of the unwritten, but known to all coders other than those under the age of 3, is that you never roll out anything into a live, production setting, unless you have alpha, beta and then some tested it. Over the years, though, NAMFS members have become quite accustomed to causing extreme distress and financial losses when they use Labor as guinea pigs to test out half baked ideas.
Now, many people probably do not want to hear the word regulation. I personally do not think a broad stroked regulatory agenda would be wise. In the instant case, though, terms like Use At Your Own Risk and minimal damages like the $100 or so PPW allows, are the artifices of hucksters. At the end of the day, the reality is Labor will make its decision based upon their checkbooks.