A Couple of Simple Questions Before You Read: Why is it that Five Brothers may employ felons at the Operational Level and Safeguard Properties (SGP) and Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) are allowed to hire known felons as Order Mills whom defraud Contractors? Additionally, why was Aspen Grove Solutions so concerned about their Irish Heritage that they had to spin up a Delaware Corporation (which we still cannot verify) for the Dog and Pony Show which will cause extreme financial hardships Contractors?! In fairness, we did reach out to Barry Moylan, Aspen Grove Solutions’ Head of Global Business Development and Marketing. We invited him on the Foreclosurepedia Podcast as well as to participate in an email Interview to assist Contractors in understanding Aspen Grove Solutions from their point-of-view. I gave my word that I would present an unvarnished product on both the Podcast and/or here.
When the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) met in cabal earlier this year, Wells Fargo had a Mission for them. That Mission was to put Aspen Grove Solutions (Aspen Grove) into the position as the ONLY Background Check Provider in the Property Preservation Industry.
A Source attending this Initial Conference — Sales Pitch for Aspen Grove from Jim Taylor, SVP, Property Preservation, Wells Fargo Home Lending really on behalf of Wells Fargo — stated that it was pretty much a done deal; NAMFS merely put on the Dog and Pony Show. Pricing seemed to be considered the problem of the Contractor.
Let’s talk a little bit about Ireland, hyperbole aside. Why Ireland? Well, Aspen Grove’s dirty little secret is that they are a Foreign National Company based out of Ireland. Jim Russell, a great writer over at Salon.com, put out a pretty damn concerning story about the financial stability of Ireland as a whole last month,
Ireland’s rate of emigration is continuing to increase and at one stage one person was leaving the country to live abroad every six minutes – the highest number since modern records began in the late 1980s.
Almost a third of 15 to 24-year-olds, who grew up during an era when highly paid jobs were plentiful, are now out of work and even those with jobs have seen their wages slashed. More than a third of people leaving the country in the 12-month period to the end of April were between 15 and 24 years of age. Some 50,900 of the 89,000 people who emigrated were Irish citizens while the rest were nationals from other countries.
Why is this concerning? Well, for starters, we are talking about a European Union (EU) Member which boasts the highest birth rate out of all of its other EU Members climbing almost 30% in the past 10 years.
The freezing-up of the world’s interbank market during the financial crisis of 2007–2008 caused two problems for Irish Banks. Firstly, with no new money available to borrow, withdrawal of deposits caused a liquidity problem. In other words, there was no cash available to honour withdrawal requests. A liquidity problem on its own is usually manageable through Central Bank funding. However, the second problem was solvency and this was much more serious. The lack of new money meant no new loans which meant no new property deals. No new property purchases both exposed fragile cash-flows of developers and highlighted the stratospheric valuations. With the value of most of their assets (loans) declining in line with the property market, the liabilities (deposits) of the six Irish domestic banks were now considerably greater than their assets. Insolvency loomed and Irish Banks would need a major cash injections (recapitalisation) to stay open.
So, no liquidity combined with a Modern Day Exodus rivaling the Jews leaving Egypt is definitely not a good backdrop for an inordinate birth rate. Skilled labor is leaving by the droves; the skilled labor is also the younger generation.
On the night of 6–7 February 2013, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) was dramatically liquidated after the Fine Gael/Labour coalition passed emergency overnight legislation through the Oireachtas while President Michael D. Higgins was flown home from the three-day official visit to Italy upon which he had embarked that very morning. This was the night before the Irish Supreme Court was due to hear an appeal by a Dublin business man, David Hall, against the High Court’s ruling that he did not have the standing or locus standi to challenge the legality of the €3.06 billion promissory note payment that was due at the end of March. Hall’s original argument before the High Court was that the payment of the €31 billion in promissory notes in respect of the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank was illegal as their issuing in 2010 was not approved by a Dáil vote. Every IBRC employee had their employment terminated with immediate effect, with many learning of this as it was announced on national television station TV3.
Dáil Éireann was called into session for 22:30 on 6 February 2013. The Opposition did not have a copy of the proposed legislation to debate with five minutes before this. They had received copies by 22:32 and the Dáil session was then delayed until 23:00. Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer tweeted a photo of the Bill at 22:35.
The proposed legislation eventually passed in the Dáil by 113-35 at 03:00. In Seanad Éireann it passed by 38-6. President Michael D. Higgins rushed home from his visit to Rome and signed the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013 into law at Áras an Uachtaráin early on 7 February 2013.
Now, I am no financial mogul; however, it is not rocket science to clearly see that Ireland is, at best, a financially challenged Nation. As we have seen, time and again, desperate people do desperate things. Is the consolidation of tens of thousands of US Citizen’s information under the roof of a Foreign National such as Aspen Grove a wise move? I think not. Many within the US Congress may tend to agree as well.
Independent.ie reported that on 17 February 2013, the Chief Financial Officer of Anglo Irish Bank, Maarten van Eden, tendered his resignation writing that,
It is with great sadness that I tender my resignation as chief financial officer of Anglo Irish Bank. As you will know I believe that the government has made the wrong decision in winding the Bank down. From the start of this year the authorities have continued to be unwilling to engage with the management of the Bank in an open and transparent process.
I have shared with you my view that although the management of the Bank has been overhauled, the system here in Ireland has not. You will be aware that I have very bad memories of the undue pressure the authorities exerted in the context of the Nama bond valuations. I have great concerns regarding the concentration of power that the new law for the financial sector will put into the hands of the government and I do not think I will want to make myself subservient to it. I have no confidence whatsoever in the ability of government to do the right thing for the financial sector.
Now, I do not know about how the rest of the Contractors feel about paying obscene prices to have your personal information stored in data warehouses which are hacked on a seemingly daily basis.
The additional question is this: Is it even legal for a Foreign National to conduct Background Checks upon US Citizens involved in the US Financial Community? Oh, you didn’t know did you. That’s right. Most of the Inspectors fall under the auspices of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA).
In as much as I am legally allowed to discuss, there is a term called NOFORN. This is a Classification which pertains to dissemination control. Specifically, it means No Foreign Nationals. Let’s take myself, for example. I could not legally submit my information to ANY Foreign National lest I be incarcerated. So, if the US Government first and foremost finds it prudent to Classify Documents NOFORN I believe the release of tens of thousands of documents containing US Armed Forces DD-214s, Security Clearances, Financial Data, Personally Identifying Data, Family History, Medical Information (yeah, Obamacare is here) which then releases Sexual Proclivities, Social Media — yeah, that is a BIG DEAL THERE because they get to make decisions based upon what you write and Fuck the 1st Amendment as Ireland could give a shit about it — you get the point.
Aspen Grove states that the data will be processed within the United States; however, they refuse to be more clear than that. No Chain of Custody, no schematics, nothing. The reason this is BULLSHIT is because the Head Jelly Fry Maker to coin a Juggalo term is in Ireland.
Here is Aspen Grove’s Background Check in their own words (Brings to mind Captain Save A Hoe),
The Financial Services Industry is facing ever increasing requirements to put in place controls and procedures to prevent unwarranted risk to consumers and to ensure appropriate oversight of third party service providers who work on their properties. This need has been brought into sharper focus resulting from the enactment of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, the Consumer Protection Act and oversight and regulation from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As a result, the Industry has come together to bring a solution to the market that will work for everyone. Aspen Grove Solutions is privileged to be the technology partner of choice in the provision of this solution.
Current regulations mandate due diligence and oversight of vendors by Financial Institutions to ensure regulatory compliance, including reviews of vendor policies, procedures and controls. Financial Institutions must review all third-party vendors in terms of risk associated with the activities undertaken on their behalf. Criminal background checks are a required part of this review. However background checks by themselves are not enough. The industry must also be able to demonstrate that vendors carrying out work are compliant with the background check. Therefore a broader solution is required.
This new reality is to be welcomed as it provides the opportunity for a win/win for each stakeholder. Through the implementation of an industry standard criminal background check and proof of compliance at point of service, the industry and consumers benefit in the following ways:
- Provides an opportunity to adopt and embrace an industry standard background check developed by the industry for the industry
- Significantly reduces the cost of multiple background checks
- Provides a single interface for background check management rather than the potential for multiple interfaces and requirements
- Allows the industry to get ahead of the impending tsunami from work providers by putting in place the solution now
- Gives an opportunity to positively enhance the reputational status of professionals operating in the industry
- Helps to increase consumer, city and municipality confidence in health, safety and duty of care standards
- Assists with maintaining a safe, sound and secure vendor environment
- Plays a significant role in raising the performance bar across the industry
- Enables vendors to be compliant with multiple financial institutions and work providers thus enabling business growth potential
- Establishes a pro-active industry working group that has input from all stakeholders thus ensuring the ongoing review and update
Aspen Grove Solutions, incorporated in Delaware with corporate offices in Frederick, MD, is a leading technology provider of business management solutions and software applications for the default property market, including REO, Short Sale, Asset Management and Property Preservation. The Aspen iFamily™ suite of property related solutions is relied upon daily by organizations of all sizes to run their operations in an efficient, productive, and cost effective manner. The popular Aspen iAgent® solution is used by thousands of agents nationwide.
The latest addition to the Aspen Grove Solutions family is Aspen iRecord™, an innovative, private cloud based solution that services the growing industry requirement for all vendors to pass a criminal background check. The inclusion of the Aspen iMobile™ web application goes one step further by producing the unique ability to demonstrate proof of background check compliance at point of service.
In addition, the recently introduced and simply named ‘ABC#’, is a personal unique identifier issued to everyone that successfully obtains one of the standard background check pass levels. With the ABC#, individuals sign in via Aspen iMobile™ at a property and verify their background check compliance status.
Aspen iRecord™ has been developed by the industry for the industry. Aspen Grove Solutions is delighted to be involved in its role as technology enabler and technology solutions provider. A collaborative and inclusive approach which involves leading members of the Financial and Field Services industries has resulted in a background check solution that is tailored for adoption across the entire vendor landscape. A one-for-all and all-for-one universally accepted standard means significant cost savings for vendors.
With Aspen iRecord™ you are background checked and industry compliant for as little as 0.18 cents per day, and remember, this is not just a background check but a complete solution.
Benefits of Aspen iRecord™
Now there exists an industry approved technology that enables vendors to be compliant with a standardized background check while simultaneously providing clients with the solution they need.
Stakeholders will benefit in different ways:
Financial Institutions or Work Provider:
- Consumer protection is enabled through the provision of an industry standard background check by ensuring that all vendors are compliant
- Supply chain management capability which, to date, was difficult, if not impossible
- Proof of background check compliance at point of service through exception and anomaly reporting
- The ability to affect change in the supply chain through the anomaly and exception reporting
- Background check compliance will help to better guard physical assets
- Secure in the knowledge that all vendor’s employees and their field service contractors are fully compliant with industry standardized background checks
- Reduction in manual administration overhead and potential reduction in carrying costs
Vendor or Service Provider:
- Adherence to the work provider’s standards and compliance requirements
- Proof of compliance at point of service for employees and sub-vendors
- A standard that that will be positively viewed and welcomed by Financial Institution and work providers
- Aspen iMobile™ delivers validation of background check compliance at point of service to vendors and financial institutions
- Geo coded time/date stamp for work providers ensuring work is carried out at the correct location
- Capability to quickly react and comply with audit requests from a Financial Institution or work provider
- A background check management solution for your network
- Background checked annually to approved standards including notifications when your background check(s) are due, to ensure continued compliance
- Issuance of industry recognised unique ABC#
- Enhance your professional status to your work providers
- Confidentiality of your vendor network is assured
- The adoption of an industry standard background check raises the bar for field service workers allowed to carry out work when coming into contact with consumers
- Positive contribution to improving safety and wellbeing in and around the home/property
- Reduced risk of incidents and inappropriate behaviour
- Reduced risk of personal property damage and theft
- A higher level of professionalism in the work that is carried out
- More confidence in ensuring your family’s safety, by knowing that vendors have passed an industry adopted criminal background check