I received a phone call today from Brandon Kirkham, Senior Vice President of Vendor Resource Management (VRM). Typical in nature to all National Association of Mortgage Field Services Members phone calls, the implication was quite clear in my mind that if I did not amend my erroneous ways Heaven and Earth would be moved to seek vengeance. As I was building a tree house for my son — far more important than dealing with Kirkham — I advised him to have VRMs General Counsel contact me. More on all of this in a moment; I want to drill down on precisely the type of people VRM has handling taxpayer funds.
Good ‘ol Brandon Kirkham had a colorful career. I say HAD as when I am done I am hopeful that he will find it difficult to sling hash for the Homeless at the Salvation Army. To understand the gutter dwelling thought process of this Mental Giant, you need to understand where he originated: the infamous Countrywide. Here is a man whom had a front row seat to the most hideous assault upon the American People in the history of the United States.
Although Bank of America recently settled a Justice Department complaint alleging racial discrimination in mortgage lending by its Countrywide subsidiary, underlying issues are far from resolved. Longstanding federal inaction in the face of widespread discriminatory mortgage lending practices helped create, and since has perpetuated, racially segregated, impoverished neighborhoods. This history of “law-sanctioned” racial segregation has had many damaging effects, including poor educational outcomes for minority children.
The Justice Department’s complaint alleged that Bank of America’s Countrywide subsidiary had charged 200,000 minority homeowners higher interest rates and fees than white borrowers who were similarly qualified, with similar credit ratings. The complaint also alleged that Countrywide had failed to offer minority homeowners conventional mortgages for which they qualified and which they would have been offered, were they white. Instead, lending officers systematically pushed minority borrowers into exploitative subprime mortgages, with higher rates and fees (U.S. v. Countrywide 2011a, 2011b).
So, here is the mindset of where Brandon Kirkham got his first ten years under the belt. Brokers and loan officers at Countrywide and other institutions manipulated borrowers by convincing them they could take advantage of perpetually rising equity to refinance their loans before the teaser rates expired and take cash out of the increased equity (with a share left as profit for the lending institution). But in some cases, these mortgages were promoted and sold to African American homeowners who lived in distressed neighborhoods where there was little or no value appreciation or gain in equity—even before the housing bubble burst. In these neighborhoods, there could be no reasonable expectation that the scheme could work as promised, even if the housing boom continued for other Americans.
So, did Kirkham participate, even tacitly, in racial discrimination? I believe so. It would explain the mindset of why he would call me and attempt to explain how VRM is guilty of nothing and that even mentioning Julian Smith’s name was heresy. I personally believe that Brandon Kirkham wakes up in the morning and begins sharpening his pencils in the same way Carol Boyd, owner of Boyd Property Preservation appears to do, and targets single mothers, disabled wartime veterans and firemen. Also, let us remember that VRM and Boyd Property Preservation are Members of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, the same National Association of Mortgage Services whom felt it necessary to chastise a Contractor for speaking to the media!
Many of the victims were in California, and of Mexican origin. Those in the East and Midwest were mostly African American. Although not specifically detailed in the government’s complaint, many lost their homes to foreclosure when they were unable to meet the harsh repayment terms to which they had agreed, mostly unwittingly. To settle the complaint, Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million in restitution and penalties to the 200,000 identified minority victims.
Brandon Kirkham was just getting started though. Kirkham was the Co Founder and President of Compliance Connections, a Division of Safeguard Properties. I really do not need to say much else there, do I?!
Today, Brandon Kirkham seems to be on a Mission. That Mission is to get VRM out of hot water and get Julian Smith out of the proverbial crosshairs. Let’s look, first, at why Julian Smith is even mentioned.
It was wonderful to speak with you! I am so sorry you have been ripped off by BOYD to the tune of $1100. Unfortunately, you are in line with at least ten others that I have had the pleasure of dealing with and helping refer them to my contacts. It really angers me that this business and all of its’ employees (save a few) are complicit in this illegal web of deceit. My first step in this process was to send an email to Mr. Julian Smith ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) at Vendor Resource Mgt in Carrollton TX who has earned contracts for these foreclosed properties. He requested that I and others send him emails with JOB/WORK ORDER INFO LOCATION DATE COMPLETE IF VA/HUD ETC MONEY OWED AND ANY INVOICE YOU HAVE– I would attach all the files you have to that email so he can put you on the list.
He asked if our company wanted to work directly with VRM. I told him yes.
So, Brandon Kirkham, that is an email I and others received. With subpoena and in camera I will release the information to the Judge or I may just refuse and get a Contempt Charge — can you IMAGINE THE PR THAT WOULD GENERATE? THE INCARCERATION OF A VETERAN BY A COMPANY HOLDING A US DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CONTRACT PERSECUTING A VETERAN REPORTING ON 100% SERVICE CONNECTED DISABLED VETERANS WHOM SERVED DURING WARTIME WERE DEFRAUDED?! You run that by your Actuaries and see what kind of down slope they get on the Bell Shaped Curve Brandon Kirkham! Hell, I couldn’t BUY PR like that!
Brandon Kirkham seemed to have a HUGE DESIRE to protect Julian Smith from ANY spotlight. This struck me as even more important than getting VRMs name extricated from the fray. Brandon Kirkham seemed to be extremely concerned about my opinion — and let’s all make DAMN SURE that we are on the same page here as a Blog or Weblog represents an author’s opinion; gee Brandon Kirkham did you read the Disclaimer to our Website?! — that VRM and Julian Smith are guilty under the False Claims Act.
Federal and State False Claims Acts prohibit any individual or business from submitting, or causing someone else to submit, to the government a false or fraudulent claim for payment. Now look Brandon Kirkham, let’s not beat around the bush. You worked at Countrywide for TEN YEARS and your Compliance Connections is a Division of Safeguard Properties, the same Safeguard Properties which is a Member of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, pending Federal Racketeering charges, pending a multi count Indictment from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, hired felons in Tennessee whom defrauded Christian Females — you get the point. You know what a False Claim Act Charge is; I would bet Foreclosurepedia that if we looked through each and every file you have had your grimy hands on there are THOUSANDS of potential False Claims Act Charges which could be filed and you listed on the Indictments.
I am going to humor you, though, and better explain to my Readers what the False Claims Act is with specificity to VRM. When you submit an Invoice to the US Government, one of the provisions which is MANDATORY is that all [insert here Materialmen, Contractors, Sub Contractors, Laborers, etc.] have been paid and have no claim to Lien. Brandon Kirkham, because Carol Boyd, a Member of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, wrote INSUFFICIENT FUNDS CHECKS TO MULTIPLE CONTRACTORS ACROSS STATE LINES still lies at VRMs feet. Why? VRM is the Prime Vendor and CHOSE NOT TO PERFORM DUE DILIGENCE!
That is what happens when you Order Mill Brandon Kirkham. You could have hired the Contractors directly; however, VRM freely, willingly and with overt intention elected to hire an Order Mill — Carol Boyd a Member of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services.
Did you also know, Brandon Kirkham, that as this is a FEDERAL CONTRACT, the Service Contract Act applies?! Yeah, you did, but you were praying to whatever god you believe in that it wouldn’t ever come up. Why? Because the Service Contract Act requires that all W-2 Employees of EVEN THE SUB CONTRACTORS must be paid Prevailing Wage! We also know that shit rolls up hill — that means VRM is liable for ANY CLAIMS FILED! Screw the Internal Revenue Service SS-8 Filings which are happening right now as I type; Brandon Kirkham, Carol Boyd a Member of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, was NOT PAYING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SERVICE CONTRACT ACT!
So, look where you are at now Brandon Kirkham. Albeit, I appreciate you thanking me for being a veteran and telling me how your grandfather was a veteran — gotta wonder why neither you nor your father stepped up to the plate — what did you think was going to happen when you called me making your pedestrian type demands? Did you think you would strike a Mighty Blow for the White Man like you did at Countrywide?
Did you think that you and Eric Miller, the Executive Director of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services whom is PAID OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH YEAR CONSUMING NEARLY SEVENTY PERCENT OF ALL NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MORTGAGE FIELD SERVICES MEMBERS DUES, were going to take a break from your nefarious scheming and have a go at me?!
Let me tell you what you have ended up with: A serious shit storm. Son, I am going to dedicate the next TEN YEARS to filing Freedom of Information Act Claims on you and VRM. Your comments about, “…you are competition to Carol Boyd and that is why we could never comment … [,]” shows the fact that you are TRULY OUT OF YOUR DEPTH. I publicly announced last month that I was out of the Property Preservation Industry as a Contractor and working full time as Editor In Chief of Foreclosurepedia.
Here’s what I think Brandon Kirkham. I think that it would be best if you simply paid the Contractors what they are due on VA Contract # VA798-12-C-0012. When you decided that you were all grown up and going to Strike that Mighty Blow for the White Man I told you to have your General Counsel call me. Make no mistake whatsoever that Counsels for the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, Assurant, Field Asset Services, CWIS LLC and AMSREO will all advise you that I have forgotten more law than most legal departments learn in a lifetime.
You may also contact Senator Bob Corker’s office. I am working with them to combat people like you and VRM whom hire Order Mills like Carol Boyd whom do not pay their Contractors. Oh, I guess you didn’t research that, either, did you? Yeah, see there is still a minor thing called THE US CONSTITUTION. I know that after your Countrywide days it seemed much like a triviality, but with Dodd – Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau entering the fray, it has become more en vogue.
Look Brandon Kirkham, if you do not like what I write, don’t hire Order Mills whom defraud single mothers, firemen and disabled wartime veterans. Hell, buy Foreclosurepedia and write whatever your little hearts desire. Until the day comes when people like you and VRM ensure that Contractors are paid; until the time that Members of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services whom are recalcitrant make amends by paying Contractors what they are due, I will be there reporting.
The tragedy is this: At this time I am able to report that some of the Contractors received Wire Payments (Bank Wire Transfers from Wells Fargo) yesterday. Not ALL OF THE CLAIMS have been paid. When this first came out, VRM could have stepped to the plate and done the right thing by dropping Carol Boyd and paid the Contractors. They chose not to. The National Association of Mortgage Field Services could have reached out and brought Carol Boyd up on Section 2.6 Charges and forced Payments or Suspension. They didn’t. And throughout the entire process whom suffered? The Contractors.
Brandon Kirkham was polite when I spoke with him. I want to be clear on that. I presume he called in his official capacity as I have a Voice Mail to that extent. We reached out to Julian Smith whom chose never to reply. Is the matter closed? Not even close. The American Public deserve transparency with respect to how VRM is going to implement Policy and Procedure to ensure that this never occurs again.