The quandary of whether or not industry should weigh the risks of business as usual against the public welfare of society as a whole is addressed, on a daily basis, by every Industry with the sole exception of the Property Preservation Industry (PPI). Prostitution was addressed and regulated in the State of Nevada; Decriminalization and/or medical use of marijuana by 19 States with two more on the horizon; and the legacy of asbestos, once the holy grail of insulation, has established a multi billion dollar compensation fund for those whom were employees, contractors, subcontractors and the general public at-large. The novel concept in the aforementioned is that the PPI employs a multi million dollar mouthpiece known as the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS). In every other instant example the industry’s spoken of allowed their industry associations to comment, whether right or wrong, as to the issues confronting them. The PPI, by and through NAMFS, has steadfastly remained silent as to ANY issue brought forward by hundreds of Contractors.
On a daily basis, Contractors and their subcontractors, are ordered to enter into what would be considered by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) hazardous environments. There has NEVER been any guidance with specificity to items such as: Mold, Methamphetamine, Tuberculosis, HIV, biomedical waste, radioactive waste — the list goes on and on and on.
As a person at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) whom spoke under condition of anonymity put it, “We do not issue any guidance on anything other than an old Commercial Property Inspection Report. They probably wish that was never printed. It’s liability plain and simple. HUD is whom issues guidance about mold and such. Your questions lie at their doorstep.”
Liability. Plain and simple. There are quite a few things Eric Miller and his Board of Directors (B0D) at NAMFS refuse to do. First, they refuse to produce any meaningful statistics which might track instances of illness. Second, they refuse to track how many times they have issued Bulletins on items such as Mold or Radioactive Waste disposal. Why? Let’s not bullshit around. I doubt Miller even has any idea how to address either of the latter and the former would ensure that he and his Lender Processing Services (LPS) which control the BoD would be so deep in litigation that it would make Safeguard Properties (SGP) PACER Litigation Sheet look like 1st Grade Math Class.
Each and every day innocent men and women, decorated combat veterans, retired EMS and law enforcement are subjected to exposure rates which are unconscionable to any civil society’s standards. As if that is not enough, the un- suspecting purchasers of these properties are then sickened by the contamination left behind and unaddressed by the PPI. Now, whether the blame lies squarely at the feet of say A2Z Field Services (A2ZFS) whom recently ORDERED all of their Contractors present at a March, 2013 Conference in Marietta, GA, to “…never again hang any sign which states there is Mold at the property.” Or, perhaps it lies with The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and their apparent inability to force Prime Vendors to generate a profit for HUD as opposed to a loss quarter after quarter. Finally, we could attack the Sacred Cow, the Banking Industry, but we all know that they were cleared by the Obama Administration of all wrong doing with a simple slap on the wrist.
Intent. The premise to any civil and/or criminal case is mens rea. Looking back over the past 20 years or so of this Industry mens rea, or intent, is identifiable in almost each and every work order ever issued by any National, Regional or Otherwise Unspecified Order Mill. Unless I have missed something somewhere I have never seen instructions to don proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when initially entering any of the assigned properties or when they are specifically identified with mold or other contaminated substances. Double billing is rampant. No two ways around this. The use of outsourced processors in India to cripple small businesses in their legitimate billing of services provided is old hat in the PPI. The hiring of known felons (and quite possibly anti American sympathizers) is well documented both here and now by Huffington Post which relied on our material and interviews. Arianna Huffington herself Tweeted this one! Now, let’s not forget about the Order Mills refusing to pay TENS if not HUNDREDS of Millions of DOLLARS! Not sure how you can say, “Gee, I had no intent not to ever pay.” Um, yeah!
Here is the reality: The Industry has several options. First, they could clean up their act, but that will NEVER happen. The taint and stain of corruption of those whom have committed illegal acts now cast a cloud upon EACH AND EVERY Company whom issues Work Orders. NAMFS, part and parcel, has a pattern of doing everything it possibly can to avoid PPI Contractor issues. NAMFS has subscribed to a Doctrine, an orthodoxy if not ideology, of refusing to address criminal activities by its Membership. I have personally contacted Eric Miller, NAMFS Executive Director, and discussed multiple issues such as his Members hiring known felons and refusing to pay Contractors. Deaf ears. I receive periodic updates from a Source whom is an employee of a NAMFS Board Member. Make no mistake here: when I level accusations, opinion or otherwise, I have Sources. I am no idiot.
Second, the Industry could weather the Storm. I think, as I am hearing from my Sources within JPMorgan and Bank of America, that this is not going to happen much longer. There is a veritable graveyard of Nationals and Regionals being forced to shutter doors or, at minimum, restructure due to borderline Sherman Act violations executed by ONE Company. HUD learned the mistake of allowing almost all of its eggs to be placed under one roof and gambling on the lowest bid. The Banking Industry is taking notice as well. Did I fail to mention that as I type there are two (02) Top Five Banks auditing records of past work orders and running parallel audits with active Work Orders from Eviction to Sale and/or Conveyance?
Finally, the Industry could enter into the nightmare of REGULATION. I am a firm proponent of regulation — US Government intervention. It is coming no matter what the Industry does. Even though SGP has its sights set on LPS, the regulation is going to stymie the deal. Contractors and Industry veterans alike are collectively holding their breath.
For the past 20 years, information about the Property Preservation Industry has been released piecemeal by Power Brokers like Paul Jackson. Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism breaks it down appropriately. People like Jackson and his LPS backed rag, coupled with DSNews and each and every SourceMedia outlet we attempted to have review materials about ongoing crimes (which Huffington Post DID publish) attest precisely to what lengths this Industry has gone to insulate itself from investigation.
The 21st Century has brought the PPI, kicking and screaming, into the spotlight through social media. Surprisingly, an ENORMOUS interest comes from Europe. I actually had to purchase a different calling plan due to some highly placed individuals within the European Union (EU). The concern is that the two bubbles; the Housing Bubble which NO one want to acknowledge and the US Government Debt Bubble, have many dabbling in Euros worried. Go no further than the recent Australian – China deal to begin to identify the concerns. So, where does this leave the Contractors? Well, with Operation Blackout rapidly gaining steam, I believe it places us in a good position. There are two constants in the Industry: Bankers and Contractors. The Nationals, Regionals and others are merely spectators now. Albeit, the spectators feel they call the shots, those days are rapidly coming to an end. Funny thing really. I spoke last year with a fairly high value Source whom stated I should check my gas lines. I told him all I really wanted to do was cut grass and get off the Internet. Now, in retrospect, the Industry is faced with a dire set of circumstances. If you whack me today an Investigation is SURE to come! I deal with FAR too many folks and half your communications are leaked on any given day anyway.
The real question should have always been this: How does a man with this inordinate amount of intelligence end up cutting grass? Why didn’t we hire him to stare at the walls and keep his mouth shut?! What, precisely, does he maintain in that crazy file cabinet with the fireproof walls and safe lock?! Finally, whom is the Firm that finally hired him as a Consultant to do the most OBSCENE thing; the heresy, which is to find qualified Contractors and pay them more than we do and on time?! There are always Shadows in Puzzles ladies and gentlemen. I am a Patriot. My Country will not be destroyed by swine at the trough being fed tax dollars. What is going on poses a Clear and Present Danger to the National Security of the United States of America.
Many of you whom have risked your careers to speak with me know I have kept your confidence and will take it to my grave. I want to take this opportunity to thank you. Your bravery speaks volumes and highlights the yellow bellies of your superiors. Many more desire to reach out; however, are concerned as the nine dollars and eighteen cents per hour is the only thing that separates you from the unemployment line. Others, far more highly placed, have taken that chance and seen that change is coming. They will not be forgotten! I give you my word.