California Tax Auditor Begins Levying Millions In Fines Against NAMFS Members

The State of California Begins To Target NAMFS Members Directly As Eric Miller And The Pequod Run Ashore.

For nearly five years, Foreclosurepedia has been at the forefront of spearheading the rights of Minority Females and Labor with respect to their misclassification as employees. And for five years, the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) has done nothing other than bury their heads in the sand refusing to address the elephant in the room. In 2012, a six figure settlement was paid to Brad Hurst by Buczek Enterprises in order to keep silent the simple and salient fact that everyone working in the Mortgage Field Services Industry are actually misclassified employees rather than independent contractors. And by 2013, Foreclosurepedia was already sounding the alarm bells which NAMFS did their best to keep silent. That year and in subsequent years, multiple federal suits were filed with the prominent ones being Bennett Vinson v AMS – MCS as well as Fred Bowerman v Assurant – Field Asset Services. In the Vinson matter, Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) paid millions of dollars to settle the matter and as opposed to correct their offending behavior, they issued a draconian Master Services Agreement (MSA) which Minority Females and Labor were ordered to sign, under penalty of losing monies owed to them. And in the Assurant Field Asset Services (Assurant) matter, jury verdicts in the first 11 of nearly 200 cases awarded over $2 Million to victims of NAMFS Offender Member Fraud.

Eric Miller, NAMFS Executive Director, continued issuing his advice that everyone should remain silent and weather the storm. In fact, Miller has incorrectly believed that ignoring the unfair and illegal trade practices has been the answer to the question, for years. Miller, whose salary is One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Two Hundred and Forty Dollars per year consumes over EIGHTY NINE PERCENT of all NAMFS member dues now. And what have NAMFS members received for that obscene amount of money? Nothing but bad advice.

 When we founded the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST), addressing the judicial fallout of the W2 v W9 litigation was at the forefront of our thought process. In fact, several years ago, Foreclosurepedia brought forward the fact that not just the State of California, but all States would begin to more closely examine the Bowerman ruling in light of multiple jury verdicts on identical case law in the federal judiciary. That day has come.

Foreclosurepedia has been in close consultations with several National Vendors whom have been hit for a combined total of over One Million Dollars by the State of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). And as the EDD begins to bring forward the application of the rule of law against NAMFS members, the financial solvency of firms like Spectrum Field Services is most assuredly called into question.

In full disclosure, Foreclosurepedia has been working with the State of California’s EDD with respect to guidance upon the most egregious NAMFS offenders. Here is a short list of the names which are currently on their radar, provided by and through our correspondence,

M&M Field Services, Five Brothers, Safeguard Properties, Mortgage Contracting Services, Assurant Field Asset Services, Spectrum Field Services, Cyprexx, ASONS, Northsight Management​, ​National Mortgage Field Services, ​Assero, Black Knight Field Services, National Field Network, US Best Repairs, Altisource, ​​PK Management, Ameritrust Residential, A Cut Above Services, CWIS LLC, Initial Secure, Qwest Preservation, ​AIM Your Way, National Real Estate Solutions, Pacific Preservation, Vectra Field Services, Miles Property Preservation, Guardian Asset Management, and Sentinel Field Services.

While there are and will be far more NAMFS members targeted for auditing, it is emphasized that simply no longer operating in the State of California or firms whom are no longer operating within the Industry does not preclude the State of California from coming after a NAMFS member. The following item, noted by a firm currently being audited, should give pause to those whom believe erroneously that this is a matter which will be quashed as a formality,

Contrary to the auditor’s position during the audit interview, that contractors with EINs (registered businesses) would not be considered in the audit, the PNA list contained a significant number of those businesses.

One of the larger issues being identified is that many NAMFS members have never legally set up foreign corporations to legally operate in California, to begin with.​ And while the previous economic landscape, in California, has chosen not to engage the billions of dollars of taxable income entering and exiting its borders, Jerry Brown, Governor of California, has begun to implement auditing going back to 2014.

Unfortunately, the refusal by Eric Miller to get everyone on the same page, is the net result of Miller’s inability to properly function as an Executive Director. And with the recent removal of the NAMFS membership list from public view it has become apparent that NAMFS, as a viable trade association, has long reached the zenith of its existence.

Foreclosurepedia has consulted, at great lengths, with current and former NAMFS members with respect to California’s now extremely aggressive approach in going after the billions of dollars in taxable revenue by the California EDD. Here is how one National CEO put it,

The fact that Eric Miller has never made this part of the Association’s agenda is beyond me. Look, you are right when you say this is the elephant in the room. We have had multiple discussions with Fannie Mae and honestly are in near weekly discussions with they as the auditing continues. To you question as to what I believe the problem is, look, this should have been addressed by our Association and it never was. You have your opinion about the ‘why’ and I am not sure I buy completely into that angle; however, you are not wrong in that we [the Association] should have been working to help mold the legislative mandates. That didn’t happen and because of that — because of many things — we are no longer a NAMFS member.

No other way to put it other than how Kat Williams, in that great Ice Cube flic Friday After Next, says it: Pimp Down. And that is the tragedy, you know. There is no longer any dispute that NAMFS is the Pequod and Eric Miller is its Captain Ahab. And thus far NAMFS has been the embodiment of the Pequod at each and every turn. Nothing but destruction and bankruptcy at each and every turn. That is why Foreclosurepedia is calling for Miller’s continued piloting of NAMFS. I mean we could not have better set up NAMFS members for failure than by having Miller at the helm!

The tragedy in this is that the optics of these regulatory actions could both have been controlled as well as the financial burdens minimized. In fact, I have been working, personally, with many Clients to do just that. Moreover, though, the IAFST has been working diligently to protect our Membership in these uncharted waters.

Liability and exposure. These are two components in which both Foreclosurepedia and the IAFST have been successfully addressing for Client and Membership over the past several years. Feel free to reach out directly to the IAFST for Membership inquiries or Foreclosurepedia should you desire new contracting opportunities with respect to not only Industry oriented contracts or if you would like to work directly with hedge funds in the rehab and restoration channels.

 


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