The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) has now superceded the incompetence displayed by the Trump Administration with respect to COVID-19. I did not think that would even be possible. Confirmed reports are coming in now from NAMFS members that contractors are being fined by authorities in the State of Michigan for violating Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order that all lawn maintenance, on behalf of others, cease immediately. There is huge backlash which culminated with Operation Gridlock, a protest in Lansing, Michigan, today. And it’s not just lawn maintenance. Realtors are shut down, you can ride in a canoe but not a motor boat. You can go into a store and buy food, but you cannot by plants for a garden. The photo to the right is provided by one of our International Association of Mortgage Field Services (IAFST) Members today at the protest.
Even more disturbing is that the City of Roseville, Michigan, states they could care less about the Governor’s Order,
NOTICE TO RESIDENTS: The City has been getting several questions relating to lawn cutting, yard maintenance and other landscaping activities performed by contractors. The City takes the position that failure to maintain lawns is unsafe and unsanitary and constitutes a nuisance under City Ordinances as it may lead to rodent harborage, excessive clogging of storm water systems, flooding, etc.
Adding even more chaos into the mix, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had no clue about the Governor’s order. And this is not the first time that state and federal authorities have clashed. A little over a week ago, International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) Members were violently assaulted in Puerto Rico by law enforcement while performing upon the HUD Management and Marketing (M&M) Field Service Manager (FSM) contract. The Prime Vendor for HUD, whom the IAFST Member was working for was Strategic Alliance Management Joint Venture (SAM JV). SAM JV is owned by Tony Chinye, owner and founder of Chinye & Company, CPA, PA, and PK Management. Foreclosurepedia has written extensively about the Joint Venture.
Initially, HUD’s concerns with the IAFST Member being detained and assaulted were met with pro forma language,
The prime contractors on the M&M contracts, due to the vast number of subcontractors, should be flowing down a letter populated with individual subcontractor names. The letter has been signed by the HUD CPO, and authorizes the named individuals to travel in support of the M&M contracts as an excepted service. I am sorry to hear that the local police in Puerto Rico are allegedly taking such a hard line regarding enforcement. I will raise this specifically to the SAM JV CO so they are aware, and can quickly make sure all of their Puerto Rico Subs have what they need to hopefully prevent this in the future. The process being implemented is the same for all of the FSMs, so please keep me informed if you hear of other jurisdictions cracking down, even if it doesn’t result in violence.
Minutes later, when HUD was advised that the employees of the Prime Vendor, SAM JV, whose partial owner is PK Management, were being detained, the optics did a a complete one eighty,
FYI, I was just forwarded an email from SAM JV where some of their own staff were detained as well, even though they were carrying the letter. The authorities allegedly claimed the letter was a fake. I am going to have OCPO and SF Program staff meet on this issue to determine whether the situation has deteriorated to the point that it would warrant at least a partial stop work order. I will keep you posted if it does result in a partial or full stoppage.
Foreclosurepedia followed up for comment to both SAM JV and HUD. Only HUD replied by stating,
HUD has had separate dialog with the Governor’s office of Puerto Rico, and issued written statements to local police, including copies of the letters. They’re assuring us that it will not happen again, but SAM JV has been instructed that it will be an excusable delay if their subs do not feel safe travelling to service properties. We will continue to monitor, but as of now, have not issued a stop work.
And while SAM JV’s silence was deafening when questioned about the prosecution of those responsible for committing the illegal detentions and assaults, it all came off the rails, again, when Foreclosurepedia had to advise HUD that Labor was receiving fines in Michigan for performing grass cuts.
Editor’s Note: After publication, we received this from a source familiar with SAM JV operations,
As previously stated, we brought all of this to HUD’s attention and what we know to date is that it appears that the authorities in PR have “relaxed travel restrictions” on the island.
We continue to be in close contact with our Vendor who has retained counsel. We advised that we are available to discuss with counsel at any time.
We continue to monitor all of our PR vendors and report any issues that arise to HUD.
Here is what a Senior HUD Official had to say with respect to Michigan grass cuts,
This is the first I’m hearing of it, but I’ll have the CO follow-up with both PHOC REO and the contractor to see what kind of pushback they are getting and whether they intend to suspend the grass cuts. Are you hearing anything from subcontractors servicing Michigan?
I want to be clear that the Senior HUD Official we were speaking with is not in charge of determining policy, to the best of my knowledge. The issue that presents, though, is multi pronged. First, how is it that the federal government has no clue about what State Governors are promulgating?! I mean HUD is a Cabinet Level office and is DIRECTLY INVOLVED in the COVID Essential Services pipeline! Second, I am at a loss to remember when state law ever — and I mean EVER — superceded federal law other than from constitutional challenges. And finally, whom is responsible for the fines being issued out to Labor due to NAMFS members refusal to stay updated upon the law?
Oh, you didn’t know Labor was getting fined in Michigan? Here is how a Senior NAMFS member firm put it,
We just had an instance where a vendor was just fined in MI for doing a grass cut.
While SAM JV and HUD appear to listen to input from those of us taking the proverbial pulse of the Industry; while the interests of protecting Labor are at the forefront of their actions, the rest of the NAMFS member’s response is abysmal, at best.
Now is the time for Labor to take a long, hard look at precisely whom they are working for. With reports coming in about Assero not paying people for months now; with Prime Vendors refusing to stand behind their alleged Travel Documents; and with software providers like InspectorADE and Property Preservation Wizard (PPW) — whose former owner is now the NAMFS President — gouging Labor for every penny they can, organizing with the IAFST has never been a better idea! In fact, you can join the IAFST by simply clicking here! Moreover, though, why not take the time to get your Company in order for US Government contracting and getting your web presence where it should be? Below are options for you!
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