For almost a year now Foreclosurepedia has been at the forefront of requiring both a DUNS Number and a SAM Account. First, let’s look ant the DUNS Number. By utilizing the unique identification of a Contractor via DUNS, the liabilities normally associated with Privacy Act of 1974 Violations are avoided. Next, the DUNS Number is the only unique way to identify a Company as opposed to an individual. Even the Tax Identification Number (TIN) is merely an extension of the Social Security Number (SSN).
The knee jerk reaction of the Order Mills; National, Regional and Otherwise Unspecified, occurred after Financial Institutions (Banks) began to worry about Foreclosurepedia’s reporting upon the felons working both within the Order Mills and in the rank and file of the Contractors. The Banks began cranking out the auditing and the Order Mills were caught with their pants down around their ankles. The biggest problem was that apparently the legal departments of those leading the charge at Safeguard Properties (SGP) and other Order Mills were out to lunch during the class on Black’s Law or Shepardizing. What I am driving at is when you demand background checks of a person and not a Company you just bought yourself a front row seat to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) SS-8 Determination.
The Background Check Spin
Let’s talk a little bit about the sheer insanity the Order Mills have brought forward. First, when you run a background check on a person they become an employee. Why? The Property Preservation Industry has no distinction between person and company whereas the world of federal contracting demands the DUNS and SAM Account. The reason for this because of the fact that the Property Preservation Industry is still in its infancy; in essence mired in both scandal and lack of regulation, the shadowy elements falsely believed that no light would ever reach into their netherworld. When juxtaposed with legitimate federal contracting, the most important element – pricing – becomes self evident. The Property Preservation Industry is a nickle and dime game for those performing the work. The best example is that of the drug world wherein the Kingpin reaps the benefits and the street level or boots on the ground folks simply spiral downward in misery.
Another of the Order Mill’s ill conceived ideas in SGP’s statements upon background checks is the belief that SGP or ANY Order Mill has the legal right to deny work to anyone based only upon criminal history. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) drove home this point when it filed suit against BMW and Dollar General. The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) collectively represents almost all Order Mills in existence at the Regional or National levels. To date, they have remained silent with respect to background checks. This is not surprising as they rarely state anything publicly of any consequence. With NAMFS Member after Member showing up on the Justia Dockets, Safeguard Properties taking the lead in this ubiquitous honor, one might think that NAMFS should wake up and take an active roll in saving what little face its Membership has.
Here’s the deal: With hundreds of Order Mills out wanting to run background checks AND PULL YOUR CREDIT SCORE AT THE SAME TIME it becomes an interest of law enforcement at minimum. Here we have all these fly-by-night folks hawking their wares of work orders luring in unsuspecting Contractors into submitting their information upon insecure computer networks. Further, each and every time your credit score is run it lowers your credit score! As if that wasn’t enough for folks to put together a Class Action Lawsuit, these Order Mills now make arbitrary and capricious rulings based upon a NON PUBLIC set of guidelines as to whether or not they issue work. In addition, these same Order Mills have ABSOLUTELY NO GRIEVANCE POLICY FOR THE EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDY — this language is put in for the lawyer types out there to convey I have forgotten more law than you two bit con artists will learn in a lifetime!
So, the NAMFS will meet in cabal soon to discuss background checks. That is well and good. They cannot defend their own Members so I am loathe to believe that they will do much else other than bill a few hours for write off on the IRS 990 they will file at the end of the year. The Contractors? Well, the National Property Preservation Guild (NPPG) appeared to be an organizer of Contractors; however, nothing substantive has emerged from them on any issue to date. At the end of the day, the Contractor is left out in the Cold as he or she always will be unless it makes someone money.
The world of federal contracting — THE LEGITIMATE WORLD NOT HUD OR THE FORECLOSURE INDUSTRY — simply runs the DUNS and SAM Account information on a Company and lies the burden of the veracity of the information upon the US Government. Why? Hell, Uncle Sam has done this shit for decades! Once they verify the DUNS and SAM Account they then are legally able to require background checks of EMPLOYEES or SUBCONTRACTORS! No conflict of interest here between independent contractor vs. employee as the Client pulled their collective heads out of their asses and hired a COMPANY! Now, whether or not that Company follows the Service Contract Act (SCA) is still an issue wherein shit rolls uphill and the Client is on the hook. No big deal, really. The reality is that this Industry will follow my advice; I predict it here and now and guarantee several US Government Providers are already doing it! The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a prime example. What does HUD require to even bid on jobs? You got it: DUNS AND SAM ACCOUNT!
The Banks are already conducting audits and finding horrific violations throughout the Industry. Their bean counters (actuaries) are tallying up the potential liability. Screw what anyone tells you, these are the facts and I have not been wrong yet. The biggest problem is that many of the National and Regional Order Mills still employ felons. If you are a Banker reading this and want a list of rap sheets, feel free to reach out to me and I will deliver this if you put in writing you will pull the Order Mill’s Contracts. Hell, better to end a Contract now than face the music when the right reporter finally interviews me, right?! Remember, I keep a log of the IP Addresses which visit the Site, so there will be NO, “Gee, I never knew!”
Neither the NAMFS nor the NPPG are going to effect or change what is coming down the pike. The NAMFS has at least had the foresight to establish a Committee to look into and potentially address the issues surrounding background checks. With the recent lame stream media reporting on ABC News’ Good Morning America documenting the fact that the Property Preservation Industry is a Wild West quagmire of unregulation, change is coming very soon. The days of keeping the Boots on the Ground with threats are over. Information flows at the speed of light. Repost, Retweet and Reblog ensures command and control of Google SEO. Word of mouth no longer suffices to control Contracts. The Banks, wisely, are beginning to distance themselves from the Alamo and look to Houston. It’s a brave new world; welcome to the 21st Century!