Debunking The Community Blight Solutions White Paper

It seems that today’s focus, in the Mortgage Field Services Industry, hovers around what new product may be thrust upon an Industry which really only needs mandatory minimum payments in a timely manner without the spectre of chargebacks always looming. One of those products is polycarbonate. Fannie Mae recently rammed this down the throats of Field Service Technicians (FST) without a second thought. And initially, there wasn’t a lot of pushback. Folks like Robert Klein, founder and owner of both Safeguard Properties (SGP) threw his hat in the ring and began priming the pump with high paid lobbyists, in conjunction with borderline campaign contributions, which Foreclosurepedia has written about at great length. Klein formed SecureView USA, nothing more than a WooCommerce website, to market his gimmick he calls — and wait for it — SecureView. Moreover, though, not everyone is sold on Klein’s alleged concern for the community blight problem. The City Cleveland, the same town where Klein lives and SGP is based out of, is one of those unsold parties,

Foreclosurepedia reached out to the City of Cleveland’s Code Enforcement department whom, in turn, referred us to Cleveland’s Building and Housing’s Director, Ronald O’Leary. O’Leary’s staff stated they had not heard of the law and referred us, in turn, to Damian Borkowski, the City of Cleveland’s Manager of Demolition. No one in the State of Ohio appears to know what may be legally used to replace plywood. This is serious. Why, you might ask? Well, let me explain this in only the way that a trained media professional such as myself is capable of doing. Borkowski stated that as best he could tell the only requirement is that the boarding, according to code, “…must be 1/2″ plywood or the structural equivalent.” He stated that the legislation had created a “furor” as no one had advised how to do anything and that Robert Klein had been lobbying the City of Cleveland for quite sometime with respect to SecureView.

SecureView has been out and about spending ungodly amounts of money on what I may only term, bogus Position Papers. I mean, anytime you have former Treasury Officials, like Aaron Klein, writing White Papers for Robert Klein aka Community Blight Solutions (CBS), and refusing to say how much they were paid for it, alarm bells should go off. We are going to get into that in a moment. The reality, though, is that SecureView is yet another National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Member treating Minority Females and Labor like faceless mason jars of money, just waiting to be broken open with the sledgehammers they call chargebacks. And it is precisely this environment which makes, so heinous, the presentation of the CBS White Paper we spoke of above, so insidious. Baseless and without merit, the CBS White Paper demonstrates the simple and salient fact that, for a price, Brookings Institute members will sell their soul for the price of a tip at Ruth’s Chris. We reached out to Aaron Klein and asked for disclosure on how much he was paid to write his White Paper for Klein. Weeks later, he has refused to release the amount.

Anytime you have people like Aaron Klein, whom parade around as experts, it is only fair to consumers that they announce in their writings how much they are compensated. Aaron Klein has continued to refuse to release any information, whatsoever, about such, with respect to his CBS White Paper. — Nothing like selling Snake Oil to the Hardest Hit Minority Communities!

First and foremost, there is absolutely no empirical evidence to support Klein’s inference that using SecureView products will make any neighborhood any better than using US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved plywood. For me, it begins and ends there. In fact, Klein is forced to admit this, time and again, throughout his exhausting eight page monologue. Klein’s theories are almost entirely based upon the now debunked the Broken Window Theory.

Our research suggests that the ‘broken windows model’ doesn’t effectively capture the origins of crime in a neighborhood,” [Daniel] O’Brien said. “What’s happening is that violent crime is bubbling out from the social dynamics of the community, out from these private conflicts that already exist, and then is escalating and spilling into public spaces.”

O’Brien holds joint appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice [at Northeastern University], and his research uses Big Data — most often in the form of large administrative data sets generated by city government — in conjunction with traditional methodologies to explore the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods.

Moral hazard on steroids is what I call the disingenuity of SecureView. From the beginning, Klein makes a claim, in all bold letters,

A conservative estimate of the total net return on investment is on the order of 34:1 when clearboarding is substituted for plywood. 

Wow! One has to really wonder why the City of Cleveland didn’t agree. Moreover, though, why didn’t Ohio Governor John Kasich get behind it? You see, Governor Kasich, whom Robert Klein relies so heavily upon and is Governor in the same state as SGP and SecureView are based out of, is not still wet behind the ears. In fact, here is what Governor Kasich’s office had to say when we spoke with them about the newly enacted Ohio House Bill 463,

We are unable to instruct you as to what product you may use instead of plywood as this would be giving legal advice. — Governor Kasich’s Office during phone interview with Foreclosurepedia

Wait a minute, though. Didn’t Robert Klein trumpet, through multiple press releases, that SecureView had won the heart of Ohioans and the Ohio State Legislature? The term arbitrary and capricious fall short to describe the rubber stamping of Sec. 2308.031 in HB 463.

Curious how Klein justifies his unproven and outlandish statement about a Return on Investment (RoI) of a magnitude of 34:1 when you use SecureView? First, let’s look at the large print Robert Klein tosses out there,

This paper explores whether methods that serve to better secure abandoned properties can minimize the costs on the immediate, surrounding community. It contains a careful economic analysis of the benefits and costs of how vacant houses are secured by comparing the traditional method of plywood boarding with the alternative of clearboarding.

This is the footnote Klein is forced to put to, it would appear, not be sued by everyone whom buys the garbage,

This paper is funded by SecureView, a company that produces alternatives to plywood boarding. The data, analysis and conclusions are those of the author.

The data, analysis and conclusions are those of the author. Let that sink in, for a moment. Trust me are the words coming from a man whose Company has paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements to innocent victims of breaking and entering and theft of property by SGP misclassified employees called subcontractors. In fact, Foreclosurepedia had to go to bat against both Klein, when he ran SGP, and Huntington National Bank. Kim Rebbe  owned a property located at  7916 W. Washington Street Belleville, IL owned by by Huntington National Bank. Rebbe informed Foreclosurepedia that during the process she had been preparing for an Estate Sale, a sale to help her finance the ongoing lives of her and her children. Rebbe was a single mother.  She had hired Cynthia Rush to help itemize and display well over $20,000 worth of possessions for a sale which was to occur within days. After seven months of battling SGP, Foreclosurepedia interceded and was able to have a cash settlement issued to Rebbe.

From the beginning, for those whom take the time to Trust But Verify, as President Reagan said, will easily come to the entire premise of the CBS White Paper is based upon the word of Robert Klein, wherein SecureView’s entire financial solvency is based upon the sale of SecureView.

In the same breath, the CBS White Paper goes on in an attempt to sully the name and reputation of Ohio Governor Kasich by inferring that there is state sponsored justification in the use of SecureView,

The state of Ohio has outlawed the use of plywood in order to modernize how vacant properties are secured.

At best, SecureView is, at best, an amorphous product which will continue to deplete desperately needed funds for ravaged minority communities. There is absolutely ZERO scientific evidence to definitively prove SecureView’ exorbitant pricing is justified over the already approved, far less expensive, HUD plywood. In fact, within the first few months of Fannie Mae adoption of polycarbonate, the wholesale price jumped due to a factory burning down. By way of comparison, plywood is a replenishable product without the same problems. The only way that such a supply chain and pricing increase would occur is if every tree on earth burned down.

SecureView is bad for Minority Communities and saps funds which could legitimately be applied towards blight reduction. SecureView always has and always will be about the enrichment of Robert Klein!

Time and again, regardless of the gimmicks of alleged price reduction, Field Service Technicians are taking the legal and legitimate opportunity to reglaze. When you have the opportunity; when you see precisely how much money Robert Klein has sapped out of the bank accounts of Minority Females and Labor, choose right. Choose to reglaze!

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