We sat down this year and used several new metrics to come up with our Best and Worst List (B&W). This year, we relied upon Ripoff Report, Craigslist, ISTAR Investigations, Justia, US District Court Public Access To Court Electronic Records (PACER) and a Google Boolean Search for the Worst.
For the Best, we relied upon Interviews, Contractor Feedback and Industry Sources. In the same way that the Washington Post issues its Pinocchio List, Foreclosurepedia is a Mortgage Field Services Benchmark for Contractors to evaluate whom they chose to work for. As always, should anyone wish to sit down for a candid interview or issue rebuttal, they are more than welcome to.
2013 was a tsunami with respect to the gobbling up of Companies by both publicly traded and private Corporations. Additionally, many Order Mills simply filed for bankruptcy. On that note, some of the Companies making this year’s list such as Asset Management Services, Mortgage Contracting Services, Field Assets and others are reflective of their status prior to their absorption. The jury is out as to whether or not the new Bosses will bring these Companies into the legitimacy of the 21st Century.
Our B&W List deals with several Categories. First, we look at the Companies whom interact with Contractors at the Field Service Management Level. As in each and every year, the Worst and the Best are all Members of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS). Then we look at Technology. Finally, we look at Materials. So, without further adieu, here is 2013’s List …
The Worst Mortgage Field Service Companies
Number One: Safeguard Properties (SGP). SGP ranks Number One as the Worst Field Service Company to work for once again. Year in and year out, SGP tops the list not only with Foreclosurepedia, but also with State Attorneys General and homeowners.
This year, SGP is being sued by multiple Contractors and homeowners along with the Illinois State Attorney General. Some Contractors, dating back to the purchase of the Bank of America (BANA) Portfolio actually had to rely upon BANA to pay them. The Illinois Attorney General is now suing SGP for a plethora of issues and threatening to take their License to do business in Illinois. To cap out the litigation the Hlista’s are suing SGP for Federal Racketeering.
Number Two: Boyd Property Preservation (BPP). Had BPP not ponied up the money, Carol Boyd would have Ranked Number One this year in my eyes. I still believe she ties with SGP. The problem is that SGP has screwed far more folks including myself with respect to fraudulent legal claims against Foreclosurepedia the Company.
We documented Carol Boyd’s issuance of multiple checks, across state lines, which bounced. BPP basically took an interest free loan from Contractors and then broke multiple state and federal laws. We did a large series on her over on the Foreclosurepedia Podcast wherein even her own sister-in-law breaks down precisely what type of character Contractors are dealing with.
Number Three: Berghorst Enterprises (Berghorst). It should really come as no surprise when you look over the facts pertaining to Berghort’s years long appointment to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS).
Berghorst has had a litany of horror stories revealed on the Foreclosurepedia Podcast. Heather Berghorst’s attempts to silence Foreclosurepedia; frivolous litigation aside, the forcing of Contractors into Payment Plans for monies owed in Lump Sums are reasons enough to avoid Berghorst in totality.
Number Four: Five Brothers (5B). 5B is one of those Companies that simply gives me the creeps. Their lawyer, Tom Kalas, attempted to have a Detective threaten a Foreclosurepedia Source last month into Silence. The Michigan Detective had enough common sense to realize that Kalas was out of his mind.
There are huge accusations against 5B for mounting an alleged insurance fraud scheme. Any time I see potential litigation, I try to avoid it like the Plague. Multiple Contractors have reported they had to go to war to simply get paid. Several lawyers are currently looking into filing a Qui Tam Action against 5B. Additionally, security is not 5B’s strong suit. Their subsidiary, ForeRunner, was recently hacked by Anonymous.
Number Five: Asset Management Specialists (AMS). AMS is a real, real shady entity. I went to war with them, personally, a year ago. I would never recommend working with these people.
AMS is one of those Companies whom you know is going to screw you when you simply view their payment scheme. Hard for even lawyers to interpret, it is the Scheme of Schemes. To get your money in a timely fashion costs points; to get paid what you are entitled to is rare; allegations of refusal to record properly is rampant; and finally the pricing is Draconian.
The Best Mortgage Field Services Companies
Number One: Information Systems and Networks Corporation (ISN). ISN is one of those good, all around Companies in the Mortgage Field Services Industry. The pay is off the charts — rather, the pay is what it should be and is being paid to the Order Mills — the paperwork is a breeze and the staff are down to earth. ISN is a good Company to land if you have your act together.
Number Two: A Son’s Construction Company (ASONS). We reported upon ASONS in an Interview we conducted with its Patriarch, Milan Thompson. Politics aside, ASONS is a model Company in their efficiency. Their pay is an item which I feel both could and should be better. With that said, their Timeline For Pay cannot be beat as it is days not months.
Number Three: PK Management (PKMG). PKMG gets our nod for a couple of reasons. First, PKMG has a pretty slick web upload system. It is accurate and saves time. Second, PKMG actually has staff whom appear to know a soffit is not made of eggs. They are also not afraid to reconvey a home which requires such. PKMG would have ranked more highly; however, they are still in the world of only paying two months out.
Number Four: SEAS LLC. SEAS, a month ago, would have appeared on the Worst List. I am still concerned about their Demand for $50,000 should a Contractor ever request their money from the Originator of the Work Order. I am, though, encouraged as they seem to have hired a pretty sharp man to work with their Company and they have additionally taken a bold step in opening dialogue with Contractors. That gets recognition in my books.
Number Five: A2Z Field Services (A2ZFS). With the exception of their alleged Voluntary Waiver of 4th Amendment Rights, A2ZFS always treated us pretty good. The only complaints I have ever identified from Contractors with respect to A2ZFS pertained to pricing. They roll 30 days and then weekly after that. For a new company cutting their teeth, A2Z Field Services would probably be a good bet.
For technology there is really no numerical listing; all of the technology sucks. The reality is that the current Mortgage Field Services Technology is a patchwork of antiquated systems housed upon the Legacy Networks which the Industry uses. In an Industry wherein Data is King, it speaks volumes to the fact that the Mortgage Field Services Industry blew its fortune on Conferences and gaudy, monolithic Offices while the technological world passed the Industry by.
QR For You: We attempted to Interview Deanna Andre, President of QR For You; however, while agreeing to such she seemed to be more preoccupied with Trips than having any interest in the Mortgage Field Services Industry. With that said, QR — an abbreviation for Quick Response — could be seen as a viable product in the near future. QR For You, though, has no real corner on the market other than they seem to embed the QR Code on an ID and allow for the same technology which Motels currently employ. The price point and how they intend to stream their technology — if at all — into the Industry would appear to be the important items to understand.
Pruvan: Pruvan, early on, cornered the market for moving photos from the job site, in real time, via Android. The problem is that while having photos early is a neat thing, the reality is that Android Apps are child’s play by way of comparison to iOS and the iPhone. Additionally, unless Pruvan is able to stream Work Order Forms simultaneously, they really do not provide much of a benefit. Any Android or iPhone will stream photos for free. When looking at the fact that Pruvan has been accused, more than once, of refusing to release photos Contractors have taken, based upon dubious protections of Order Mills, the Palmers would seem to be selling Snake Oil.
The reality is that unless you are an Order Mill, Lowes Home Improvement provides just about the same thing as everyone else does, on line, at a comparable price. Did I forget to mention that they are where you go for lumber, nails, screws, etc?! We get our rekey fee waived and the reality is that you are not going to do more than half a dozen rekeys a week as a single Contractor unless you have an Army of 1099 or W2 Subs — that would make you an Order Mill. In an Industry wherein you never know what key code or piece of material you need on a daily basis, why sink a ton of funds into materials?
All of the Companies profiled on here are over on the ISTAR Database in addition to more being added each and every day. When you have Companies like Universal Mortgage Field Services advertising that they want inexperienced workers; No Experience Necessary, the reality is that most National, Regional and Otherwise Unspecified Order Mills are hustlers. Their only interest is money.
More often than not, Members of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) have been shown to engage in deceptive and outright illegal practices. This fact is not only documented by Forelcosurepedia, it is documented across Google. I believe as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) begins to closely examine the Industry; if Contractors will begin to send their Grievances to CFPB, NAMFS will have to police their own.
NAMFS refuses to engage in any meaningful dialogue with either Contractors or the victims of their Members. I caution Contractors from working with NAMFS Members unless they have thoroughly vetted them and know their physical addresses. I venture the guess that 2014 is going to see a drop off of Paying Members as many current NAMFS Members are hard pressed to find anything of value other than a few drinks at the Conferences.
Overall, the Mortgage Field Services Industry is a very corrupt and unregulated Industry. I would never recommend entry into it unless you are a Member of Organized Crime. With that said, if you are involved with the Industry and needing Guidance, feel free to reach out for a Consultation. Foreclosurepedia is the name more Professionals trust with respect to Intelligence within the Mortgage Field Services Industry. The reality is that if you are going to risk fronting tens of thousands of dollars in labor, you need to be equipped with the proper knowledge to determine whether or not it is justifiable.