A Senior US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official spoke with Foreclosurepedia several hours ago with respect to the term essential businesses and how that term relates to the Mortgage Field Services Industry. With respect to the HUD Management and Marketing (M&M) Field Service Manager contract, the contract which generally associates itself with FHA insured, post-conveyance distressed assets. To that point, the official had this to say,
We have a meeting this afternoon to discuss. Preliminary thinking is that FSM will likely be considered essential, as it deals with potential loss of property and health risks. AM services will likely be halted in areas dealing with strict essential only restrictions.
HUD is also affording guidance that the HUD M&M Asset Manager (AM) contract will not be considered to be an essential business. This will be a tremendous blow to Realtors. The HUD Senior official went further, though, when Foreclosurepedia inquired whether this will apply to FHA insured, pre-conveyance distressed assets,
Yes, I’m referring to M&M contract services, as anything beyond that would be outside my authority. However, I would expect similar guidance to trickle down to the mortgage industry. The following memorandum was issued to all Executive Agency Heads, including HUD, relative to Federal travel, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-
content/uploads/2020/03/M-20- 14-travel-guidance-OMB-1.pdf. Additionally, Executive Agencies are currently operating under mandatory Telework for their employees, unless there is a valid exception, and the standards also are similarly high. If Federal employees are expected to meet these high standards in order to travel to their job site or an alternate location in performance of their duties, I would expect contractors supporting the same mission to be held to a similarly high standard. COVID-19 isn’t going to differentiate between the health of contractor vs Federal employees. Neither should we!
The rest of the Industry is not so united. While the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) began addressing COVID-19 months ago, the Mortgage Field Services Industry only began discussions several days ago. In the Foreclosurepedia Industry Insider Podcast, last night, we revealed that Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) CEO Caroline Reaves attacked National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Executive Director Eric Miller for daring to instruct her about preventing contact visits. Reeves, as we are told, stated on a NAMFS conference call with all National Order Mills, that Miller had no legitimate authority over MCS and she refused to stop contact visits amongst other things. This is the same Reaves whose catastrophic collapse of IT systems resulted in a loss of over a week of work only a month ago. What Reaves may not realize is that her orders may put her in the crosshairs of law enforcement in areas which are under lockdown.
At the time of publication, sources speaking on condition of anonymity stated that Safeguard Properties (SGP) has already begun addressing the term essential business with their Clients and are attempting to obtain travel papers to authorize their subcontracting personnel to continue to work through COVID-19. That certainly makes a lot more sense than Reaves’ position that the lives of Minority Females and Labor simply represent a profit column on her bonus check for the end of the year, in my opinion.
Here is last night’s Foreclosurepedia Industry Insider Podcast,