Incandescent Light Bulbs are gone, as of today, in the United States. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac generally require that all of the light bulbs be replaced in their properties. The problem? That price nearly quadrupled for Contractors while Order Mills are reducing what they pay. The continuing reality is that the Mortgage Field Services Industry is completely out of touch with Main Street. The greed fueled frenzy, which has continued to allow for the abuse of Contractors, will now force yet another burden upon the Contractor’s shoulders.
With skilled Contractors leaving by the droves, the Trade Association National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) would appear to believe that adding more costs to the price of doing business is the solution. Their recent wooing of Aspen Grove Solutions and their heavy handed utilization of Members such as Aim Your Way LLC to implement their NAMFS Training, are but two examples.
One would think that a Trade Association should be more involved in the realities of the Industry such as the costs of materials and implement lobbying efforts to counter these unfunded mandates. My opinion is that NAMFS could give two shits how much a Contractor is burdened provided NAMFS is able to line its coffers.
Add safety issues to the mix — obviously, NAMFS doesn’t appear concerned as I have seen no comment from them. Stan Mertz, director of Research Operations at Applied Proactive Technologies, recently stated that there are issues with the Compact Florescent Light (CFL) bulbs and dimmers.
CFL and LED bulbs generally can’t be dimmed, and bulbs that work with dimmers are marked on the packaging. Even if a CFL or LED bulb can be dimmed, you need to use it with the right type of dimmer; if you try to use an older, pre-CFL and LED dimmer with a CFL or LED bulb, you risk damaging the bulb itself because of how the dimmer affects the electricity going through the bulb.
More on point, let’s talk Mercury. That’s right. Many of these foreclosed properties are now considered Environmental Wastelands. To get your blood rolling, here is what Maine issued with respect to CFL disposal. Oh, you didn’t know about the Mercury in the CFL? Granted, not a whole lot in them, but let’s talk liability when you are called to the stand.
How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About $4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn’t include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.
Sound crazy? Perhaps no more than the stampede to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs).
Bridges had the misfortune of breaking a CFL during installation in her daughter’s bedroom: It dropped and shattered on the carpeted floor.
Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances, Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her that the CFL contained mercury and that she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The DEP sent a specialist to Bridges’ house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state’s “safe” level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter.
The DEP specialist recommended that Bridges call an environmental cleanup firm, which reportedly gave her a “low-ball” estimate of $2,000 to clean up the room. The room then was sealed off with plastic and Bridges began “gathering finances” to pay for the $2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn’t cover the cleanup costs because mercury is a pollutant.
So, there you are on the Stand — remember: NO ORDER MILL IS GOING TO HELP YOU WITH LITIGATION — attempting to explain how you had a Work Order and were instructed to remove the debris and really, the kid whom died from a rare respiratory illness isn’t your fault. The Mercury did show up in his blood along with methamphetamine and mold, which you are responsible for even though the Addendum the other Order Mill had was not provided.
So, how does all of this play out for the Contractor? Home Depot apparently had foresight,
Home Depot has a six-month stockpile, according to Mark Voykovic, the store’s national light bulb merchant.
Overall, the reality is that while the blow hards over on the Drive By Social Media sites are discussing whom drank what for New Years Eve, Foreclosurepedia is drilling down on the information you need to better prepare for what is shaping up to be the worst year ever for Contractor’s wallets.