As the Industry is aware, the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) will be submitting a Position Paper with respect to the archaic and deteriorated state of Work Order issuance. It will be submitted to a multitude of US government agencies as well as financial institutions. For years, the elephant in the room has been employee misclassification whether or not anyone wants to talk about it or not. Tens of millions of dollars have been paid in settlements over the past decade. In 2017, Five Star’s Ed Delgado and I proposed a Universal Work Order via two different channels. Delgado’s originated through the National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA) and mine through the IAFST. While each justifies the ends differently, the reality is we both are looking for the optimum outcome which has, for far too long, has strayed away from what the US government, financial institutions, and investment grade REITs have needed.
Here is what the NMSA submitted,
A common inspection report will improve the quality of the report, reduce the training needs for each inspector, encourage the adoption of mobile applications, and establish common industry standards. A derivative of Fannie Mae’s property inspection requirements (Form 30) and format should be utilized to consistently capture the discrete property condition attributes by all servicers and property inspection vendors. Regulators, investors, servicers, and property inspection vendors should collaborate to create a standard methodology and approach for assessing the condition of a property.
Today, here is what an average instructional looks like, from Guardian Asset Management, for a No Contact Exterior Inspection,
Instruction: No Contact Task: Provide 15-20 photos. Do not attempt contact. Do not knock on door. Do not speak with anyone. Need photos of street sign and house number/ address verification. Take photos from the street to support best opinion of vacant or occupied. ALL PHOTOS MUST HAVE DATE STAMPS., Investor: Private Investor, Description: Vendor shall perform a No Contact Inspection of the exterior Property conditions, and such Inspection requires Vendor not to contact, or to have any intention of making any contact with the mortgagor or the occupant of the Property. The No Contact Inspection shall be conducted from a public right-of-way access, without physically walking on the Property. Purpose of this Inspection is to determine condition and occupancy status based on observable exterior conditions, such as:Identify any structural or non-structural damage to PropertyDetermine the status of electric and water service that may be observable to VendorDetermine the occupancy status based on observable exterior conditions including, but not limited to:Personal property,Automobiles in the drive-way or garage, and”For Sale” or “For Rent” signage on the PropertyIf For Sale or For Rent sign is posted, Vendor is to call the number on the sign and obtain occupancy and maintenance information, status of electric and water service evident to Vendor.Capture complete condition of Property from the public right-of-way, which may include an alley.Vendor shall not walk to the rear of the Property for utility confirmation or damage assessment, and Vendor shall attempt to verify utility status from the public right-of-way while at Property, or other means available to Vendor. Vendor shall not make contact with anyone at the Property, or disclose the type of inspection to any third party, neighbor or any person that may inquiry about the Service.
This is the verbatim, typos included, longest running paragraph in history, instructions for a No Contact exterior inspection. It reads like a lawyer on cartel methamphetamine. In fact, I have been around over two decades and never seen anything like this in my life. Moreover, though, it shows precisely the level and caliber of the people running the circus today. All bullshit aside, when an Industry has fallen to such a level that it cannot even hire people to use the English language, my concerns become that it is willful neglect and malfeasance on behalf of the Prime Vendors.
The highlight is of my own adding to show just how convoluted the fear of liability has become. So, if there are signs posted, I am supposed to call someone; however, at the bottom I am told not to do this. Do I go to the alley, or do I not? Because, an alley, by definition, is at the rear of the home. And what are the other means available? Communing with Himalayan Buddhist Monks or renting a helicopter?
And remember, the pricing on these are $3.50 when they are out the door from NAMFS Board of Directors member Jon Dietz, whom runs GIS Field Services a company owned by Littlejohn & Co. who owns MCS, as well.
This is simply but one example of the myriad of those we will begin to publish on over the coming days. This talk of raising the pricing of inspections by anyone is for naught if they cannot even spell or comprehend the English language. And at the end of the day, the issues lie at the feet of the ownership which is, in this case, Dan Leader for the above.