Lender Processing Services – Black Knight (LPSBK) has finally hit the end of their road. In the software world, we call it End of Life (EOL). The reality is that LPSBK has been hemorrhaging money for years on the Mortgage Field Services side. Going all the way back to their Universal, Chicago Title and Fidelity days, LPS sans the BK portion, has been more of a Title Plant outfit which capitalized upon the technological niche which was a New Frontier.
One of the most difficult items for LPSBK to absorb has always been the Wells Fargo back billing. Depending upon whom you speak with, LPSBK has been eating around sixty plus percent of it for years. Even so, there is a tremendous amount — millions of dollars — which flow downhill to Contractors in the form of back billing.
The back billing is not the only skeleton in the LPSBK closet. The heightened scrutiny upon the bidding process; the demands to Regionals to square bids with cost estimators, has mutiny in the air. Each and every visit requires them and we are hearing that if the Contractor’s bid — imagine that a Contractor might actually have a BID and not be TOLD what their price is — was too high, LPSBK staffers were making the corrections internally.
The reality is that Fidelity National Financial (FNF) bought LPS for their Title Plants and the spiderweb of information technology. FNF knows that the $127 Million settlement was nothing in comparison to that which is coming down the pike. Why else sweeten the deal with the twenty five percent premium to boxcar it with ServiceLink and the ultimate charted course of Black Knight?
I digress. Most of my readers have no idea what I am talking about. I get all weak in the knees when I read what the sheeple are rambling about on the Drive By Social Media. What is important is the fact that Black Knight is going to want to stem the bleeding as quickly as possible. They additionally are not too keen on the potential liability coming down the pike nor the scrutiny from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Make no mistake I am rarely wrong. I predicted the mess of the Concentric Acquisitions. I am breaking a HUGE STORY on Asset Management Specialists (AMS) later this weekend which will rock the entire Industry! It is based upon my analysis of the amount of control Mortgage Contracting Solutions (MCS) exerts over AMS with respect to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s (HUD) Regulation 18.104.22.168 and the Obama Administration seemed to agree as we are hearing from Washington, DC.
Enter Safeguard Properties (SGP). SGP is reeling from their Portfolio Reductions — Wells Fargo, Bank of America, really virtually everyone — has bailed on the Klein – Jaffa Juggernaut seeing the writing on the Wall. Even their foray with Jack Jaffa into the National Field Network (NFN) has soured — that is to say nothing about their hopes for the NFN Franchise Agreements.
Amir Jaffa needs a winner. Pops, Robert Klein, royally screwed the pooch. The absorption of the Bank of America Countrywide Portfolio increased their volume, but not their revenue. They are plagued by ancient and archaic technology do to the penny pinching Klein put into play. Now, much like Masada – מצדה– they are under assault from all sides for their miscreant and criminal behavior in the form of litigation.
Klein will make a run at LPS. If he is able to strike a deal which stretches copper out of a penny, he will buy them. Oh, don’t act all surprised. While his disheveled appearance over the past several years may indicate an early onset of dementia, he and NOT his lackey Jaffa still calls the shots.
Klein knows that the LPS Portfolio would include both the technological aspects which SGP needs as well as the Contractor rosters. This, coupled with their Work Inventory, could be enough to finance the ongoing litigation from both the Illinois Attorney General and the Federal Racketeering beef over in Pennsylvania.
Klein will carve up LPS like a Kosher Thanksgiving Turkey. Hell, he might even throw in a cauldron or two for remaining staff just like he did with the Bank of America debacle — yeah, the same debacle that Bank of America is having to pay debts upon which SGP were to have absorbed. What I do know is that it would be a no brainer. People within LPS are thinking similarly, as well. With both staff and Contractors jumping ship like the crew of Ahab, it is only a matter of time before LPS becomes another Field Asset Services (FAS) sans the Assurant.
Think I jest? Why not ask some of the higher C Level Staff at FAS. Oh, that’s right. Just like the Oracle predicted, they no longer exist!