MCS Experiences Catastrophic Collapse Of IT

As MCS Collapses, Northsight Management And Others Are Called On The Carpet For Insecure IT

On 15 January 2020, Mortgage Contracting Solutions (MCS), a National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) member, experienced a catastrophic collapse of their data infrastructure. The only thing which appears to be working since then is their email whose MX records were pointed to Mimecast for their Microsoft Outlook mail servers. The collapse of MCS underscores not only the antiquated technology currently underpinning the Mortgage Field Services Industry, but also the shear level of outright incompetence by its leadership — if you want to call it that — like MCS’ CEO Caroline Reaves. As opposed to a ma and pa company, MCS is a National firm providing property inspections and preservation, REO property maintenance, vacant property registrations, valuations, settlement services, title, and other services. Additionally, MCS is directly servicing US Government contracts which makes the collapse even more disconcerting.

For years, MCS and the rest of their NAMFS pals, have demanded disaster plans to be implemented under penalty of unholy fines. And transparency and the ability to audit, at the drop of a dime, has been the hallmark of these Too Big To Fail firms.

Reaves is the poster child of what happens when firms become too large to manage. In the instant case, not only are MCS’ clients and government agencies suffering, but the innocent men and women of Labor are, as well. To this point, though, there has been no official statement as to what caused the MCS meltdown. For example, if their servers were hacked, what — if any — protections are being implemented to protect Labor’s personally identifiable information (PII)? We all remember, all to well, what happened when Assurant — by their own actiondumped hundreds of social security numbers, dates of birth, etc.

The larger issue here is that neither Reaves nor any of her NAMFS cronies appear to understand is that in a real time setting world where decisions are made in minutes, the proffering of subpar results ultimately ensures loss of business.

As of the time of publication, all MCS IT operations, other than email, were down including their main website. Whether MCS will ever salvage all of their data is unknown and precisely what cause the issues will probably never be revealed. What is for sure is that going forward, MCS’ unholy debt of over $300 Million and servicing of debt interest at roughly $30 Million per year is unsustainable. Moreover, though, recently their debt load received Junk Bond status.

More importantly, when MCS fires up their new and improved website, the log jam of data attempting to flow in will, ironically, collapse MCS once again!

MCS is not the only firm with a questionable ability to deploy or even comprehend technology. ServiceLink’s original commitment to building a platform to service Wells Fargo, as a principle Client, resulted in work orders totaling at close to 30 pages. Even the archaic platforms like Property Preservation Wizard (PPW) was incapable — or unwilling — to bridge the gap. Historically, a common denominator of NAMFS members has bee their refusal to allow for API distribution. In my opinion, this has been a violation of the Sherman Act. It has been an unequivocal agreement between NAMFS members to ensure that there will never be the ability to openly compete within the marketspace.

Another prime example of problems in the Industry is the ability to even understand the software systems NAMFS members possess. Take Northsight Management, for example. Northsight is on the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) Alert List, but not on their Blacklist. While they utilize a robust deployment of Salesforce CRM, the reality is Northsight does not really understand how it works. Contractors have been reporting that dozens of emails are generated from multiple people with respect to any given work order. Moreover, though, the ability to issue change orders or even get work orders closed out and paid on time is non existent.

When looking at the Northsight Management issues, the workflow is obviously a managerial problem. With their recent sale to Hudson Homes, many have questioned whether or not their ability to occupy the distressed asset space is even viable. Northsight, most recently, lost the Fannie Mae contract. In discussing the inability to close work orders and pay on time, many believe that this is a calculated way to unjustly enrich themselves by manipulating the workflow. The simple and salient fact that Labor is not allowed to view the Accounting process and payments do not reflect the work orders being paid, is a tell tale sign of such a design. The more serious consideration, though, is whether or not Hudson Homes will ever be capable of integrating Northsight without unduly tainting their own operations. Foreclosurepedia has a large FireWire briefing out on the matter next week.

Other firms, such as Safeguard Properties (SGP), have always relied upon an ancient Microsoft based — and HEAVILY antiquated — system which does not even allow Labor to save their work order photos is reason enough to avoid them like the plague. — Editor’s Note: We were advised that it is now possible to obtain photos from the SGP app. While we have not personally seen it, we felt it should be noted.

The addressing of non HTTPS websites is also of great concern. As we see the with respect to MCS and how their front end was connected to their databases, it is dangerous. Northsight Management, on their Vendor Application, utilizes a connection identified by Google as Not Secure and turns red when you begin to enter data. Northsight is among dozens of NAMFS members whom treat Labor’s information with as much disregard as passing salt at the dinner table. Foreclosurepedia will have a full update on those firms next weekend.

To date, the only firm Foreclosurepedia has been able to give a Green Light to has been Guardian Asset Management (GAM). At each and every juncture, GAM has made moves to lock their data down, protect PII, and ensure that when Labor has not been paid downhill, they have stepped in and and made them whole. Such was the case with respect to Randy Balamut, owner of RSB Field Services. The problem is that as soon as RSB was taken to task, he began moving work out under a new name, Ball Field Services. The whack-a-mole game has always been the same, but at least firms like GAM address the matter. Sentinel Field Services and ZVN Properties are also noted to have addressed similar issues successfully.

In closing, it is a brave new world. Going far beyond the ongoing challenges of the Industry today, the reality is that our geopolitical arena has come a calling. President Trump’s assassination of key Iranian military figures — right or wrong — has brought targeted cyber warfare to our country. And as a former intelligence officer I will tell you that the mortgage field services industry is the soft underbelly to our financial institutions.

Below is the current MCS Website information pertaining to DNS propagation:

A

Type Domain Name Address TTL
A mcs360.com 65.151.13.197 299

AAAA

Sorry no record found!

CNAME

Sorry no record found!

MX

Type Pref Domain Name Hostname TTL
MX 10 mcs360.com us-smtp-inbound-1.mimecast.com 299
MX 10 mcs360.com us-smtp-inbound-2.mimecast.com 299

NS

Type Domain Name NS TTL
NS mcs360.com ns0.dnsmadeeasy.com 4620
NS mcs360.com ns2.dnsmadeeasy.com 4620
NS mcs360.com ns1.dnsmadeeasy.com 4620
NS mcs360.com ns3.dnsmadeeasy.com 4620
NS mcs360.com ns4.dnsmadeeasy.com 4620

PTR

Sorry no record found!

SRV

Sorry no record found!

SOA

Type Domain Name Primary NS Responsible Email TTL
SOA mcs360.com ns0.dnsmadeeasy.com dns.dnsmadeeasy.com 21599

TXT

Type Domain Name Record TTL
TXT mcs360.com google-site-verification=hpdZSegJESEyriRLfqOYrp9JbmWccM17WSjzpWp_9Rg 1799
TXT mcs360.com v=spf1 include:_netblocks.mimecast.com ~all 1799
TXT mcs360.com MS=EC4ABBB930AD58493030A1EA4A650CB2E9A3A9ED 1799

CAA

Sorry no record found!

 

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