We are working with a documentary production firm in Canada which is covering, in part, the foreclosure meltdown here in the States. A big component, where we come in for the Consulting basis, is the Property Preservation Industry (PPI) here in the States. I have a great friend up in Ottawa whom has been in film most of his life whom landed me the gig. He is not a Producer or anything; he is a blue collar stiff like myself. Union man; not a bad idea for this Industry, but that is another story for another day.
Anyway, as I began working with his Producer about nine (09) months ago and releasing documents. Since then the entire basis of the documentary seems to have changed.
One of the most misunderstood things amongst foreign nations is the fact that the United States allows a completely unregulated industry, the PPI, to operate with a Wild West attitude. What is normally heinous crimes in other nations are treated with off the cuff perfidy here. When asked about inordinately high volume of insurance claims as a direct result of actions taken within the PPI I told the Screenwriters that, “You have no idea what the real story is!”
The Statement about the high volume of insurance claims is actually a quote from Eric Miller, Executive Director of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS). One of the writers actually did not quite understand how that squared with Robert Klein, Safeguard Properties (SGP) position of very few issues as reported by Ben Hallman, Huffington Post. I attempted to explain that it really depended upon which side of the table you sat. When pushed, I told her that in the States no one wants to know anything about the seedy underbelly of the PPI. I said it’s like a B Rate Girls Gone Wild rerun! Obscene profit margins, lives destroyed, Contractors defrauded by felons hired to take care of the payments … Nationals Gone Wild! She got a kick out of that.
It strikes me as odd that our Neighbors North of the Border actually believe in the Rule of Law. Apparently, they suffered as well, but not to the same extent. Several of the Producers told me that Regulation is part and parcel a component of doing business in any type of foreclosure work in Canada. They were dumbfounded when I told them that we regularly do winterizations without plumbing licenses and perform Home Inspections with people off of Craigslist. The electrical backfeeding of homes concept; performing such without permit or license, raised several eyebrows of the rigging crews. The biggest one of all; the Best of the Best of the Nationals Gone Wild if you will was when I told them that Mortgage Field Service Providers down here instructed Contractors to address Mold with bleach and Kilz.
Obviously, Canada takes Mortgage Field Services seriously. Regulations abound and criminal activity does not go unpunished. Apparently, several of the writers in the Research Department did not believe the part about Mold. They actually called around to both Bank REO and HUD Field Service Providers and were told the same. “How is this legal?” Their concerns were that bleach isn’t really effective and the Kilz tends to mislead folks. “Isn’t anyone concerned about whether or not the mold will come back and make everyone extremely sick?” I told him I did not know the answer. I said that the US Government does not seem to care about how many people become sick and/or die. I also stated that only profit seems to matter to any of the Mortgage Field Service Providers here in the States. A look of disgust crossed over one of the Screenwriter’s face.
What was I to say? Should I have lied and stated that the $330,000 + dollars allocated annually by one National’s CEO for a private jet was really necessary as he was actually jet setting around personally inspecting properties? Should I have lied and stated that PPMS did not target Contractors for fraud and that their CEO and COO were both wanted felons when they were hired by FOUR National Mortgage Field Service Providers? Maybe I should have told them that the hundreds of thousands of dollars rolled into the NAMFS were actually going to be used for a Compensation Fund for the Medical and Employee vs Independent Contractor Claims which will inevitably be filed against an Industry which has had absolutely no regard for the safety of the very Contractors whom risk life and limb each day to turn a profit for the Nationals?!
You know, I think Nationals Gone Wild would be a GREAT idea! I plugged the idea with the Producer of the documentary and he scoffed. “That is the problem in the States, everything is about money.” We both laughed, but deep inside I knew he was right. In an Industry which has floated underneath the radar for so long, the illegal actions Contractors have been ordered to perform have become second nature. Only G-d Himself will ever know the TRUE damage done; damage to Contractors, damage to Brokers, damage to home buyers suckered into buying mold and methamphetamine infested homes.
At the end of the day the Property Preservation Industry has become infested with corruption. We are actually working on a very heavy story right now dealing with the use of employees to pony up Straw Companies for Larger Firms to use for the bidding process. The reality is that I am glad we have pretty much transitioned out of the cesspool; kicking in doors and being pressured to do Initial Secures even when Contractors do not feel comfortable is not honorable. It is especially NOT honorable when Contractors are made aware, tacitly, that the fewer Initial Secures they perform will result in across the board reduction in Work Orders. It strikes me as odd how folks can attend Church or Synagogue or the Temple knowing what is going on and not attempting to fix the issues. G-d knows those whom are guilty. That is a sentence which cannot be avoided. I thank those whom have BRAVELY stepped to the plate and begun sending in the anonymous documents and photos. Continue the Good Fight and I promise I will take your names to the Grave with me and that your Information will continue to stream both on here and to the proper Agencies.