Foreclosurepedia was the first Media Outlet to cover the Kim Fatica Affair which bubbled to the surface after Joe Hummel, over at Keystone Property Services, made public Fatica’s decision to switch roofs on LinkedIn. It was a shot heard around the Mortgage Field Services Industry with more than 29,000+ views in the first three days. This article is more of a postmortem; it is an honest look at Non Compete Agreements and what happens when Firms put them into play. As the Mortgage Field Services Industry continues its path unto self destruction vis-a-vis the fraud perpetuated by National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Regime Members and the continued recalcitrant attitude
For those of you living under a rock, Kim Fatica is the former Director of Territories and Marketing for SEAS LLC. Fatica’s LinkedIn profile currently lists himself as Chief Marketing Officer of Keystone Property Services. The reality is that neither SEAS LLC nor Keystone have a proverbial clue as to where he technically hangs his hat.
When Fatica came to the Mortgage Field Services Industry just about a year ago he came on board with SEAS LLC. Fatica is a veteran media journalist whom is good at what he does. Fatica and I have had many a post midnight discussion pertaining to the complexity of the Mortgage Field Services Industry. With that said, I consider Fatica to be my equal wherein I am pater familias. The problem is that the rules in a mainstream setting are markedly different than THE RULES in the Industry.
Employees and Contractors alike change Masters within the Industry on a daily basis. Paul Magaha, NAMFS Regime Treasurer and former Vice President of Industry Relations Lender Processing Services — or is that Black Knight or Service Something or whatever — (LPS) recently was hired by Assurant Field Asset Services (AFAS) as their Compliance czar. Granted, Magaha’s titles and job duties are mainly cooked up out of thin air, the reality is that he is and was C Level at both firms and would obviously have and had access to proprietary information at both firms.
SEAS LLC position is that Fatica is uniquely separate from the Magaha Transfer. Sources speaking on condition of anonymity stated, “We invested a substantial amount of time and energy in the training of Fatica about the Industry. It is different than a typical employee in that for Fatica to be effective it was necessary to teach him not only about the Industry itself, but the subtle nuances which only exist here.” I inquired, with respect to the fact that the invocation of Fatica’s Non Compete Clause, in essence renders him unemployed. The reply was, “Quite the contrary. [Kim] is able to work virtually anywhere he wants; he is able to go back to the journalism career he left. Look, he knew what he was signing. All we are doing is protecting our investment.”
On the one hand, it strikes me as pretty Draconian. I mean come work for us, but you cannot work for anyone else over the course of two years. The reality, though, is that it happens every day in the real world. People sign on with firms to learn skill sets and then after they fulfill the Contractual Agreements they move on. If the business world did not have the ability to protect its investment then the motivation to train would be marginal at best.
Move Inc. and the National Association of Realtors filed a lawsuit against Zillow and former Move Chief Strategy Officer and Realtor.com President Errol Samuelson for alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets. On 05 March 2014 Samuelson left abruptly and jumped ship to Zillow in a similar fashion to Fatica’s move over to Keystone. Now, with that said, Fatica’s position would presumably be that SEAS LLC had not bestowed upon him any actionable intelligence which could be acted upon. Even if he did possess such, it would be easily monitored.
The reality, though, is that the Mortgage Field Services Industry is a hot bed for incestuous activity. It is rare, if ever, that any National, Regional or Otherwise Unspecified Order Mill is removed from each other. The allegations of training aside, common sense would have dictated that liaisons from both Keystone and SEAS LLC meet and discuss the potential move and that never happened officially to my knowledge. More on point, the news was plastered all over LinkedIn by Keystone which placed SEAS LLC in a far more uncomfortable position when they were contacted for official comment.
While somewhat different, the story of Joe Muto, the Fox News Mole whom dumped information to Gawker is appropriate. Joe Muto was the guy whom had a momentary pang of ethics with what he thought was going on at Fox News. Muto was a veteran O’Reilly Factor journalist and committed the greatest crime known to the media world in airing the dirty laundry of his Masters. Gawker, he believed was going to reward him with a job after he had produced the goods; the reality is that Fox tracked him down in less than 36 hours, Gawker got a story and Muto was unemployed. Granted, the story is told differently whether you eat lunch at Langnan’s or Chinese Fantastico, the story is the same with respect to Fatica — somewhat.
The entire Keystone – Fatica – SEAS Affair is a Situation Normal All Fucked Up (SNAFU). SEAS LLC no longer wants Fatica; Keystone is unwilling to pony up the funds to fight a protracted legal affair which they would probably win in two years; and Fatica is the journalist left out in the cold. In my opinion, the National Association of Mortgage Field Services is in sore need of a Public Relations Strategy and Fatica is a man I respect and is competent. Could this be in the cards? I don’t know, but it would receive the blessing of Foreclosurepedia which is not necessarily a bad thing.
The final outcome of this is yet to be laid out. Personally, I understand SEAS LLC’s position and empathize with Keystone at the same time. Yet again, two National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Members are at odds with themselves, but not with Regime status. Troubling to many is whether or not the Non Compete will begin to be applied in a piecemeal fashion. Personally, I see no problem with it in that sooner or later someone will draw a line in the sand and call the ambulance chasers to sort it out. In the meantime, Kim Fatica is a man without a Country, Keystone is probably reconsidering their social media strategy and SEAS LLC is simply contemplating lemon or milk for tea time.