The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) has refused to appoint a black person to their Board of Directors since 1988, when they were first founded. If the acronym NAMFS doesn’t mean much to you, by the time you finish this article I guarantee you will spread it across the social media spheres. NAMFS is a trade association which represents companies whom, based upon a three dollar inspection at the beginning, assist in the seizure of homes under foreclosure from black people. And for years NAMFS, a federal non profit trade association, has demonstrated precisely why an investigation into their operations is long overdue. Take, for example, Eric Miller. Miller is the NAMFS Executive Director. As Foreclosurepedia exclusively reported upon last week, Miller’s salary consumes over NINETY NINE POINT SEVEN PERCENT of all NAMFS member dues documented in their latest IRS Tax Returns. Both Miller and NAMFS itself refused to produce their tax returns required under federal law. Foreclosurepedia was able to exclusively obtain them from the IRS.
For over thirty years, NAMFS members have spearheaded an elite, tactical force whose sole occupation has been to remove homeowners — many whom are black — from their properties, in order to turn a profit. And with surgical precision, like a vampire squid, NAMFS members dispatch veritable armies of low income quasi-inspectors whom, for three dollars, determine if you get to keep you home. And in many cases, whether or not you are legally allowed to retain your home means nothing as Foreclosurepedia exposed with respect to Safeguard Properties and Huntington Bank when U Hauls were used to steal a homeowner’s possessions inventoried for an estate sale.
The eagle eye view of the foreclosure crisis was best exemplified in Prince George’s County (PG), Maryland. In the town of Bowie, for instance, large colonial-style homes with attached two-car garages, spacious apartment buildings designed for families, and modern shopping centers line the streets. It was a honeypot for the predatory subprime mortgages. What set PG County apart from other upscale regions is that most of its citizens are black. No other majority-black counties in the United States are even comparable in terms of numbers of educated citizens and middle-class incomes, but when the economy crumbled, so did the dreams of many homeowners living in PG county. The county’s median household income then was $73,568, a full $20,000 more than the median household income of the United States as a whole. Only 7.1 percent of U.S. firms are black-owned, but in Prince George’s that number stands at a whopping 54.5 percent.
In 2009, a mind boggling one quarter of all subprime mortgages were in PG County. — Statistics from Urban.org
NAMFS has, for years, worked hand-in-hand with both financial institutions as well as the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Curious what the opinion of the financial sector was with respect to black clients? Tony Paschal, a former black Wells Fargo loan officer based out of Annandale, VA, was quite enlightening with respect to how white controlled firms perceived blacks attempting to obtain mortgages. The New York Times stated,
In 2001, he states in his affidavit, Wells Fargo created a unit in the mid-Atlantic region to push expensive refinancing loans on black customers, particularly those living in Baltimore, southeast Washington and Prince George’s County, Md.
“They referred to subprime loans made in minority communities as ghetto loans and minority customers as ‘those people have bad credit’, ‘those people don’t pay their bills’ and ‘mud people,’ ” Mr. Paschal said in his affidavit.
He said a bank office in Silver Spring, Md., had an “affinity group marketing” section, which hired blacks to call on African-American churches.
“The company put ‘bounties’ on minority borrowers,” Mr. Paschal said. “By this I mean that loan officers received cash incentives to aggressively market subprime loans in minority communities.”
Both NAMFS and the MBA remain silent with respect to how many blacks versus whites had property preservation services accelerated based upon three dollars per inspections. That is not a typo. As seen to the right, Safeguard Properties pays three dollars to initially determine whether or not your property should be foreclosed upon. In an article by Prospect.org, previously cited, “[…] high-earning blacks were 80 percent more likely to lose their homes than their white counterparts, making the homeowners of Prince George’s County prime targets.” I want that number to sink in, for just a moment. You have a trade association which has refused to bring a black person upon its Board of Directors for over THIRTY TWO YEARS — since it was founded — whose membership has made over a billion dollars — if not more — and profits by seizing African American homes. So, how exactly is it possible that non diversified businesses are capable of this?
It’s simple. When you have already targeted a population with extremely toxic debt — subprime mortgages — it gins up the ability to follow through with the seizure of their homes. And there is no doubt that black people were targeted. To put it into perspective, on a typical $165,000 mortgage, three points on a deal increases the interest rate by an additional $100,000. In the end, the Justice Department found that 4,500 homeowners in Baltimore and the Washington, D.C., region had been affected by these flat-out racist lending practices in one investigation. Specifically targeted for subprime loans among the minority demographic were black women. Women of color are the most likely to receive subprime loans while white men are the least likely; the disparity grows with income levels. Compared to white men earning the same level of income, black women earning less than the area median income are two and a half times more likely to receive subprime. Upper-income black women were nearly five times more likely to receive subprime purchase mortgages than upper-income white men.
For over a decade, NAMFS Executive Director, Eric Miller, has been on a ten thousand dollar per year pay raise. In only a few years, Miller went from roughly $90,000 per year to well over $120,000. It wasn’t until NAMFS latest tax returns that Miller had to take a modest, several hundred dollar pay cut. That cut, though, wasn’t due to a humanitarian point-of-view. It was to ensure that his pay would not exceed ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all NAMFS member dues. As shown earlier, Miller’s pay consumes over NINETY NINE POINT SEVEN PERCENT of all NAMFS member dues. And that number is driven home by the obvious institutional racism present at NAMFS. Miller, a white man, has yet to preside over the appointment of a black Board of Directors member.
In fact, NAMFS has never had a black President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer. To that point, many are still familiar with Heather Berghorst, the white former NAMFS Secretary whom defrauded nearly one million dollars from Minorities and Labor alike. Foreclosurepedia dedicated dozens of articles to the fraud. Miller ensured she maintained her office, for over a year, all the while defrauding innocent victims. Even when Berghorst filed for her SECOND bankruptcy, Miller refused to act. Even when Fifth Third Bank sued Berghorst for willful and malicious injury, Miller proverbially cleaved her close so as to protect her. So heinous were Berghorst’s actions, that the federal bankruptcy judge refused to allow her complete bankruptcy and ordered her to repay some of her debt. It is part and parcel how white people protect their own while defrauding minorities. The federal judge ruled in not one, not two, but in three separate challenges totaling over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS including fifteen thousand dollars to Fifth Third Bank, that Berghorst had to pay the money back.
Many will remember Eric Miller and NAMFS attempting, unsuccessfully, to threaten and intimidate Foreclosurepedia for stating Minority Females and Labor should stand up for their rights. And many also remember how Berghorst’s lawyer attempted the same — until I unseated him as documented in this article. See, that is the fact of the matter. NAMFS and its cronies will always attempt to strike fear in those whom they wish silenced. It is IDENTICAL to the systemic racism prevalent in America today. And just like we are seeing throughout the US today, in the form of protest to remove the yoke of persecution, so to has Foreclosurepedia always took a stand against the nefarious actions thrust upon the innocent victims in our Industry.
For too many years, the Mortgage Field Services Industry has remained silent as the white status quo has remained in place. That silence needs to end and it needs to end NOW!
To demonstrate how out of touch white people are with reality, take a read through a recent HousingWire article,
The National Association of Realtors laid out a five-point plan for how the real estate industry can step up to provide support in increasing the number of Black American homeowners.
I love it. The very same people whom targeted minorities over the past decade and a half, are now back with a new and improved plan to, well, re-target minorities! If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, well, it probably is a duck. The National Association of Realtors (NRA) is no less culpable than their financial partners cutting the mortgages even today. Even more disheartening are those running for cover, throwing their checkbooks out behind, as recently demonstrated by the hundreds of millions of dollars tossed around like so many bargaining chips.
CNET has a complete list as of a few days ago. Some include, Walmart announced that it will contribute $100 million over five years to create a new center for racial equity. Target announced a $10 million commitment in an effort to advance social justice through supporting partners like the National Urban League and the African American Leadership Forum. Home Depot CEO Craig Menear announced a $1 million donation to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in a statement released on the company website.
Notice whom is missing from that list? The very predators like NAMFS and its membership, whom kick in the doors of black people day in and day out. Also missing were the very people whom profess to be helping black people such as the NAR and the MBA. In fact, Baltimore is home to the recently appointed NAMFS Board of Directors Regional Representative, Al Freedman. Freedman owns First Freedom Preservation. And as we related earlier, Baltimore and Prince George’s County were traumatically impacted, in a targeted and racist fashion, by the financial sector. Pouring through the dozens of accolades for Freedman and his company, one stuck out accusing Freedman of fraud and racism, which stated in part,
[…] we are doing work that we did not get paid for doing like griffs ave , we completed the work at every home and should be paid for it , these inspectors are your own inspectors and are racist. and will do everything that you tell them to do ,I have not seen any thing showing that we did not do the work , every since you sent that letter out stating that we will be charged back for any mistake we make , we have not done any work right , according to your inspectors , just like I told you earlier that I feel that something is going on know I see , This is not right I have the photos to show that we did the work and our money is being taken for no reason [… .]
We additionally noted that Freedman and his firm, in conjunction with NAMFS, the MBA, and the NAR, have explicitly chosen not to financially support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement nor condemn the police atrocities currently being committed against black people. And I am going to tell you something, unless BLM does more than simply force the removal of the logo from Uncle Ben’s rice, all we are going to witness is yet another Kerner Commission from 50 years ago.
Among other things, the commission’s February 1968 report concluded after seven months of investigation that, “What White Americans have never fully understood but what the Negro can never forget — is that White society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and White society condones it.”
If anyone believes that the evictions and foreclosures will be any different during COVID, I suggest you read the statistics for non government insured mortgages coming out from Amherst — 22 Million renter evictions and 15.6 Million defaults to be precise. And as opposed to the ragtag Occupy Wall Street demonstrations we saw during the 2008 Financial Crisis, we now have millions of people unemployed, with unemployment benefits terminating this month, and no end in sight. $9 Trillion to the Trump cronies since September — when the financial crisis really began — and $1,200 to the common man. Remaining silent while NAMFS and its leadership, like Al Freedman, hunker down to weather the storm is the epitome of folly. The reality is that Miller has become a sad sideshow just like Emperor Trump’s Tulsa ordeal last night. NAMFS is the last hurrah of a backwater circus which is making its last appearance and Miller, the ringmaster of animals whom have rebelled.
With the summer upon us and the hurricane season cranking up, we are guaranteed a show of epic proportions. The only problem with this production is that there will be no superhero showing up in a cape. There will be no rescue of the common man. Ultimately, we are on the verge of falling over the precipice as the Emperor Whom Wears No Clothes fiddles much like Nero as Rome burned down all around him.