The unregulated Mortgage Field Services Industry is to the foreclosure crisis what radiation is to a detonated nuclear bomb. This is not an understatement. What many homeowners do not realize is the sheer scope of financial turpitude which Contractors and Order Mills alike bill homeowners for — the billing occurs on the back end of a final foreclosure by and through an IRS 1099.
The almost incalculable amount of financial deceit laid upon the shoulders of homeowners is mind boggling. One of the most common, billable tasks is the “mold abatement.” I really love this one. The bank sends out an order to cure the mold in a home. The Order Mill then sends an order to Abate the mold. The Contractor sprays bleach and applies Kilz. The entire thing is billed at the Geographic Rate for Professional Mold Remediation.
Roofing? Yeah, here’s a good one. So, the Contractor — not licensed to do anything really other than have a business — either puts on a new roof or repairs it. The billing on this, as each and every other Work Order, occurs much like Medical Billing. The Line Item is calculated from the perspective that the person(s) doing the tasks are licensed in the trade they are performing.
I field two or three calls a week — up from one a month — with respect to how the Industry works. Surprisingly, many of the lawyers actually cite Contractors by name. They have lists of Work Order Numbers, Tasks Performed and usually have the photos. The question most of them have is, “How is it that you are able to bill for X when you are not licensed to perform X?”
The Party Line of almost each and every Contractor I have ever spoken to is that their need for work is justified by not spending the money to obtain proper licensing. Take lock changes for instance. Many folks do not realize that the State of Oregon requires a General Contractor’s license to perform them. With respect to conducting inspections like the 10 Page PCR for Safeguard Properties, it is illegal in Oregon and generally waived up there.
When I preached that I want Regulation within the Mortgage Field Services Industry it was not idle talk. Many of my friends are Contractors. Many others are merely folks without work whom found the Industry. The reality is that not only are Contractors required to have licenses for their trades, the Order Mills are required to have licenses in EACH STATE they are sending work to.
That is the dirty little secret that homeowners need to begin to drill down upon. When you get this huge 1099 for all kinds of insanity you need to demand an itemization of line item expenses. When you get that, pay close attention to the Companies listed whom allege to have provided services. Over on the ISTAR Database you will find a large listing of many of these people. Now, cross reference their Company Name with the Secretary of State where you live. If, for example, Safeguard Properties is saying that they cut your lawn in Oklahoma they did not, in fact do it. They sent that Order to another Order Mill. That Mill then sent it out again and it eventually went to a laborer in the Field — not a Contractor, a laborer.
If you are billed for a winterization at the same rate as a plumber charges you have the ability to sue the Order Mills and the Contractors for fraud. Same with the lock changes, lawn cuts (in many jurisdictions), roof repairs … you get the point. On these items simply drop me a line and I will walk you through how the scheme works and help you as best I can.
It has always boggled my mind how most of the people in this Industry are able to look in the mirror. Regardless of what these quasi Contractors are paid, there are laws which must be obeyed. Not only are the homeowners being defrauded in many cases, the municipal, county, state and federal governments are as well. Foreclosurepedia has begun adding data to the ISTAR Database to begin to track the quasi Contractor Order Mill franchises. This part of ISTAR we will provide to homeowners free of charge as a public service.
The tragedy is that while legitimate Contractors continue to watch pricing spiral downward, the direct causation is based upon Supply vs Demand. When you have a tremendous amount of illegitimate Contractors parading around, the Industry hires them. When you have gangs of these people pooling data from entities like the National Property Preservation Guild to recruit for Work Orders it behooves Contractors to begin to report upon this nefarious activity.
Tomorrow, I am going to sit down and Interview a couple of homeowners whom have been literally raped by this racket. If the NAMFS Regime thought that I was the Great Satan, those laborers parading around as Contractors along with their Order Milling partners have no idea what is coming down the pike. I have never swayed from my position that I will have a legitimate and level playing field. It is only fair to both the Consumer and Contractor alike.