I had a discussion with a high ranking Mortgage Field Services Industry owner the other day. While his name will remain anonymous — let’s call him Dave — Dave asked me whether or not the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST) had any courses geared towards FHA compliance. I advised that we have a framework built — the IAFST University — and that we had populated a few modules into it such as Work Order interpretation, but with respect to agency specific curriculum, we had not put anything out. It wasn’t so much that we didn’t have the ability to do such, the overall problem was that no matter what language any US government agency — or financial institution for that matter — promulgated, each and every Prime Vendor out there had a different way they wanted things to be done.
Whether you work for Safeguard Properties or Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) or Cyprexx, the reality is that the dozens of photos for each and every line item are recycled into dozens more billing mechanisms which Labor never sees.
And that is the problem, at the end of the day. Our Industry has become such a labyrinth of fiefdoms that attempting to accomplish even the basic tasks now requires Enterprise level orientation and a Herculean amount of effort. And while the fiefdoms served a branding purpose twenty years ago, today, they actually impede productivity. What I am talking about is the ability to leverage API access. An open API allows new technology to streamline processes. The fear, though, is that the very API which unleashes productivity also shines the light of transparency upon firms whom refuse to join the modern world. A classic case-in-point is the recent catastrophic collapse of the entire MCS technological backbone we wrote about here. More on fiefdoms later this week.
Another issue plaguing our Industry is the refusal to properly codify the language we use. Take, for example, the colloquial phrase lock change. In fact, this is not the official language which the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses. HUD requires a full lock change or a re-key. And each are different prices. Moreover, though, HUD requires that only Kwikset locks to be used. And while that is a basic example, a more serious one is the winterization.
A winterization is an ideal example to demonstrate the problems with fiefdoms. Some firms want a winterization to be performed wherein pressure is held for 30 minutes at 35 psi. Some say 40 psi and no time to be recorded. And some simply say perform the winterization and supply photos accordingly.
There are multiple inherent problems with the above quoted information. First, if you tell someone precisely what to do, precisely how to do it, and then precisely when to do it, you just bought yourself and employee. Simply type Dynamex or AB5 into Google — or here on Foreclosurepedia’s Search Bar — if you have any doubt. The next problem is no one in this Industry — and the US government for that matter — knows precisely what psi or how long we should purge the plumbing or hold the pressure in order to properly perform a winterization. To go a step further, even if they had a number, the reality is that some pipes are copper, galvanized, PVC, CPVC, and Pex. So, is the time and psi all the same for each of the different types of plumbing? How about is the timing and psi the same in Miami, wherein the they are at Zero Mean Sea Level versus say Denver wherein it is a Mile High Mean Sea Level?! Moreover, though, Miami’s barometric air pressure, today, is at 30.02 and Denver is at 29.75. And guess what, those numbers change by the minute. Airplanes generally call it an altimeter reading.
I digress. Let’s just say, for a moment, that we could put a glossary together; let’s say that by some fucking miraculous event the Industry shot callers were willing to throw some money together to scientifically — ISO for example — set in stone a real glossary, even that is simply the first rung on the ladder.
Eric Miller and his cronies over at the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) have a cobbled together type of education. It hijacks dozens of copyrighted images and information from sources that are years — if not decades — old. The biggest problem is that it is targeted primarily for white collar folks. As the story went, NAMFS hijacked the material from a firm called Stallion and Rob Preston back in the day. Regardless, the problem is that maybe less than ten percent of it is specific to what Labor needs.
Education is needed not only for the day laborers hired off of Craigslist. Management is in dire need of a crash course on the fundamentals of operating a legal business in multiple states.
Herein lies the rub, as the Bard would say. Ed Delgado is the Industry Evangelist to many NAMFS acolytes. Delgado published a paper several years ago which almost read, word for word, what Foreclosurepedia had been preaching for a decade. It is below and dealt with the need for — wait for it — the Standardization of Terms and a Universal Work Order. I mean NAMFS knew about this in 2017 for Christ’s sake and still did nothing! I mean this was sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by Delgado in his capacity at the National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA) which is comprised, then, of more than EIGHTY PERCENT of all mortgage servicers!
See, fiefdoms are almost the ENTIRE problem with the Industry. Here you have your Clients FUCKING TELLING YOU what they want, but your tiny and insignificant piece of the game is more important. Ego, plain and simple. And I’ll tell you something, I said nearly three years ago that in Q4FY2019 – Q2FY2020 the collapse and consolidation of our Industry would separate the wheat from the chaff. And it sure in the hell has come to pass. By the way, that prediction did not originate in some crystal ball I keep on my desk. It is fucking common sense.
And I’ll tell you something else that is going to piss off a lot of the High Holies over at NAMFS, the consolidations are happening because your fiefdoms are more important to you than your own Clients.
Education is needed now, more than ever. After a ten year gang banging of Labor, the reality is that the vast majority of people out there today are actually doing more harm than good to the assets. I mean you have homeless people performing inspections and posting evictions — and using the city bus to do it! Anyone whom believes that there remains more than ten percent of an educated work force is high on crack. And anyone whom believes that it is legal for the contracting entity to train the contractor is getting their crack direct from the source.