NAMFS

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NAMFS

  • Why 2017 Will Be a Stellar Year for the Mortgage Field Services Industry
    No one in the Mortgage Field Services industry would desire that any homeowner become delinquent in making their mortgage payments. Just as an auto body repair shop never hopes for more auto accidents so that they can repair more vehicles. Nor does a roofing company pray for more hail storms so that they can replace roofs.  It’s going to happen no matter what, and it’s a part of life.  Divorce, drug abuse and illness are some of the main reasons for mortgages to go into default. Holidays, vacations and general lack of financial management are other contributing factors. No matter what the prevailing economic climate is there will always be about a 4 to 5 percent mortgage delinquencies (2 months or more behind in payments) nationwide. The exceptions would be the Great Depression as well as the more recent mortgage crisis of 2008 where mortgage delinquencies reached close to 10% nationwide. The correction to the subprime mortgage fiasco made it harder for potential home buyers to purchase a home unless they had superior credit scores above 700 along with 20% for a down payment. Currently home ownership is at a 51-year low due to stringent lending requirements. This is in the process of changing. In an effort to stimulate home buying, the requirements to apply for an FHA loan are now as low as a 580 FICO score and as little as 3% down which can now be gifted. As more houses are sold in 2017, this one factor alone may... Read more »
  • Why Do We Have to Fill Out Vacancy Certifications?
    Short Answer: Because it’s the law. Answer Explained in Detail: Fannie Mae passed a regulation (Announcement SVC-2011-08R) on September 2nd 2011 that on page 4 says: Wait a minute!  It says we have to submit a certification only on the first time the property is found to be vacant!  Why then do we have to submit a vacancy certification for every client, every time we visit the property? For logistical reasons it would be nearly impossible for a national company to keep track of and maintain records of whoever the first inspector was who found the property to be vacant. The servicer may use one national this month and another national the next month.  The national may use a particular company this month and different company the month after.  And then when it comes down to the inspector out in the field, it could be just about anyone in the business.  The easist and most cost effective way to meet this requirement is to simply make the certification mandatory on each and every inspection.  No mistakes, no trying to figure out who was there first etc. So why do we have to do this in the first place?  The answer is simple.  “When a National or Regional company pays inspectors peanuts, you’re going to end up with monkey results.” -NMFS When you have mortgage field service inspectors out there doing property inspections for $2 or $3 bucks each, you’re not going to get quality results.  Inspectors getting paid such low fees have to get out there... Read more »
  • How Lenders Manage Third Party Vendor Compliance for Field Services
    Standardized background checks are important because the field service business is an elongated, tiered process. It starts when a financial institution issues a work order to inspect or perform work at a property. They typically contract with a national field service provider to perform the requested work. Click the quote below to read the full article. ... Read more »
  • The New Industry Standard Background Check by Aspen Grove Solutions
    After hundreds of lawsuits and thousands of complaints, banks are finally pushing for reform.  The measures are meant to screen out people convicted of felony criminal offense, such as theft or fraud.  The Mortgage Field Services Industry is facing ever increasing requirements to ensure there is appropriate oversight of their third party service providers. One by-product is the requirement to have a valid criminal background check.  Background checks are a long-term standard practice in many organizations as a way to mitigate risk.  Background checks are now a mandatory reality for the mortgage field service industry, but to date no standard has been applied that is valid for multiple clients.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which was created out of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act has rolled out new regulations requiring financial institutions to manage their risk appropriately.  These reforms are across the entire mortgage industry, but the major issue of compliance for our business of inspections is by requiring third-party vendors to pass a criminal background check. As a result, the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) in conjunction with Aspen Grove Solutions (AGS) and First Advantage established a solution, called Aspen iRecordTM, a Standardized Background Compliance Solution for the Financial Services Industry.  Now the mortgage field services industry has a centrally managed criminal background check process set in place and it verifies that an inspector has the credentials to conduct mortgage field services at every property they visit.  It is thought that this new credentialing system gives a collaborative approach,... Read more »
  • Vacant Properties with MOLD
    As mortgage field inspectors, we are required to inspect vacant properties. Often times we encounter mold in the home and depending on your immune system, this can cause instant headaches as well as trigger asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and sinus infections.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of mold species which are all essential components of our ecosystem.  They provide decomposition of many organic substances necessary to plant, animal and human life.  Mold is a fungus that grows wherever there is moisture.  Mold spores that pass through the air find places where there is moisture to cling to.  Leaky roofs, pipes, walls or flooded areas are the breeding places for mold. In the past, we have been given liberty with not being forced to conduct interior inspections when we know that there is a mold health hazard.   Due to the inexpensive availability of face masks that prevent inhalation of mold spores, we can no longer refuse to enter the property due to mold.  As often as we inspect the interior of properties, we need to think about our own health and safety.  For as long as you are in the mortgage field services business, you will no doubt continue to see properties like these:   There are three types of black mold that are less common but are considered very serious health hazards. Stachybotrys, Memnoniella, and Acremonium.   DO NOT…think that some of those cheap paper masks that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes will protect you.  The common cheap nuisance dust mask can only protect you down to 40 to 50 microns.  Just how big... Read more »
  • How to Treat “No Trespassing” Signs in the Field Services Business
    Mortgage Field Service contractors are faced with the dilemma of providing occupancy verification and letter delivery services to all sorts of properties for their clients. Properties with “No Trespassing” signs can and often are treated in the same way as “no contact” inspections. Inspectors are asked to take detailed photos of the signage, but to always keep their personal safety in mind. With the exception of bankruptcy cases, if we choose not to cross a “No Trespassing” sign, then we need to reach out to the neighbors to verify occupancy. Just because there is a No Trespassing sign does not mean that we cannot provide accurate results to our clients. The laws about No Trespassing are interpreted and applied on a case by case basis and can be confusing.  For our part, our clients do not expect us to trespass just to put a door hanger on occupied property.  But they do expect the occupancy results.  We NEVER leave a door hanger or letter on the “No Trespassing” sign itself, or anywhere else other than the door.  On vacant properties it is more than likely an old sign that was never removed. The best practice to keep in mind when ever you encounter a No Trespassing sign is to ask yourself, are you trespassing?  If you are representing the bank or the investors interest and are there to conduct official business, then who would ever think that you are trespassing?  Does it really make sense to believe that a person can buy a home, have a mortgage on the property, become delinquent in their... Read more »
  • What Your Email Address Says About You
    As an independent contractor to any company it is important to understand that your email address (or other communications for that matter) reflect your professionalism. You can keep your personal email address, just create a separate business email address. You may want to consider a unique email address that is consistent with your business name or the mortgage field services industry. You should give careful consideration to what comes after the “@” sign in your email address. In your opinion, which email address sounds more business-like? JohnDoe1983@yahoo.com or John.Doe@fieldservices.com What your email address is, shows a lot about you.  And who you host your email address from, says even more.   What Not to Do Do not have a business email address with numbers (unless your company name has a number in it such as “A1”. Using your age, street number, graduation date, birth date, anniversary date, etc. implies a more personal email address, not a professional email address.   How To Get a Business Email Address Basically what you are doing is getting yourself a website domain without the website.  (Unless of course you want to use and create a website.) What ever you name your website domain is what you use for your email address.  They go hand in hand.  But just because you have a website domain name does not mean you have to create a website. You can just use the email part for the purpose of having a business email address. When choosing a business name, make sure you think it over carefully.  If you don’t already have a business... Read more »
  • Data Processing
    Mortgage Field Services: Automated Data Processing Mortgage field service companies who hire independent contractors need automated data processing software in order to remain competitive in the field services business. A service company with a dozen or more clients needs to provide a way for their field service reps to download and submit their inspections to just one website or program. Bombarding your reps with dozens of websites, programs, and systems will only lead to high turnover rates. Mortgage companies and banks will send work orders to Mortgage Field Service companies for various reasons. Drive-By Inspections, Property Inspections, Interior Inspections, Occupancy Verification Inspections represent some of the types of inspections that a bank will send to a National, Regional or Individual mortgage field servicing company. The “Nationals” such as Safeguard Properties, LPS, M&M Mortgage Servicing, MSI, Five Brothers, A2Z, National Field Reps etc., will hire Independent Contractors or “reps” to physically conduct the inspection out in the field. Due to the current mortgage crisis the need for qualified inspectors has never been greater. The “Nationals” have their hands full and are limited to the amount of training they can provide individual contractors. Good training leads to quality field service inspections. For this reason, so many Mortgage Field Service companies are leaning more and more on Regional Companies to provide that training. Usually there is not enough volume in a zone or region for the Regional Company to limit itself to just one or two clients. A successful Regional Company will need to diversify not only... Read more »
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