Are Asset Managers Lying?

Is it time that they too come under investigation?

Federal agencies are questioning how banks are handling foreclosures. The banks in turn, have chosen REO specialists to manage and dispose of these “toxic” properties.

Despite all the noise from the Fed and Attorney Generals investigating banks as primary lenders, maybe someone should be looking into how asset managers are handling these very same properties.

Case in point:

According to a recent email forwarded to us, First American is emailing California brokers and agents to say that one particular asset management company has new and exclusive rules, when it comes to any property handled by NRT REOExperts.

…”for all Chase, WAMU and EMC properties you will need to order the NHD Report with First American. First American will supply the report at the approved fee. Any orders placed with another company will be paid by the Listing Agent.”

This sounds like a highly dubious claim.

After all, would a bank in today’s highly contentious and litigious times really require a single sourced provider and incur the full burden of responsibility that might result from any errors or omissions?   Recent examples of this trend are the ongoing Bank of America vs. First American Title lawsuit among numerous others.

Would a bank truly put every real estate agent and broker at litigation risk for their involvement in this sole source practice?  This doesn’t make sense to us; in fact we think it’s worth the Feds looking into these kinds of claims.

So far, we could not get any of the above mentioned banks to confirm that they were aware of this practice nor that this sole source mandate originated with them.
We’d like to know what you think.


Congressman Jim Costa Questions Freddie Mac’s Recent Partnership with First American Natural Hazard

Dear Readers,

As you know, I recently wrote an open letter to Freddie Mac’s CEO regarding their recent exclusive partnership with First American Natural Hazard. My concern has always been that arrangements like this are designed to cut out the smaller independent providers and to create situations like the monopoly currently being enjoyed by the two big title companies in CA real estate REO transactions. Well, I am not the only one who feels this way.

CA Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) recently wrote his own open letter to Freddie Mac (click here to view) that includes several questions that we would love to see answered, including:

Did Freddie Mac consider the impact this might have on other independent NHD Report providers? What measures have been taken to ensure that this special deal does not negatively affect California consumers? What benefits does Freddie Mac gain by dealing with First American Natural Hazard Disclosures?

Freddie Mac will have to answer these questions and many others as people both on Capitol Hill and throughout the CA marketplace realize the enormity of the ramifications of agreements such as the one between Freddie Mac and First American Natural Hazard.  Especially in light of the fact that it is our own tax dollars paying to support companies like Freddie Mac who so quickly turn around and engage in practices that ultimately harm CA tax payers .

We will continue to request that Freddie Mac opens the Natural Hazard Reports market to fair and open competition leaving the decision where it is supposed to be, with California home buyers and their real estate agents.

In the meantime, a huge thank you to Rep Jim Costa (D-Fresno) for his efforts!