REOMAC Annual Summit & Expo

March 26-28

Palm Springs, CA

Safeguard Properties’ Community Initiatives Department was honored to participate in the 2017 REOMAC Annual Summit & Expo.

Michael Halpern, director of community initiatives, moderated a general session titled Managing Vacant Property Ordinances.

Joining Halpern on the panel were:

  • Robert B. Eyre, Foehl & Eyre
  • Peter Lemos, Police Services Manager, Stockton, CA Police Department, Neighborhood Services Section
  • Richard P. Ormond, Buchalter Nemer

The topic of conversation focused on the numerous vacant property ordinances that continue to be enacted nationwide, including those requiring registration.

Halpern discussed the role of the Community Initiatives Department to provide educational outreach and resources to bring about a more cohesive relationship with local governments. Regarding local ordinances, there is a cause and effect. The ordinances are the result of frustration, often unnecessary and caused by a lack of understanding of the servicing industry and lack of transparency resulting in ineffective communication. The department works proactively with local governments to see if ordinances are needed and during the drafting process to attempt to remove any ambiguous language and assist in easing compliance.

Lemos, shared with the attendees his experiences and policies working for the city of Stockton. As a former panelist at the National Property Preservation Conference, Lemos discussed the successes and benefits of engaging the mortgage servicing and mortgage field services industries. Though Stockton takes an aggressive abatement stance, Lemos’s staff works closely with the industry to mitigate these actions. Lemos also shared his desire to assist servicers in one of their greatest challenges, certifying the abandonment of a property.

Ormond shared his experience working as a receiver in California. The number of properties falling into receiverships has been increasing and when done correctly can benefit the servicer and truly make a dent in community blight.

Finally, Eyre shared some of his experiences practicing in New Jersey. Numerous instances where the wrong party has been named has resulted in time consuming and expensive outcomes for both the industry and local communities. Coining the term “lobbying through litigation”, Eyre is taking the victories and encouraging the municipalities to proactively amend the wording and requirements to ensure accurate and efficient outcomes.

Halpern and Safeguard Properties would like to congratulate REOMAC on another successful conference and offer its thanks for its inclusion in the important conversations.


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