On the Right Track
Robert Klein, Founder and Chairman of Safeguard Properties, was quoted in an American Banker article titled On the Right Track.
On the Right Track
An initiative designed to keep better track of vacant properties, and in turn, alleviate the mortgage industry from code violations, is making headway.
Since the program was established in January 2009 by the Mortgage Bankers Association, in partnership with Mers, the mortgage industry’s electronic system for tracking loan servicing rights, nearly 550 cities and government organizations around the country have signed up to participate.
The MBA Vacant Property Registration Mers Initiative enables cities to access the Mers database for free and see who the titleholder and servicer of the property is as well as the property preservation company and the point of contact.
This information has helped foster better communication between city code enforcement officials and servicers, said Robert Klein, head of the MBA’s vacant property registration committee and chairman of the Cleveland field service provider Safeguard Properties Inc.
Klein gave an update on the program during a keynote address last week at the annual Mers users conference. Mers is owned by Merscorp of Reston, Va.
The committee was established to address concerns over the patchwork of city ordinances that sprouted in response to the growing volume of vacant properties across the country. Frustrated with the difficulty in contacting parties responsible for abandoned properties, and the resulting blight and safety issues they caused, nearly 450 municipalities have enacted ordinances, each containing different regulations and fee structures. Companies like Merscorp were forced to act as fines for violations in some cities escalated to as high as $1,000 a day.
Safeguard Properties is the largest privately held field services company in the country. Located in Cleveland, Ohio and founded in 1990 by Robert Klein, Safeguard has grown from a regional preservation company with a few employees and a handful of contractors performing services in the Midwest, to a national company with over 700 employees. Safeguard is supported by a nationwide network of subcontractors able to perform any requested superintendence, preservation, and maintenance functions, as well as numerous ancillary services in the U.S., the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.