Senate Banking Committee Statements at Housing Reform Markup

On May 15, the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs released prepared statements at the housing reform markup.


Washington, DC – Today, Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) resumed consideration of S. 1217, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013. The legislation being marked up included a bipartisan agreement drafted by Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo and is designed to stabilize the housing finance market and strengthen the American economy. It will create greater competition in the housing finance system and reduce risk to the taxpayer while ensuring affordable, fair access to all creditworthy borrowers.

Below is Chairman Chairman Johnson’s Statement as Prepared for Delivery.

“When we opened up this markup two weeks ago it appeared we were very close to gaining additional bipartisan support for this bill. That being the case, I consulted with Ranking Member Crapo and other members of the Committee and decided to recess for a short time to take one last shot at finding additional support. After exhausting every option to try and strike a deal quickly that would add votes at the committee level, I have concluded it is best to move forward with the majority we have now in committee and continue working to build support for the bill as it moves to the floor.

“This bill represents our effort to draft the final chapter of financial reform by addressing the most significant unresolved issue from the financial crisis – the housing finance system.

“Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator released the results of the G-S-E’s stress tests as required by Dodd-Frank. Under the projected adverse scenarios, the G-S-Es would require between $84 billion and $190 billion from the Treasury Department. This report illustrates exactly why we need reform.

“Understanding the urgency, Ranking Member Crapo and I agreed to work together on this issue, and from the start we committed to make this a bipartisan, inclusive, and transparent process.
That was never more evident than in the last few weeks as good-faith, bipartisan negotiations continued. I would like to thank Ranking Member Crapo for his partnership throughout this process to draft a serious, bipartisan product. Neither of us got everything we wanted, but our primary goal was to create a new system that would be built to last. I would also like to thank the Administration – specifically, the NEC, HUD, and Treasury – for their work with Senators Corker and Warner on S. 1217 and their input regarding various pieces of the discussion draft.

“The legislation before us today is designed to stabilize the housing finance market and strengthen the American economy. It is modeled after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which has protected Americans’ bank deposits and helped provide for a vibrant community banking industry for more than 80 years.

“As the economy and housing market continue to recover, the legislation goes to great lengths to ensure a smooth transition from the old system to the new system. It is carefully constructed to ensure small lenders continue to have access to the secondary market. And there are market-based incentives built in to make sure rural and underserved communities are not shut out of the housing market.

“This legislation will create greater competition in the housing finance system, reducing risk to the taxpayer while ensuring affordable, fair access to all creditworthy borrowers.

“But this is not the final product. This is only the first step toward real reform, and we will continue to work together to improve the bill and attract additional support.

“Since taking over as Chairman I don’t think we have worked better as a Committee than we have on addressing housing finance reform. I want to thank Ranking Member Crapo and all of my colleagues on the Committee for fully engaging in this process and working so hard to move this effort forward. Everyone has been thoughtful, cooperative, and constructive. That is why the bill we will vote on today includes ideas and contributions from nearly every member of the committee — including many ideas from Members who are not quite ready to support the bill.

“I do not expect to get as many votes today as I had hoped we would, but what is most important is that we have enough support to keep this process moving forward. I am encouraged by the progress we have made over the last few weeks bridging the divide on many issues, and I remain committed to working with Members of the Committee to get to a place where more of you can support this important legislation on the floor. I believe that is a commitment shared by many of my colleagues here today, and I would be interested to hear from Members about their interests in continuing to work together on this effort.

“Lastly before turning to Ranking Member Crapo, I also want to thank all of the staff who have worked so many long hours to get us to this point today. I know that the majority and minority Banking Committee staffs have worked countless late nights, many lasting into the early morning hours, and I think they have forgotten what it means to get the weekend off. I know every Member here would agree that this could not have been done without our dedicated staffs, so I sincerely thank everyone involved in this effort.

“Ranking Member Crapo thank you again for your partnership during this effort.”

Please click here to view Chairman Johnson’s online statement.


Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee resumed consideration of S. 127, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013.  The legislation being marked up included a bipartisan agreement drafted by Chairman Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) and Ranking Member Crapo, and is designed to stabilize the housing finance market and strengthen the American economy.  The legislation will end the government domination of the U.S. housing market and re-establish the private sector as the engine of housing finance.
Ranking Member Crapo’s Statement as Prepared for Delivery: 
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I appreciate our working relationship and look forward to moving this legislation not only through the Committee, but to the Floor. This Committee is set to approve housing finance reform legislation with a bipartisan majority.  Today is an important day and one of which we should all be proud. 
“Thank you again to you, Mr. Chairman; to all of my colleagues on the Committee and their staffs; and to the countless individuals and stakeholder groups who have helped make this process successful.
“For the first time in the nearly six-year conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee will have passed legislation to reform this system.
“This is an important milestone.
“The Chairman and I will continue to grow support for this important legislation to repair our broken housing economy.  We have the opportunity to fix our flawed system and set up a more sustainable, efficient, permanent housing finance system that will provide future economic opportunities for millions of families and individuals throughout America.
“Again I thank everyone for their continued work on moving this legislation, and look forward to working with all of you as we continue to the finish line.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

Please click here to view Ranking Member Crapo’s online statement.

About Safeguard 
Safeguard Properties is the largest mortgage field services company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs approximately 1,700 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally. Website:



Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.


Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.



Sean Reddington

Sean Reddington is the new Chief Information Officer for Safeguard Properties LLC. Sean has over 15+ years of experience in Information Services Management with a strong focus on Product and Application Management. Sean is responsible for Safeguard’s technological direction, including planning, implementation and maintaining all operational systems

Sean has a proven record of accomplishment for increasing operational efficiencies, improving customer service levels, and implementing and maintaining IT initiatives to support successful business processes.  He has provided the vision and dedicated leadership for key technologies for Fortune 100 companies, and nationally recognized consulting firms including enterprise system architecture, security, desktop and database management systems. Sean possesses strong functional and system knowledge of information security, systems and software, contracts management, budgeting, human resources and legal and related regulatory compliance.

Sean joined Safeguard Properties LLC from RenPSG Inc. which is a nationally leading Philintropic Software Platform in the Fintech space. He oversaw the organization’s technological direction including planning, implementing and maintaining the best practices that align with all corporate functions. He also provided day-to-day technology operations, enterprise security, information risk and vulnerability management, audit and compliance, security awareness and training.

Prior to RenPSG, Sean worked for DMI Consulting as a Client Success Director where he guided the delivery in a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 enterprise client account. He was responsible for all project deliveries in terms of quality, budget and timeliness and led the team to coordinate development and definition of project scope and limitations. Sean also worked for KPMG Consulting in their Microsoft Practice and Technicolor’s Ebusiness Division where he had responsibility for application development, maintenance, and support.

Sean is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts and received his Masters in International Business from Central Michigan University. He was also a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force prior to his career in the business world.


General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard and oversees the legal, human resources, training, and compliance departments. Linda’s responsibilities cover regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human resources and training initiatives, compliance, litigation and claims management, and mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans over 20 years, and Linda’s experience covers regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.


Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.


AVP, High Risk and Investor Compliance

Steve Meyer

Steve Meyer is the assistant vice president of high risk and investor compliance for Safeguard. In this role, Steve is responsible for managing our clients’ conveyance processes, Safeguard’s investor compliance team and developing our working relationships with cities and municipalities around the country. He also works directly with our clients in our many outreach efforts and he represents Safeguard at a number of industry conferences each year.

Steve joined Safeguard in 1998 as manager over the hazard claims team. He was instrumental in the development and creation of policies, procedures and operating protocol. Under Steve’s leadership, the department became one of the largest within Safeguard. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the newly-formed high risk department, once again building its success. Steve was promoted to director over these two areas in 2007, and he was promoted to assistant vice president in 2012.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve spent 10 years within the insurance industry, holding a number of positions including multi-line property adjuster, branch claims supervisor, and multi-line and subrogation/litigation supervisor. Steve is a graduate of Grove City College.


AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.


AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.


AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.


AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.


Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.