Safeguard Properties Conflict of Interest National Fair Housing Complaint

Submitted by JohnDoe on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:25.

The National Fair Housing Alliance filed a complaint against Safeguard Properties alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

According to the complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance:

Respondents have engaged in a pattern of discrimination through their selective fulfillment of their FSV responsibilities based on race.

Specifically, Respondents maintain Fannie Mae properties located in White census tracts noticeably better than they maintain

Fannie Mae properties located in predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods in the same metropolitan area.

Respondents have engaged in such discriminatory conduct in communities across the country, including Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; 

Chicago, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; Denver, Colorado; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
 
The National Fair Housing Alliance claims that Safeguard Properties' unlawful behavior is deteriorating and neglecting
structures in minority communities, as compared to well-maintained, attractive properties in White neighborhoods.
Respondents’ conduct has impeded neighborhood stabilization and economic recovery, and harmed investors, homeowners,
and municipalities by unnecessarily depressing property values.  
 
 
http://www.nationalfairhousing.org/Portals/33/SafeguardAmendedComplaint.pdf
 
 
 
 
If the property is not properly maintained and the mortgagee decides the property is a liability, some mortgagees 
give Safeguard Properties the property for free or nearly free.    What's the financial incentitive for Safeguard Properties to properly
maintain and safeguard this property? 
 
 
The Slavic Village area in Cleveland, Ohio is considered one of the areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.  Nearly the entire area is blighted.
Safeguard Properties had contracts with mortgagees  to maintain and safeguard property in this area.  This area has not been properly 
maintained / safeguarded, and property value is severely depressed.    Mortgagees are now giving Safeguard Properties property located in the
Slavic Village area to get it off their books- write it off.   What's the financial incentitive for Safeguard Properties to properly maintain and safeguard this property?
 
 
Safeguard Properties promote demolition.   Safeguard Properties is paid to preserve foreclosed property.   This is a conflict of interest.
 
 
"Fernbacher’s company GSPS is a contractor for several property preservation firms. All they do is tear down homes.
They are the last resort for many communities all over the country overrun with blight.
 
One of Fernbacher’s clients is Safeguard Properties, the Ohio-based property preservation firm. Its founder Robert Klein is taking Fernbacher
around the country this year from conference to conference on a demolition crusade, to convince cities to pursue the clean slate their hardest hit communities crave. 
 
Their first opportunity is a quiet place left even more silent after the housing downturn. In Slavic Village, a community located in Cleveland, Ohio, home prices
plummeted from nearly $150,000 during the housing boom to roughly $39,000 today, according to data from Altos Research.
 
Safeguard and GSPS will start a pilot program this year to demolish 2,200 Slavic Village homes that are considered beyond saving. But it isn’t as simple as that.
 
Safeguard placed all Slavic Village properties into three categories.
 
Owner-occupied homes fall into the first category, homes in need of rehabilitation but vacant are the second category, and the third category consists of ones that need to come down.
Most of the properties sit in either of the first two categories, but any progress waits on tearing down the ones in category three.
“No developer will come in when you have five occupied properties, five vacant properties and one that needs to be demolished.
Those five properties are affordable, and can be rehabbed fairly cheaply. But nobody will come in until you’ve demolished that one property,” Klein said.
“What we’re doing now is we’re putting together a model to make this thing work in Slavic Village. If it works in Slavic Village, we can do this anywhere in the country.”
 
 
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/creative-destruction?v=preview
 
 
Cuyahoga County officials are in the process of giving Safeguard Properties hundreds of properties located in the blighted Slavic Village area.
Thousands of houses are in need of demolition in this area.
The same blighted area Safeguard Properties was paid to preserve foreclosed property. 
( categories: )

Safeguard Properties Fair Housing Discrimination Complaints

 The National Fair Housing Alliance filed an amended complaint to include four additional cities in which they allege discrimination by Safeguard Properties.

Meanwhile, the Cuyahoga County Land Bank continues to give free or nearly free property to Safeguard Properties via Slavic Village Recovery.

I expect another amended complaint to include both Cleveland and East Cleveland.  

Cleveland and East Cleveland properties 'safeguarded' by Safeguard Properties are probably in worse condition than the other nine cities combined.

 

For Immediate Release: May 13, 2014

Largest Property Preservation Company in Nation Continues to Discriminate 
in African American and Latino Neighborhoods 
 
Safeguard Properties Accused of Racial Discrimination in Charleston, Chicago, Denver, and 
Indianapolis 
 
 
Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) filed an amended federal housing 
discrimination complaint against Safeguard Properties, highlighting evidence in Chicago, 
Denver, Indianapolis, and Charleston, and offering new evidence in the northern suburbs of 
Chicago. Headquartered in Ohio, Safeguard is the nation’s largest privately-held property 
preservation company, also known as a field service vendor. Fannie Mae hires Safeguard to 
maintain its foreclosed homes, also known as Real Estate Owned or REO properties. 
 
This most recent complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
is the result of an investigation into Safeguard Properties and its failure to maintain foreclosed 
homes in African-American and Latino neighborhoods as compared to White neighborhoods. 
Findings announced today present evidence of discrimination in Chicago and its northern 
suburbs, Charleston, Denver, and Indianapolis. Other cities in the original complaint include 
Dayton, Toledo, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Memphis. NFHA and its partner agencies 
filed their first complaint against Safeguard Properties in March 2013. Failing to maintain 
homes based on the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood violates the federal Fair 
Housing Act. 
 
Safeguard Properties was recently named in a report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s 
Office of the Inspector General, which described how the preservation companies that the OIG 
reviewed provided inaccurate information and manipulated photographs in their reports to 
Fannie Mae. Despite the evidence presented in that report, Safeguard is still under contract 
with Fannie Mae, and is being paid despite allegedly failing to fulfill the work it was 
contracted to do. The Illinois Attorney General also has a lawsuit pending against Safeguard. 

 

http://www.nationalfairhousing.org/Portals/33/2014-05-13_Safeguard_press_release.PDF
 
 
 




Safeguard takes good care of REOs in White neighborhoods.
 
 
http://www.nationalfairhousing.org/Portals/33/2014-05-14_Safeguard_PowerPoint.PDF
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Safeguard Properties - Fannie Mae - County Land Bank

 

The National Fair Housing Agency's discrimination complaint is relative to Safeguard Properties failure to properly 'safeguard' property in minority neighborhoods in several states.  

Their complaint specifically mentions Fannie Mae's payment to Safeguard Properties.

 

 

The Cuyahoga County Land Bank is scamming with Fannie Mae in order to continue providing FREE taxpayer's property to Safeguard Properties.

In a sneaky attempt to avoid their repeat conflicts of interest, Fannie Mae gave this distressed property located at 3647 E 59 ST, Cleveland, Ohio to the county land bank:

 

Parcel #  132-08-006        1/17/2014           Fannie Mae       Cuyahoga County Land REUTILIZATION CORPORATION   $0

 

On 2/3/2014 ( just a few days later ) , the  county land bank turned right around and gave the property to Safeguard Properties ( Slavic Village Recovery)

 

Transfer Date: 03-FEB-14  

 Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation         Slavic Village Recovery    $0

 

Safeguard Properties is paid federal taxpayer dollars to safeguard foreclosed property.  Fannie Mae is Safeguard Properties' client.

 

If the property is distressed, Safeguard Properties get the property for free.

Fannie Mae is using the county land bank in an attempt to avoid direct conflict of interest instead of just handing over free 'distrested' property directly to Safeguard Properties.
    

Safeguard Properties - Fannie Mae

 May 20, 2014

 

 

Complaint: Foreclosed houses neglected in minority areas of Evanston, Skokie
Garbage is stuffed against the fence of a Safeguard-maintained house on the 1700 block of Leland Avenue in Evanston. | Irv Leavitt/Sun-Times Media
This should not have been a surprise, according to the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), which recently added some of Chicago’s north suburbs to a year-old complaint to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against Ohio’s Safeguard Properties.
 
The firm is entrusted with keeping foreclosed properties in good shape for federal lender Fannie Mae in the Chicago area and many other places across the country.
 
http://skokie.suntimes.com/news/safeguard-SKO-05222014:article