Safeguard Conference Highlights 'M&M' Changes

In what may become an annual event, Safeguard Properties recently gathered about 240 servicers, field services representatives, vendors and other parties in Washington to talk about property preservation issues.

Attendees spent a day talking with Department of Housing and Urban Development officials about recent changes in HUD's national management and marketing contracts. Joe McClosky of HUD was the keynote speaker.

On the second day, attendees focused on field service issues with other investors and on code enforcement issues affecting management of foreclosed property. With HUD recently revising its policies for management and marketing of properties (see related story) that are being returned to HUD because of foreclosure, Safeguard thought it would be a good time to do a day-and-a-half conference for loan servicers and others in the property preservation business, according to Nicole Alling, marketing manager for Safeguard Properties.

The HUD changes increased the number of property management and marketing contractors, she noted. "Servicers went from four major contacts to 22 different contacts, so it becomes a little more hectic depending on state and region," Ms. Alling told MSN.

Attendees also heard from code enforcement officials from several cities with a significant foreclosure burden. In some cases, failure to maintain properties up to code can result in a demolition of the property, Ms. Alling noted.

She said Safeguard has also hosted property preservation workshops during other industry conventions sponsored by the MBA and USFN, for example. But often those meetings did not provide enough time to cover all the issues important to property preservation executives, so Safeguard added the day-and-a-half conference to its schedule. Ms. Alling said the event likely will become an annual conference.

Safeguard plans to make a recording and video from the conference available as well. And Safeguard CEO Robert Klein is also expected to send out a client alert relating to matters discussed at the conference.

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