Databases Created to Locate Code Officials and HOAs
The National Association of Mortgage Field Services and REO property preservation and maintenance company Field Asset Services have recently launched two new tools to improve communication between code enforcement officials and field service providers.
Nearly 550 field service companies that are members of the NAMFS now have access to a Web-based database that features a list of code officials and homeowners association contacts throughout the country in case a property has violations that do not comply to industry regulations.
“Our membership consists of national and regional field services companies and inspectors who are out in the field all the time and we saw a need to help them have access to a tool quickly to search for a code official in case they need to contact someone,” said Eric Miller, executive director of the NAMFS.
The database contains approximately 12,000 code enforcement officials and 2,500 homeowners' association contacts. Miller said Austin, Texas-based FAS contributed 7,500 code official contacts and the majority of the HOA sources, while the NAMFS had approximately 4,000 contacts.
Through the directory, users have several options to modify their search for a code official or HOA contact either by state, zip code, name (either first or last) and department or title.
In addition to providing search functionality, this tools also allows members to provide updated information for existing contacts and submit new contacts if they are not already available in the database.
“Providing a single source for code official and HOA information to our members affirms NAMFS' goal to offer solutions for the mortgage field services industry,” Miller said. “We were fortunate to get a partner like FAS that was willing to share their significant contact list that allowed us to expedite the timeframe for this tool. With this kind of information and volume, we can facilitate communication to take care of default properties at a higher level than previously.”
Search results will appear in HTML format, but members can also download the information through Microsoft Excel to streamline the use of other programs.
Both Web-based search tools are free and can be accessed by members by visiting the NAMFS website.
Miller said the tool allows field service companies to help communities that are being affected with a high volume of REO properties because homes that appear to be improperly maintained could result in loss tax revenue for the neighborhood.
“It has a snowball effect because loss tax revenue puts costs and burdens on code enforcement, which increases the likelihood of fines and liens for us to be able to help support these homes,” Miller told this publication. “The idea is to be proactive and create better communication between the players within the industry. This tool shows the code enforcement officials that we are serious about trying to provide a solution that helps out the communities. Our focus for the solution is really about what can be done to prevent delinquent and vacant properties from falling in.”