Politics & Money

The competition must be absolutely FIERCE

The OC Register’s Andrew Galvin has been all over a spat between two Irvine, Calif.-based real estate auction companies competing in the red-hot REO auction space: National Home Auction Corporation and Real Estate Disposition Corporation. What caught our eye here at HW was a press release put out yesterday by NHAC that touted its “defeat” of REDC in Federal court. A closer review of the opinion shows that it was really more of a delay, with the judge denying a temporary restraining order while the case progresses. Not that any of that stopped some premature grandstanding from NHAC: “We are disappointed that REDC feels threatened by the success of National Home Auction, but we are here to stay as evidenced by our aggressive auction schedule throughout the nation this year. It underscores the strength of our organization and our commitment to serve the home buying public. Everyone in the industry as well as the public welcomes our fresh approach to the foreclosure auction business,” said Ryan Knott, CEO of National Home Auction. All public grandstanding aside, the interesting part about the case isn’t just how illustrative it is regarding competition in the REO space these days. It’s– as the OC Register’s Galvin notes — that Impac Mortgage Holdings CEO Joseph Tomkinson is caught up in the web. Apparently, Impac is the primary financial backer of REDC and according to REDC’s lawsuit, “acts in a critical consulting capacity regarding REDC’s business activities.” HW has reported in the past on Impac’s strategic decision late last year to embrace REO auctions. Tomkinson’s own declaration notes the close relationship between REDC and Impac, and suggests that two investors that ultimately bankrolled NHAC feigned interest in an investment into the troubled lender last year in order to gain a meeting with Tomkinson and obtain detailed information about “REDC, its proprietary customer list, its business processes, its method of acquiring foreclosed properties, its method of acquiring potential purchasers at auctions, its financing, its advertising” and a litany of other listed items. The two investors, James Watson and Robert Campbell, said in their own declarations that Tomkinson was merely bragging about REDC’s success. Either way, given that the denied motion was for a temporary restraining order and has nothing to do with the actual case, you’ll want to keep checking the BuzzPost. We can’t wait to see where this one goes.

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