Field Services Provider Donates $150,000 to Cleveland Foreclosure Prevention
It's a move that may seem odd to some, but to CEO Robert Klein and his employees at Cleveland-based Safeguard Properties, it's part of what they see as being a positive influence in the local community. On Friday, the nation's largest privately-held mortgage field services company said that it had donated $150,000 to Cuyahoga County's Foreclosure Prevention Program. Cuyahoga County, home to one of the nation's highest foreclosure rates, includes Cleveland. The program, known as "Don't Borrow Trouble," is one of numerous local campaigns backed by Freddie Mac (FRE), among other large mortgage finance companies. Safeguard, which primarily manages distressed real estate for its banking and finance clients nationwide, may seem to be an odd supporter of foreclosure prevention efforts -- after all, the foreclosure surge is a huge source of revenue for the firm. But that's not how the company sees it, based on Housing Wire's previous discussions with Diane Roman Fusco, a Safeguard Properties spokesperson. Fusco has said that the company sees itself ultimately in the business of managing real estate for its clients; that includes foreclosed properties, but property management need not be a specialty limited to that particular line of work, she said. Beyond that, companies like Klein's can be a positive source of support for housing in local communities, despite foreclosures, by ensuring that properties are properly managed and maintained. Ask anyone who has worked in servicing or lived in a neighborhood with high foreclosure activity: it's most often the properties that are in disrepair and poorly managed that end up becoming problematic. Safeguard's donation was recognized in a special reception Friday, attended by Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis, program staff, representatives of non-profit counseling agencies and area business leaders. "This grant comes at an important time for all of us and will go a long way towards helping to protect at-risk homeowners from foreclosure," said Rokakis. Since its inception, the foreclosure prevention program, in partnership with United Way's First Call for Help hotline, has assisted nearly 10,000 homeowners and directly prevented over 2,100 foreclosures. "Cuyahoga County is our home, where we live and raise families," said Safeguard CEO Robert Klein. "As a business, we see first-hand the devastation that results from foreclosures -- to families, neighborhoods and communities here and across the country. "It's in all of our interests to work together to prevent home foreclosures, and Safeguard is honored to participate in this initiative." For more information, visit http://www.safeguardproperties.com.