HousingWire attended the SourceMedia Best Practices in Loss Mitigation Conference, in Dallas this week and actually didn't make it to a single panel. This was due mainly to being pulled aside for a series of discussions with market players who are either completely new to the space, or veterans to loss mitigation. In between these meetings, readers of HousingWire used the opportunity to get inside the editor's head.
Needless to say many of the surreal comments they made got into mine.
Here is a sample, all off the record of course, of some of the more interesting quotables:
"When we finally made it out to view the property, it wasn't there. It was an empty lot worth maybe $200,000 set among $4.5m homes. Of course that didn't stop the owner from selling the "house" four times over before we got there." -- an REO listing agent.
"One broker actually took a green marks-a-lot to a photo to make the winter ground look summery." -- on a dodgy BPO.
"Oh, the poor homeowner, the poor homeowner! Oh no, they can't lose their homes. Oh, well excuse me, but we've lost millions." -- an MI insider.
"One guy, the president of a non-profit that represented the deaf could only be reached via email and teletype. So he flew under the radar for a long time, and when we finally got him in and realized he artificially and fraudulently inflated the price, and successfully flipped the same property several times, it turned out he wasn't even using his own social security number. And that he made $15,000 that year and not the $1.5m his tax return claims. And to think this guy, if we are lucky, is going to get 18 months behind bars, tops. And, as it turns out, he isn't even deaf." -- a fraud attorney.
"The borrower was a waitress who lived by herself and worked nights at Hooters. For some reason in 2006, common sense walked out the door and no one thought to question that she 'made' $25,000 a month at that job. At least not until it came time to modify the loan. So, just wait until the 2007 and 2008 vintages hit our desks." -- a loan modification officer.
"My business is 16 times higher than this time last year. I have to move into a large business property and expect to take on 1,000 more new employees by year's end to sell my loan verification systems. When I tried to sell this product three years ago, people used to look at me like I was Greenpeace." -- a third party loan verification boss.
"People will always ask me, 'Why are you wearing a hardhat?'" -- a Nevada short-sales broker who goes to garage sales to hone her bargaining skills wearing a hard hat in order to quickly break the ice.