Field Asset Services Releases Top-10 Code Violations for Property Maintenance

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Becoming Knowledgeable, Building Relationships and Opening Lines of Communication Critical to Overcoming Code Compliance Challenges

Awareness of code compliance trends, knowledge about the compliance process, and open communication will help the industry manage today’s level of code compliance efficiently and cost-effectively.

Field Asset Services (FAS), the nation’s leading provider of pre-foreclosure, REO, and renovation field services to the mortgage servicing industry and residential housing investors, today unveiled the most popular code violations to be cited along with related property maintenance initiatives to reduce code compliance fines. This data is based on FAS’s work with 30 mortgage and asset management clients nationwide, servicing more than 130,000 active properties on a recurring basis.

“Cities and local municipalities across the nation are becoming more vigilant towards issuing code violations to reduce blight and improve neighborhood conditions,” said Dale McPherson, Chief Executive Officer, Field Asset Services. “With foreclosure timelines reaching nearly 21 months, these fines can add up over time, even exceeding the value of the property itself in some cases. Being aware of code compliance trends, becoming more knowledgeable about the compliance process, and opening up the lines of communication will help property preservation companies, banks, servicers, and agents manage this new level of code compliance more efficiently and cost-effectively.”

While the list of violations varies across the nation, FAS’s research shows some violations tend to be cited more often than others. Also evident from FAS’s work, there are certain states that are ranked higher in relation to the number of violations they cite over other states. Here are the results:

Top 10 Types of Code Violations
1.    High grass and weeds
2.    Nuisance such as abandoned vehicles and trash at the curb.
3.    Graffiti
4.    Open or vacant structures
5.    Junk, trash, and debris
6.    Minimum housing standards or habitability usually pertaining to the condition of the property.
7.    Substandard structure such as dilapidated sheds or detached garages.
8.    Unmaintained or unsecured swimming pools
9.    Dead trees and landscaping
10.    Vacant property registration

Top 5 States Receiving Violation Citations
1.    Florida
2.    California
3.    Illinois
4.    Texas
5.    Nevada

“Understanding which states cite the most violations and which violations are cited more than others will help banks and servicers better manage the properties in these areas. For example, if a bank owns a property in Florida and knows that area focuses on pool and lawn maintenance, then they can proactively ensure their field service provider is maintaining those aspects before a violation is cited,” further explained McPherson.

FAS’s Code Compliance Team has a combined tenure in the industry of over 27 years. The Team has successfully developed a database with over 10,000 code enforcement personnel contacts that represents nearly 5,000 municipalities across all 50 states. In 2011, FAS boasted a 91% success rate on mitigating code compliance fines and HOA fees on behalf of the company’s customers.

“In 2009, FAS was assigned a property in Coral Springs, Florida that had been issued citations in 2008 for an overgrown lawn, roof discoloration, a stagnant pool, and exterior maintenance,” said Greg Tolander, Chief Operating Officer, Field Asset Services. “Daily fines for these violations were accruing in the amount of $125 per day for 927 days, plus additional penalties, equaling a total fine of $434,654.50. FAS brought the property into compliance and worked with the City to get a majority of the fines and penalties waived. In the end, FAS saved the $434,197.50, a 99.89% savings.”

For more information about FAS’s Code Compliance offering, visit http://www.fieldassets.com/compliance.

About Field Asset Services
Field Asset Services (FAS), a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (TSX: FSV; NASDAQ: FSRV; preferred shares – TSX: FSV.PR.U), is the premier Property Preservation, REO Maintenance and Repair Services company in the United States, servicing more than $10.8 billion in residential assets on behalf of its clients. FAS works with 30 mortgage and asset management clients nationwide, servicing more than 130,000 active properties on a recurring basis. For more information about FAS, please visit http://www.fieldassets.com.

About FirstService
FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV) is a global leader in the rapidly growing real estate services sector, providing a variety of services in commercial real estate, residential property management and property services. As one of the largest property managers in the world, FirstService manages more than 2.3 billion square feet of residential and commercial properties through its three industry-leading service platforms: Colliers International, the third largest global player in commercial real estate services; FirstService Residential Management, the largest manager of residential communities in North America; and Property Services, including Field Asset Services, one of America’s largest providers of property preservation and distressed asset management and FS Brands, one of North America’s largest providers of property services through franchise networks.

FirstService generates over US$2.2 billion in annual revenues and has more than 20,000 employees worldwide. More information about FirstService is available at http://www.firstservice.com

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