The New Industry Standard Background Check by Aspen Grove Solutions

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The Mortgage Field Services Industry is facing ever increasing requirements to ensure there is appropriate oversight of their third party service providers. National Mortgage Field Services is leader in providing qualified inspectors to the mortgage field services industry.

After hundreds of lawsuits and thousands of complaints, banks are finally pushing for reform. The measures are meant to screen out people convicted of felony criminal offenses, such as theft or fraud.

The Mortgage Field Services Industry is facing ever increasing requirements to ensure there is appropriate oversight of their third party service providers. One by-product is the requirement to have a valid criminal background check. Background checks are a long-term standard practice in many organizations as a way to mitigate risk. Background checks are now a mandatory reality for the mortgage field service industry, but to date no standard has been applied that is valid for multiple clients.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which was created out of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act has rolled out new regulations requiring financial institutions to manage their risk appropriately. These reforms are across the entire mortgage industry, but the major issue of compliance is by requiring third-party vendors to pass a criminal background check which is verifiable at each property inspected.

As a result, the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) in conjunction with Aspen Grove Solutions (AGS) and First Advantage established a solution, called Aspen iRecordTM, a Standardized Background Compliance Solution for the Financial Services Industry. Now, the mortgage field services industry has a centrally managed criminal background check process set in place and it verifies that an inspector has the credentials to conduct mortgage field services at every property they inspect. It is thought that this new credentialing system gives a collaborative approach, builds professionalism and trust in the mortgage field services industry, and shows a degree of passion about maintaining a safe, sound and secure vendor network.

If a property inspector hase not heard about this new criminal background requirement provided by Aspen Grove from the major Nationals, they soon will. Within the months to come more and more banks and national as well as regional mortgage field service companies will be requiring this new background check from their vendors. A property inspector or property preservation contractor will not be able to conduct inspections without it!


Aspen iRecord assigns a unique “ABC” number to those who process a criminal background check through Aspen Grove Solutions. Each applicant is provided with an IC rating, i.g., IC01, IC02, IC03 and IC04, IC01 being top rated. This new system will require one of two things: (1) the inspector uses the AGS phone app, which allows them to enter in their unique ABC number at each property they are inspecting, or (2) the inspector enters their ABC number into the InspectorADE cell phone app. In essence, in the very near future property inspectors will not be able to conduct an inspection for any National Mortgage Field Services company or bank unless they provide their unique ABC number. The Aspen Grove Solutions program is not just a standardized background check. It’s a complete onsite verification system that validates that the inspector at the property has the credentials to be there.

The process for obtaining a unique ABC# takes about a week. To help ensure the future success in the mortgage field services industry, a property inspector should sign up as soon as possible. National mortgage field service companies who have not already joined Aspen Grove Solutions will also need to get onboard with this new standardized process as well. Soon, banks and mortgage companies are going to demand that all of their vendors, from Nationals down to the inspector in the field, be required to provide an ABC number from Aspen iRecord in order to be paid for their inspections.

The opportunities this new background procedure will ensure are priceless to those interested in staying in the industry. Those who have an ABC number from Aspen Grove Solutions will be in high demand. Estimates of 25% to 40% of unqualified inspectors will be forced to drop out of the industry because they either refuse to go along with the process, or worse, they are not qualified to step foot on a client’s property due to previous felony convictions. By the laws of Supply and Demand, this practically guarantees that those who have an ABC number will most assuredly be sought out to do inspections.

The new background process has already started. Wells Fargo had Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) go through the process first. Black Knight (LPS), National Field Representatives (NFR) have already started the process as well. Other Nationals who service Wells Fargo will be required to follow shortly thereafter. This is all going to happen in a very short time frame.

Those in the mortgage field services business often spend hundreds of dollars a year in various background checks for the client who requires it. When the Aspen Grove Solutions system is fully implemented, inspectors will no longer have to pay for background checks for every company they desire to work for. With this new background process one fee is paid once a year. Then, once requested, the property inspector will provide their ABC number to any new company who asks for it. The fee for background checks are part of the industry and is tax deductible. For other questions about Aspen Grove and this entire process, visit the FAQ on their website.


The first step is to create a business account with Aspen Grove Solutions. This is required for any property inspector who desires to work for more than one National Mortgage Field Service company at a time. The following link is the place to start:

Click on the [Register Now] button. When filling out the form pay particular attention to this question: “Will you be submitting more than one contact for a background check?”

a) Select NO if the background check is only for you ($25.00 registration fee).

b) Select YES if you have or will have other inspectors working under company ($75.00 registration fee).

Once the business account is approved by submitting the proper documents, e.g., electric and or water bill etc., as the owner of the company represented, there will be an allowance to run one background check directly to Aspen Grove, which is $62.

When the business account is created and approved, and the background check rated, the owner of the account simply asks their clients for a Connection Code to connect to their two companies together. No other fees apply.

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Michael Evangelo
since: 09/2013
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