Cuyahoga County Land Bank gives Safeguard Properties FREE Property despite National Complaints Racism Bias Discrimination

Submitted by Gone Fishin on Fri, 04/11/2014 - 08:08.

Safeguard Properties is getting slammed all across the country, but not a peep from local media. 


Despite the flood of recent complaints and 100's of other complaints, the Cuyahoga County Land Bank continues to give Safeguard Properties FREE taxpayer's property.



 The free property is located in the same exact location in which Safeguard Properties was hired to safeguard  foreclosed property. How convenient!  


The mortage holder banks are also giving Safeguard Properties aka Slavic Village Recovery FREE property just to get this 'distressed' property off it's books.  The same 'distressed' property in which Safeguard Properties was paid money to 'safeguard' , the property is now too distressed, so the bank will give them the property for free.  Apparently Safeguard Properties didn't safeguard the property well enough, so now they get the distressed house for free and also received payment from the mortgage holders to safeguard the house so it wouldn't become 'distressed'.


 **** UPDATE****Although this 'pending' complaint does not mention Safeguard Properties, it is safe to assume that the complaint will be amended to include Safeguard Properties.  

                                                                                        Housing Center Joins NFHA in HUD Complaint Against Fannie Mae for Failure to Maintain REO Inventory in Cleveland

May 13th, 2015
This morning, the Housing Center filed a complaint against Fannie Mae with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of an investigation with the National Fair Housing Alliance and 18 other NFHA member organizations. This complaint is based on Fannie Mae’s consistently poor maintenance and marketing of its properties in middle- and working-class neighborhoods in communities of color while properly maintaining foreclosed properties in middle- and working-class White neighborhoods. Housing Center staff members Mandy Mehlman, Senior Research Associate; Michael Lepley, Research Associate; and Doris Honsa, Community Engagement Specialist; conducted the investigation.
Please click “Read More” for links to Media Package, NFHA press release, and HUD complaint. Thank you.
Forest City, Safeguard Properties join Cleveland nonprofits to rehab homes in Slavic Village


"Klein, who held the chief executive job at Safeguard until 2010, knows executives at the nation's largest banks and loan servicers. And he knows what kind of scars vacant homes leave on neighborhoods. Safeguard, a beneficiary of the housing bust, inspects more than 1.8 million properties each month.
Klein believes lenders will give away those troubled houses, starting in Slavic Village, to get the burden off their books.
His goal: Get a house for free or for very little money. "



 The property is now 'distressed' , so Safeguard Properties gets it for FREE!!   This is also known as a conflict of interest.


 Unfortunately, our county land bank does not understand 'conflict of interest' as the land bank's president has commited MORTGAGE FRAUD!  



Cuyahoga County Land Bank President Gus Frangos CON ARTIST falsifies documents to obtain a 2nd Mortgage


There are numerous complaints in several states, including Ohio, but I don't know why the Cleveland area was not included in the complaint.



Cleveland property firm accused of bias

Housing agency says Safeguard neglects minority neighborhoods


Toledo’s Fair Housing Center and the National Fair Housing Alliance have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against a Cleveland property management company that has operations in the Toledo area.
The complaint says that Safeguard Properties, the nation’s largest privately held property preservation firm, failed to maintain foreclosed homes in minority neighborhoods in Toledo and three others cities yet simultaneously maintained foreclosed homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.
Under the federal Fair Housing Act, failing to maintain homes based on racial or ethnic composition of a neighborhood is illegal.
Safeguard Properties was employed by the Federal National Mortgage Association to maintain its foreclosed or real estate owned homes in Toledo, Dayton, Memphis, and Baton Rouge.
The complaint states that Safeguard failed to correct even basic problems with Fannie Mae homes in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods compared to its effort in white neighborhoods. The housing alliance filed a similar complaint against Safeguard a year ago.
“After we filed our first complaint against Safeguard Properties in March, 2013, we met with them to outline the maintenance disparities in African-American and white neighborhoods,” said Shanna L. Smith, president and CEO of the Fair Housing Alliance in Washington. “However, Safeguard claimed the examples of failed maintenance were isolated incidents and has continued in its failure to maintain properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.”
Safeguard Properties did not respond to calls seeking comment.
Michael Marsh, president and CEO of Toledo’s Fair Housing Center, said there is no problem with Fannie Mae.
“We are going after Safeguard. Specifically, we are looking at the properties they are taking care of for Fannie Mae, but we’re not going after Fannie Mae. In fact, Fannie Mae provided a grant for us to figure out what was going wrong with their properties,” he said. “It’s Safeguard that’s the problem. They’re basically not doing their job.”




More at Craine's Cleveland Business:


National Fair Housing Alliance files discrimination complaint against Safeguard Properties
2:44 pm, April 8, 2014
The National Fair Housing Alliance and three of its member organizations have filed an amended federal housing discrimination complaint against Valley View-based Safeguard Properties, a property preservation company.
In a news release, the alliance said the complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “is the result of an investigation into Safeguard Properties and its failure to maintain foreclosed homes in African-American and Latino neighborhoods as compared to white neighborhoods in a number of metropolitan areas nationwide.”
Alan Jaffa, CEO of Safeguard, and Greg Robinson, the company's chief financial officer and executive vice president, said the allegation is false.

“We adamantly deny the charges that Safeguard discriminates,” Jaffa said in a phone interview with Crain's this afternoon, April 8.

Robinson said the National Fair Housing Alliance provides “a very important service to this country” in combating housing discrimination nationwide. But in this case, Robinson said, “We feel the complaint is misguided.”

The alliance and its partner agencies filed an initial complaint against Safeguard in March 2013. The amended complaint, filed Monday, April 7, presents what the alliance calls “new evidence” from New Orleans and highlights investigations in Dayton, Toledo, Baton Rouge, and Memphis — all areas where Fannie Mae hired Safeguard to maintain and market its bank-owned, foreclosed homes.

“After we filed our first complaint against Safeguard Properties in March 2013, we met with them to outline the maintenance disparities in African-American and white neighborhoods,” said Shanna L. Smith, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, in a statement. “However, Safeguard claimed the examples of failed maintenance were isolated incidents and has continued in its failure to maintain properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.”


**** UPDATE****  The Illinois Attorney General recently obtained an agreed upon settlement with Safeguard Properties.   Safeguard Properties must pay one million dollars to Illinois victims of Safeguard Properties crimes.  No other state  Attorney General has not stepped up to file charges in their relative states against Safeguard Properties thus far.

The following link has the settlement details:


( categories: )

Inspector General- Federal Housing Finance Agency- report


" Minority neighborhoods and I’m going to give you an example from Shaker Heights, this is all around us.

I’m sure it is something maybe we are facing here too, as a matter of fact, I know.

Minority neighborhoods with high proportions of sub-prime mortgages suffered an 

epidemic of foreclosures due to the inefficient regulatory laws, that left boarded up houses on 
which banks often failed to perform routine maintenance. City governments had to step in to 
provide extra services that abandoned properties require and to prevent the spread of crime. In 
some predominately African-American neighborhoods in Shaker Heights, for example, as many 
as 1/3 of the homes were vacant after foreclosures on sub-prime borrowers. “The moral outrage 
of observed the Shaker Heights mayor is that sub-prime lenders have targeted our seniors and 
African-Americans people who saved all their lives to get a step up.”



* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

" Your 5 minutes are up "




Garry Kanter stated, “I live at ,,,,, Cleveland Heights. What we are 
discussing is also a local matter, as some people have pointed out and it is not just the banks that 
benefit from foreclosures and home abandonments. There are other industries that benefit from 
this and they continue to do so and they do so locally in Cuyahoga County and in Cleveland 
Heights. I have the Ohio Campaign Finance reports for the General Election for 2013 for the 
Committee to Re-elect Jason Stein. The very first donor listed on Mr. Stein’s 12 day advance 
election report is Mr. Robert Klein of Beachwood, he lists Safeguard as his employer and he 
made a $5,000.00 donation to Mr. Stein. Subsequently a Mr. Alan Jaffe or Jaffa, who lists his 
street address as Safeguard Circle made a $500.00 donation to the Committee to Re-elect Jason 
Stein. The total donations received by that committee for 2013 were $11,605.00, this $5,500.00 
total from a man who lives in Beachwood and a man who lives on Safeguard Circle represents 
47% . . . [Mayor Wilcox interjected, “Mr. Kanter could you address the ordinance. The 
ordinance does not address individuals. It addresses business corporations, PAC’s, Super PAC’s, 
501 c4 groups and unions.”] It also addresses that money is not speech and that regulating 
campaign contributions is not equivalent to regulating political speech. May I continue? Thank 
 From the website of Safeguard Properties, Safeguard is the largest mortgage field 
services company in the country founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in the suburbs of 
Cleveland. Safeguard inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage 
servicers, lenders and other financial institutions. The biography of Robert Klein, the founder 
and chairman, Safeguard grew from a handful of employees in 1990 into the largest field 
services company in the industry. Roughly during the time the foreclosures exploded. Robert 
serves as chair of the National Vacant Properties Registration Committee of the Mortgage 
Bankers Association. He also represents not only Safeguard, but the industry as a whole, in 
national associations including MBA. Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer. Under Alan’s 
leadership Safeguard has doubled in size, roughly as Mr. Coleridge pointed out that foreclosures 
have doubled in size and quantity in Cleveland Heights in the last five or six years. 
 Let’s learn a little more about Safeguard Properties. Here is Channel News 5, 
investigation homeowners complain Safeguard Properties damage their homes, trash their 
belongings, this is from December 11, 2013. On your side investigators found 68 federal 
lawsuits against Safeguard Properties. The lawsuits were filed in 27 states including Ohio, in the 
lawsuits homeowners allege contractors working for Safeguard Properties illegally entered their  
homes, damaged their properties and tossed their belongings in the trash Illinois Attorney 
General files lawsuit after receiving more than 200 similar complaints. Illinois Attorney General 
Lisa Madigan filed the lawsuit against Safeguard Properties in September. Alleges contractors 
routinely deemed occupied properties vacant, when occupant still had the legal rights to live in 
them. There is a whole lot more and I only have 5 minutes. 
 In the Heights Observer Councilperson Stein’s biography mentions, he finds housing 
market an important issue facing Cleveland Heights. The vacant housing situation calls for a 
multi-facet approach to turn it around, continuing an increasing cooperation with the Cuyahoga 
County Land Bank is a top priority. The Cuyahoga Land Bank is able to negotiate with banks to 
have them turn over old foreclosed homes so that the City can either renovate or demolish the 
foreclosed property. I would like to point out that Councilperson Stephens is a Director of the 
Land Bank. In my opinion those dual roles are in contradiction to the Cleveland Heights 
Charter. In conclusion, Councilperson Stein is a member of the Cleveland Heights City Council 
Committee Administrative Services Committee. [Mayor Wilcox interjected, “Your 5 minutes 
are up.”]












* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*