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writing for godot

We Represent the Government, and We Are Here to Screw You

Written by V   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:17
I sat in on a phone call today between a highly trained attorney and three different $10 an hour employees of RUST Consulting in Minneapolis MN. We wanted to get some information on this new and improved government cheese program called the OCC’s Independent Foreclosure Review. It was quite the laugh as I listened to the attorney pretend he was a distressed, angry, and at times tearful homeowner. Here is what we found out.

This is a game show. They won’t say that, but to these jaded eyes what we are looking at is no different than talent scouts scouring the countryside looking for contestants for the new season of “American Dreamz, Dreamz with a Z” and what a snoozer it is. It’s your opportunity for more voluntary auto-humiliation at the hands of the very ones who have been tormenting you up to this point. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this as a new reality TV show where the audience can vote on the amount of award to the contestants. Can’t you just see the contestants (homeowners) jumping up and down clapping their hands hysterically as they get their piece of the Government Cheese?

It appears that Rust Consulting ( and their $10-$12 an hour call centers in both Minneapolis and Faribault, MN won the contract to coordinate the servicer’s compliance with the OCC’s order to conduct an independent audit and review. We’ll call these people the contestant screeners, the talent scouts. Their job is to determine if you are miserable enough to make it on the air for your little piece of the Government Cheese.

A couple of highlights:

• You have to be invited to become part of the independent review, they are not taking volunteers
• There will be approximately 4.5MM contestants competing for the prize money. It really is like a game show.
• There are very specific criteria you must meet to become a contestant in this game show.
• The 4.5MM mailers are going out in batches and will be in the mail over the next 45 days.
• In order to become a contestant you must respond by date certain
• Rust Consulting’s job in this appears to be mailing out the initial piece, coordinating the intake of information and directing the information to the correct accounting firm (Deloitte & Touche, KPMG etc) who will be doing the actual evaluation of contestants.
• All communications will be in writing and it appears Rust Consulting will be the cut out between you and the person/company who will actually be doing the work. Rust Consulting will not be performing the reviews albeit they seem to be willing to let you think they will be.
• You will never be allowed to speak with the person who is evaluating your file. You will never know who that person is. Your evaluation will take place in a black hole which inquiring minds will never be allowed to explore.
• The screening process, according to press reports, was created and installed by the servicers themselves.
• Different servicers have established different rules for how they wish to sponsor their version of the game show. Rust Consulting has different teams trained to produce the game show according to the rules established by the individual sponsoring servicers (brought to you by B of A of Charlotte NC)
• Expect a four month review period to hear back from the Contestant Evaluation Committee.
• If the Contestant Evaluation Committee deems they need more information from you, they will write to you to ask clarifying questions or request additional documentation.
• You will not be allowed to ask questions of the Contestant Evaluation Committee
• If you make it onto the show as a contestant, your take home award will be predetermined in advance and you will have no opportunity to quiz the Contestant Evaluation Committee as to the criteria upon which they made their evaluation. In other words, take it or leave it.
• The poor sods who work there probably think they are doing good work
• The poor sods who work there are not allowed to give out their last names
• The poor sods who work there are not supposed to tell anyone where they are or who they work for (Rust Consulting of Minneapolis, MN)
• Just like the servicers’ call center employees, these “trained employees” really haven’t a clue as to what they are doing and it is clear from listening to the conversation that once again, like dealing with the servicer’s call centers, you will NEVER talk to the same person twice.
• Three times one of the supervisors told the attorney that “the servicer is the Lender”. Talk about clueless

While this was not revealed on the call, it is not difficult to foresee that there will be a great deal of pressure for you to take the deal while at the same time signing away all of your rights to future actions and claims upon the property, the servicer and probably the lender. No doubt “they” are already test marketing certain select turns of phrases on focus groups to induce you to take the cheese and create a sense of panic and fear as to the consequences of not accepting the cheese.

Having spoken to several attorneys regarding this year’s season of “American DreamZ, Dreams with a Z”, it is clear this whole program is an admission of guilt on the parts of both the servicers and the regulatory agencies who were supposed to be riding herd on these crooked cowboys. Make no mistake about this, ladies and gentlemen, “they” desperately need you to sign off on this deal so they can do two things:

1) Demonstrate they are taking proactive steps to clearing up the problem
2) Solve said problems for the proverbial pennies on the dollar.

The consensus amongst those who watch these things carefully is don’t take the bait. To put it bluntly, why would you ever rely upon those who have been torturing you for so long to show you the way to find relief from the torture? All they are doing is moving you from the room with the rack to the room with the thumbscrews and the nail pullers. You are still going to be bent over, shafted and tossed onto the dung heap for the dogs to sniff at and pee on while “they”, once again, laugh all the way to the bank.

In short, don’t do it. your social media marketing partner
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