Hey Superstar Community,

As others have suggested, Patience Castillo from Catalyst Asset Management, LLC is contacting listing agents requesting agents sign a referral agreement to share 1% of the real estate commission with their company in order to expedite the short sale process. They also indicate that Catalyst Asset Management LLC is a "licensed company", and a separate legal entity that only has an affiliation with Residential Credit Solutions, Inc. The pitch they use is that the servicer, Residential Credit Solutions, will only pay the agents 5%, but by agreeing to work with Catalyst Asset Management, the servicer will pay 6%, with 1% of that amount being paid to Catalyst Asset Management. Their hope may be that agents will sit back and say "if they are going to take away 1% of my commission anyway, why not expedite the process with Catalyst's involvement".

However, what they don't tell you is that Catalyst Asset Management appears to be owned by Residential Credit Solutions, Inc. A quick search of the Texas Secretary of State's website will reveal that the sole member of Catalyst Asset Management LLC is listed as Residential Credit Solutions, Inc.

Since I do not work for either of these companies, here is my best educated guess as to why they are asking that listing agent's agree to the structuring of this transaction in this manner:

The actual note holder (investor) has outsourced the servicing/collection efforts of these delinquent notes to Residential Credit Solutions with their typical short sale guidelines and allowable closing costs (probably with a typical 6% allowed toward real estate commissions).

The management team and/or owners of Residential Credit Solutions have concocted a method to increase servicing revenue within the investor's allowable closing cost restrictions by creating a separate company that will be paid by the listing agent from the allowable commission amount.

They then have the other company, Catalyst Asset Management, convince the listing agent that the commission will be 5% regardless of their involvement, and that involving them can only expedite the short sale process. Once the agent agrees to refer Catalyst Asset Management the 1% of the listing commission, they have cleared any allowable closing cost issues per the investor guidelines.

I'm not sure if this arrangement is being fully disclosed to the agents involved, or if it's being disclosed in a way that doesn't catch the typical agent's attention. I know that the only tip off to me of this relationship was that the two company's are located in the same city, and they both happen to have the same VOIP hold music.

Personally, I feel that this is clearly a poor business practice on the servicer's part. They are being entrusted to make a good faith effort to mitigate the loss for the investor, and asking a home owner's listing agent to jump through unnecessary legal hoops does not foster an expedited process.

However, for everyone else potentially involved in this arrangement, I don't know that this referral payment is at all legal for real estate broker's within our Florida real estate license laws as it pertains to referral fees being paid to unlicensed entities. I specifically asked Patience Castillo from Catalyst Asset Management LLC if her company was a licensed real estate brokerage, and she only responded that she knew it was a licensed company. When I pressed and asked her what licensing body they were licensed under, she said that she would have her manager, Richard Murray, give me a call back.

A quick LinkedIn search reveals a Richard Murray in Fort Worth Texas that (as of 1:18pm 2/1/13) is a Loss Mitigation Special Services Supervisor at Residential Credit Solutions, Inc. Although this is quite possibly a coincidence, I don't know that I can comfortably arrive at that conclusion after all the other information I've discovered.

I personally will not be signing the attached Catalyst Asset Management agreement, and I would advise all other brokers to research the legal ramifications of this payment arrangement. Additionally, I will be reaching out to the investor that was disclosed to me by Residential Credit Solutions, Inc in order to verify that they are aware of the methods being used to mitigate their shareholder's loss.

If you are frustrated with the incessant outsourcing of short sale processing by these servicers at your expense, you must take a firm stance. Remember that this is your business and your liability.

Update as of 11:00am 2/4/13

After waiting to hear back from Richard Murray, I found Catalyst Asset Management, LLC as an active licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Texas (License # 9000545). Still waiting to speak to them to see what they say about this relationship between Catalyst and RCS, and their justifications for asking for a 1% referral fee.

Update as of 12:05pm 2/6/13

After waiting the requested 48 hours for a follow up call from a Residential Credit Solutions director named Spencer (ID# 8621), I followed up with Residential Credit Solutions regarding my expected call back from their management team. Pam (ID# 9242) stated that Spencer was on another line, but that I could speak with another manager named..... Richard Murray. I let her know that I would continue to wait for Spencer's call, and that I was also expecting a call back from Richard Murray when he would be calling me on behalf of Catalyst Asset Management, LLC.

I then called to follow up with Patience Castillo from Catalyst Asset Management, LLC, and she said that she was surprised that her manager Mr. Murray had not called me back yet. I explained that he was just available to speak with me on behalf of Residential Credit Solutions, and she said that he was not currently at his desk. I then asked Patience Castillo if she was the only person that actually worked within Catalyst Asset Management's Loss Mitigation Department, considering she is the only one that ever answers the phone. She replied that she was in fact the only one working there (her phrasing was something close to "I am Catalyst Asset Management's loss mitigation team"). I then explained that I felt it would be impossible for her to actually expedite my short sale considering she couldn't even get her manager to call me back, and she was juggling the many hats of reception, processing, and sales. She again assured me that files are processed much quicker through Catalyst Asset Management, but that it was my choice not to move forward with their assistance. She reiterated that Residential Credit Solutions would not pay any additional commission if I chose to not utilize her services, and that it would not cost me anything if I worked with her.

I wrapped up our conversation by asking her the following three questions:

Question 1: "If you are the only one working on these files for the Real Estate Brokerage Catalyst Asset Management, do you personally hold a Real Estate License?" 

Answer: No

Question 2: "If you are the only one working on these files for Catalyst Asset Management, do you personally hold a Mortgage Loan Originators License?" 

Answer: No

Question 3: "If you are the only one working these files for Catalyst Asset Management, do you personally hold a licensed to practice law?" 

Answer: No

This leads me to believe one of the two following scenario's is taking place:

A) Patience Castillo's role at Catalyst Asset Management (Real Estate Brokerage) has very little involvement in the actual processing/negotiating of the short sales, and is of little more help than a follow up assistant, like a Single Point of Contact / Customer Relationship Manager from Bank of America.

or

B) She is actively involved in the processing, negotiating, and pushing of the short sale file's approval, and is potentially performing activities that would require a license under Texas State Law.

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Replies to This Discussion

Brian - If you are in Florida, why not report this to the DBPR and see what they say?

Hey Wendy,

While waiting on a call back, I found their information as a licensed broker in the State of Texas. I'm just waiting to hear back from their team about their take on how they justify the 1% referral fee being paid to a subsidiary of the servicing company. We will see how that goes, and I'll post an update. Thanks for taking a look at the article!

Sounds good, Brian!  Thank you.

Brian - Excellence stance! Who is the Broker of Catalyst?  Have you heard anything further?

Oh boy, I just found out I am listing  one of these today!

Any luck defending your commission?  I just listed an RCS short sale and have received the email from Patience/Catalyst.  Anyone having success fighting her off?

 

 

As of right now, I have yet to receive a follow up call from the management team at either company after repeated attempts. I think my next step is going to be to reach out to the CEO and Board of Directors for Residential Credit Solutions, Inc, Broker of Record for Catalyst Asset Management, LLC, and the disclosed investor's executive office (BofA).

As for my commission, I will approach this one of two ways:

1) Continue to insist that my commission be provided at the investor approved yet servicer denied 6%

2) Go without the additional 1% but ensure Residential Credit Solutions, Inc or Catalyst Asset Management, LLC do not receive it. To accomplish this, I will simply not sign their agreement.

If enough brokers are made aware of this and take this stance, Residential Credit Solutions will not be able to play this game. I will update this post again this week, so stay tuned. Please feel free to share your experiences as well.

Thanks Brian!  I will be taking a firm stance on this!  I have replied to Patience that I will not budge on the 6%.  Please keep me posted on your progress.

As far as I am concerned, I am cutting Patience and Catalyst Asset Management out of the transaction all together. This company is nothing more than a single administrative assistant that ensures you put your package together correctly. They are using this "brokerage" as a way to simply skim an additional 1% off the transaction's proceeds. If you don't work with Patience and simply put your packages together as thoroughly as you would with any other transaction, you shouldn't see a difference. I would rather make 5% in the end if that means they also lose the additional unearned income stream. However I will go after the 6% that is allowable by the investor.

Just got a call from my negotiator (RCS) today cutting my comission to 5%... I also had them request a cash contribution from my seller 2 weeks ago... YEAH in CA that is illegal. The negotiator was even willing to put it in writing.. as I wanted it for my file. We agreed to it to move things forward at the payoff we needed to the 2nd (26K)...  But of coarse our approval isn't for the 26K. Oh joy! Please let me know if you have a good escallation with RCS. I just love that they took over this BAC file :( [email protected]

Can they do this???  I thought banks could no longer reduce commissions below 6%?  I haven't seen one try in such a long time.  .. . I havne't gotten far enough with mine, but I will take the same approach as Brian Rust. . .I will send my complete package to RCS and keep Catalyst and Patience out of the loop!

Stephanie,

The management team at RCS, specifically Spencer Cole and Richard Murray, have been avoiding my call back requests for 3 weeks after repeated attempts, so I decided to find all their info on my own today.

Here are the names, numbers, and email addresses for Managers, Supervisors, and Directors for you to escalate your RCS issues to on a regular basis. I would let them have it as it relates to your commission reduction as that is 99% likely an RCS guideline, not an investor guideline:

Joseph Trimble - Director of Specialized Servicing Loss Mitigation
Phone - Unknown
Email - [email protected]

Spencer Cole - Director (BofA Investor Files)
Phone - 817-321-6050
Email - Unknown

Diane Towry - Loss Mitigation Manager
Phone - 817-321-6061
Email - [email protected]

Richard Murray - Loss Mitigation Special Services Supervisor (and Catalyst Asset Management Supervisor)
Phone - Unknown
Email - [email protected]

Dennis Stowe - Chief Executive Officer and President
Phone - Unknown
Email - [email protected]

Darren Hadlock - Chief Information Officer
Phone - Unknown
Email - [email protected]

Mark Rogers - Chief Administrative Officer
Phone - Unknown
Email - [email protected]

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