Commentary: Foreclosure Hole?

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When is our economy and the housing market going to recover?  If you step back and look at the big picture you can see that the cause of our current recession that started in 2006 (sudden gas price increases to $4.00 plus a gallon, which led to the bursting of the housing bubble) is much more malignant than the root cause of the Great Depression.  The cause of the Great Depression was the over exuberance of consumers who suddenly thought they were wealthy – and then wanted their money, which caused a run on the banks causing them to fail en masse.  In 2010 we have banking instability and bank failures but not a wholesale banking failure.  But, we have a host of problems that we didn’t have during the Great Depression, which is why some economists think it could be 2014 or 2015 or later before we get our economy back on track.  First among those contemporary problems is a Federal Government that is sucking the blood (we now have the highest corporate taxes in the world) out of its productive citizens to fund an entitlement juggernaut that now consumes close over ½ of the Federal Budget.  Second, manufacturing companies of every type, especially heavy manufacturing have left the US for Mexico, Vietnam, China and a myriad of other countries that have NO minimum wage and NO environmental extremists to hover over and regulate the lifeblood out of their operations.  Third, we are importing over 50% of our energy (oil) from oversees.  Fourth, we’ve given a huge chunk of our wealth to welfare supplicants instead of using that cash to invest in new businesses, education and productivity enhancements.  Finally, we have fallen into a “foreclosure hole” that is proving to be hard to dig out of – see national foreclosure map by clicking here (

Why in the world would any bank, savings & loan or company lend hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who hadn’t graduated high school, who didn’t have a job, who couldn’t even prove their creditworthiness?  Simple – mortgage bankers who were focused on bonuses who were given free rein by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Federal Government wonks).  Now, three years into the bursting of this foreclosure bubble (starting in 2006) foreclosures continue to kill the new home industry and jobs – and any chance for serious economic recovery.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mortgage Bankers are pushing the housing recovery out to 2012 or beyond.  On Tuesday, the nation’s mortgage bankers released a report saying that they expect the housing market to continue limping along into next year.  Things could pick up, they say, in 2012 (that’s, what, five or so years of the housing bust…but who’s counting?)

Until the bulk of the foreclosures are absorbed NO ONE can predict an end to the housing crisis and our national economic malaise.  Right now there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  According to Rick Sharga, a VP at RealtyTrac, “Next year could very well be a peak year for foreclosures.  The market is expected to tally about 1.2 million bank repossessions in 2010, up from 900,000 in 2009, he says.  We expect we will top both of those numbers in 2011.”   Despite this, continued high unemployment also is expected to exacerbate the foreclosure problem in 2011 as well as upcoming interest-rate resets on ARM’s for many homeowners.  So, is the turnaround coming in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 or further out?  No one can make a good guess on when the correction will begin until the majority of these foreclosures have been absorbed and the new housing market starts adding new jobs again.

The news from Ben Bernanke is somber.  He recently told CBS’s 60-minutes the following:

  • It will be 4 or 5 years before we see recovery where unemployment goes down to 5 or 6%.
  • The Fed will commit $600B of the Fed’s (our) money to fight inflation to keep down interest rates.
  • The economy has lost 8 million jobs and may lose more in the next 4-5 years
  • Real unemployment is over 12% if you factor in all those who are off the unemployment rolls; 40% have been unemployed for over 1 year.
  • He said the Fed is NOT printing money; they are buying treasury bonds and notes.
  • A double-dip recession is NOT likely; housing has been weak and can’t get weaker.
  • 2% GNP is self-sustaining; so we need to surpass that level to add jobs.

Mr. Bernanke has a big idea:  Clean up the US tax code.  What genius!  I should have thought of that one.  This is the same idea that the debt commission has come up with. He said that the Federal Reserve caused the Great Depression in the ‘30’s by adhering to a “tight money policy”.  So, to avoid another Great Depression in 2008, the Federal Reserve made 21,000 loans to Banks (all the big ones), Industry (GM/Chrysler are just a few), Foreign Banks (Bank of England), and other “critical entities”.  He admitted that he didn’t see this crisis coming.  He said that our long-term outlook is good.  What else could he say?

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J. David Rauch Bio

Dave Rauch is the Founder and President of ProTec Building Services (ProTec). He ensures that work quality is consistent.  Dave maintains a consistent presence within the company.  While managing the growth of ProTec, he strives to improve everything that ProTec does, especially exceeding client expectations.  At Mr. Rauch’s previous company he designed the original HOA manual and monthly building maintenance programs specific for each HOA. In 1996 Dave opened ProTec, which now provides maintenance programs to over 600 communities and other services to 2,000 communities.

George Van Oosbree Bio

George Van Oosbree is the Senior Vice President and Director of Operations in Nevada. He has been a manager with ProTec for 17 years. He holds a California/Nevada General Contractors and painting license; as well as, certifications in Playground Safety and SWPPP. He is also a United States Green Building Counsel LEED Accredited Professional and EPA Certified Lead Renovator.  Developers rely on George’s knowledge (nearly 100 High-rise and Mid-rise Projects) and 30 years of experience to construct sustainable and maintainable projects.

Andy Henley Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in construction management and janitorial, Andy knows what it takes to repair and maintain your largest asset, your homes and common areas at your community. Not only will Andy provide unparalleled customer service for all ProTec’s work but he will ensure that all jobs and service exceed client expectations. Call Andy and request to meet at your community. He will walk your community, detailing what maintenance and repairs are needed to keep your property values increasing.

Candy Allen Bio

ProTec’s controller, Candy Allen, has over two decades of experience in accounting and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the executive team.  Candy also has extensive HR, office management and organizational skills derived from her years of experience in the service industry.  What truly sets Candy apart from her peers is her energy and zeal to get the job/challenge done correctly and immediately.  She’ll explain that her success comes from devoting herself to creating a team environment in which the company can accurately track and maintain their various business and accounting systems.  Teamwork, honesty and hard work are all core elements of Candy’s work ethic.

Laura Swirski Bio

As ProTec’s Human Resources Manager, Laura Swirski, brings knowledge and experience in HR and Organizational Development from a variety of industries ranging from property management, non-profit, government, public utility, and hospitality.  Laura enjoys an employee focused and hands-on approach to HR.  She believes employees are a company’s most important resource.  An organization is successful when employees are in the right job and are involved, committed, and work together toward shared goals.  Laura is conscientious, a hard worker, and desires to learn, improve, and make a difference.

Fernando Urrea Bio

Fernando Urrea began his ProTec career in 2009. After a short leave he returned to ProTec in 2014 as the San Diego Maintenance Division Manager. He holds a General Contractors License; as well as, EPA Certified Lead Renovator. Fernando worked at Standard Pacific Homes and Pacific Bay Homes in the San Diego Divisions and has over 15 years’ experience in new home construction management. While working in Military Housing for 10 years he was able get hands on experience on all trades and management skills. His new home building and maintenance knowledge are unparalleled and is what makes Fernando a great asset.

Mark Adams Bio

Fascinated by construction from an early age, Mark developed the skills and knowledge to construct and repair any building. Prior to ProTec, Mark honed his skills at Quality Built Consulting on construction defects/diagnostics nationally. Mark is a licensed California General Contractor and a certified applicator in Excellent Coatings (Waterproof Coatings), SIKA Products (Sealants), PROTECTO Wrap (Waterproof Membranes) and Superkrete (Overlay Concrete Systems). Mark has been a manager at ProTec for 15 years and is the top HOA estimator in San Diego County. He prides himself on being able to assist HOA Boards and Community Managers resolve any type of repair or construction project.

Lee Sterling Bio

While attending Arizona State University pursuing a degree in engineering, Lee Sterling enlisted in the United States Army prior to Desert Storm. After completing his service he began working in the property service industry. Duly licensed as a Building (B1) and Roofing (C39) contractor, Lee rose through the ranks of the industry becoming the Division Manager and acting Chief Engineer for properties in San Diego, Irvine and Brea. His commitment to quality and superior service has earned him recommendations from his peers, clients and customers.

Cesar Ibarra Bio

Cesar Ibarra is ProTec’s Janitorial Manager and has been with the company for 8 years. He ensures that the janitorial work quality is consistent and manages the planning of large level custodial projects. He prides himself in his knowledge of janitorial services and has over 10 years of experience in the Commercial Cleaning Industry. He and his team devote themselves to our clients and provide customized janitorial services that are specifically tailored for each community or project.

Paul Mayeski Bio

Paul oversees ProTec’s Maintenance Manuals and Inspections Division. Before joining the ProTec team in 2000, Paul spent 4 years converting his Industrial Arts education into becoming a trained cabinetmaker, followed by 13 years building custom homes and then 7 years administering building maintenance programs and overseeing maintenance manual implementations for one of San Diego’s largest community management companies.  Because of his combined experience in the building and community management industries, he is uniquely suited to ensure that our clients’ projects are successful.

Chris McHenry Bio

Chris has over 25 years of construction experience in the residential and commercial industries. He has done everything hands on from operate heavy equipment, ro build and remodel custom homes, and commercial tenant improvements. He started working in his family’s business building custom homes during the summers in high school. He moved on as a Project Manager for an apartment maintenance construction company in Rancho Santa Margarita. He proceeded to get his contractor’s license and owned his own company for 7 years. Chris also holds the positions of superintendent on a high rise construction project and Project Manager with an industrial/commercial company.

Sal Mendoza Bio

Salvador Mendoza is our Los Angeles regional manager for ProTec Building Services. Since starting with the Company in 2008 he has devoted himself to the challenging world of maintenance for mid and high rise buildings. Salvador’s past experiences of running his family owned construction business, along with his real estate and mortgage banking experience, provide him with a unique perspective within our industry. He has a created the company’s first Planned Maintenance Contract (PMC), which allows for a custom annual maintenance calendar of the building components for each individual building, enabling clients to plan ahead and have an annual maintenance budget

Mirzet Velic Bio

As ProTec’s Vista Maintenance Division Manager, Mirzet brings immense experience in the HOA industry and knowledge of maintenance, repair and construction methodology. Mirzet joined ProTec in 2006 as an Account Manager.  Prior to ProTec he honed his experience at All American Construction as a Maintenance Technician.  With over 15 years of experience in contract management, construction, electrical, and property management Mirzet can solve any technical problem. However, Mirzet’s true tour de force is his Customer Centric service model; he takes care of clients’ needs before they even know they have a need. 

Timothy (Ty) Haisch Bio

Ty is ProTec’s Construction Division Manager for the North County San Diego region, working out of the Vista office.  Ty joined ProTec in 2010 as a Project Supervisor.  He has moved up in the management ranks due to his excellent work record, supervisory skills, hard-work and dedication to getting jobs done in a timely manner that have made him a “go-to” manager at ProTec.  Prior to joining ProTec, Ty was a manager at TDT Construction.  Yes, Ty has many years of experience, but it is mostly his excitement with solving complex problems, that cause Ty to stand out among his peers.  Ty loves challenges and will happily solve our clients most vexing or technical problem(s).

John T. (JT) Anderson Bio

John learned the value of hard work at his family business at the early age of 5, where he started out as a janitor.  He went on to learn additional trades and skills, where he eventually left the business world to attend college at The University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.  He received his degree in Political Science and Business.  After moving to San Diego in 2004 he founded Elite Services, which provided building services to Commercial and HOA clients.  In 2016, John saw an opportunity to join the ProTec team where he has put his many talents to work, expanding ProTec’s list of 172 services and engaging new clients.