VRG efforts appear in Wall Street Journal

October 15, 2008


Several of country's leading financial workout firms with experience in debt recovery and restructuring announced an alliance to assist the U.S. Treasury (Treasury) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with the impending American financial crisis.

Eight national firms have aligned to form USA Recovery Group, LLC (USA Recovery), in preparation to advise the Treasury and the FDIC with the implementation of Congress' $700 billion Rescue Program. USA Recovery's management team has direct experience in assisting the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and the FDIC to recover and restructure assets from the collapse of the U.S. savings and loan industry in the 1980's and 1990's.

A waiting Treasury's actions to select its lead financial agents, USA Recovery has positioned itself as a full-scale minority and woman-owned company that will offer to act as a subcontractor to the selected lead financial institutions.

Known in the financial industry as a "Special Servicer" -- a firm that possesses specialized monitoring, reporting and reorganizing processes to effectively address delinquent and non-performing mortgage loans and complex related assets that require unusual attention -- USA Recovery will provide to the financial agents, selected by Treasury and the FDIC, with a very broad and deep level delivery system to address troubled loans on a global basis.

USA Recovery members are GSA-certified (General Services Administration) and provide a variety of government services, including debt collection, due diligence, loan underwriting, asset management and disposition, special servicing, financial advisory, operational and transactional specialist services.

Barry Fromm, CEO of Columbus, Ohio based Value Recovery Holding, a founding member of USA Recovery, a veteran in the Special Servicer industry, and a former lead contractor with the RTC, understands the magnitude of the financial crisis facing the American economy. Fromm stated that, "my colleagues and I are anticipating an undertaking of the highest level and thus have responded by building an organization of industry leaders with the depth and breadth of background and skills to help the U.S. economy through this crisis." He further stated that, "the financial experts who have come together to form USA Recovery have worked in the trenches and understand the financial triage that must be applied to stabilize our economy."

USA Recovery consists of a consortium of woman and minority-owned firms as well as other leading national asset management and related professional accounting, legal and consulting firms. Cathy Vann, of Austin, Texas based Ontra Companies, and Debbie Garcia, of DEVAL, a Virginia-based minority- owned (8a) firm and government contractor, along with Fromm co-founders and owners of USA Recovery, have recruited former senior personnel from the RTC as well as some of the RTC's leading asset management and recovery firms to manage USA Recovery. Ms. Vann offered that " ... USA Recovery members have valued, managed, brokered and/or liquidated over $50 Billion in financial assets...including loans, real estate, and securities." Ms. Garcia, added that " ... this crisis is not the place for on-the-job training, which is why USA Recovery is comprised of the best and most experienced in the industry."


The Ontra Companies, Inc. ("Ontra") has over 24 years experience providing services on over $15 Billion in assets of all classifications for the RTC, FDIC, HUD and financial institutions. Ontra continues its 10th year as the leading firm in the country providing mark-to-market restructurings for HUD. With Citibank as its financial partner, Ontra was the Special Servicer on a $1.5 Billion portfolio of single-family loans and real estate owned properties (REO). Ontra has been rated and designated as an "above average" Special Servicer by all four rating agencies and has four GSA FABS schedule contracts as a Financial Advisor, Due Diligence and Underwriting Specialist, Transaction Specialist and Loan Servicing and Asset Management Specialist.

DEVAL is an 8(a) certified SDB, DMBE consulting firm with GSA Mobis 874 and FABS 520 schedule contracts. This 100% Hispanic-American Woman-Owned firm provides asset management, due diligence, workout, loan servicing, compliance and audit reporting, market needs and financial feasibility studies, systems integration, databases and application development to a variety of government clients, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the FDIC, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. General Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Value Recovery Holding, LLC ("VRH") has partnered with the FDIC in its collection program for over 15 years, and is its leading performer. VRH is GSA certified for asset management and loan servicing and for collections. Since 2000, VRH and its related companies have been successful at securing and performing on asset management, loan servicing and collections contracts with the FDIC, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, United States Department of Education, and numerous state and local agencies and instrumentalities.

The principals of Gray & Associates, LLC were also among the top five asset management contractors for the RTC, with responsibility for the management and disposition of $15 billion in distressed assets for the RTC and for the state of Maryland during its Thrift crisis, including serving as a SWAT contactor (one of four nationwide) to manage the RTC's most complex assets, and as a Financial Adviser on the RTC's largest single sales initiative. Among other asset management assignments, Gray & Associates continues to serve as a Financial Adviser, organizing and conducting over $10 billion in bulk loan sales for such institutions as Wachovia and National City Bank.

For over a decade, P&L Investments, LLC, also GSA certified, has been actively involved in both collections and asset management, and is currently developing numerous distressed and Brownfield properties around the United States. The firm is also the sole contractor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, providing collection of its receivables. Gary J. Silversmith, the firm's principal, served as a Senior Asset Marketing Specialist at the RTC, where he conceived, implemented, and managed the largest joint venture program in FDIC history, utilizing 23 private sector partners to liquidate $8 Billion in judgments, deficiencies and charge-offs (JDC's) from over 800 financial institutions. Prior to working at the RTC, he worked in the General Counsel's Office at Fannie Mae, where he addressed issues concerning Fannie Mae's mortgage-backed security (MBS) program. Consequently, he has published three versions of the BNA Portfolio entitled "REMICs and other Mortgage-Backed Securities".

Hilltop Advisors, LLC ("Hilltop") is recognized throughout the mortgage and capital markets industry as a leader in providing operational, technology and accounting services to the residential and commercial/multifamily mortgage lending and servicing industries. Hilltop is a boutique accounting advisory and consulting firm that is providing USARG with loan servicing systems integration between those who are selected by Treasury for the role of Asset Management Contractors/Master Servicers and ourselves, as subcontractor/sub-servicers. Hilltop's Managing Partner formerly led these practice areas for the mortgage banking and servicing industry nationwide for KPMG and Bearing Point. A related company, Numbers, LLC is a 50% woman-owned business that performs all accounting, payroll and tax services.

Weltman Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA ("WWR") is the largest creditors' rights law firm in the United States and provides the legal foundation for work performed by the USA Recovery team. With multi-state offices and a network of attorneys nationwide, WWR has the substantial human and technical resources necessary to engage in legal recovery actions ranging from basic claims and execution to the most complex litigation. The firm's practice areas for commercial banks, government agencies, thrifts and credit unions include collection services, bankruptcy, foreclosure, general real estate, litigation and defense, subrogation, and probate.

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