Magazine article American Banker

Wrapping Provider Sees New Market in Foreclosures

Magazine article American Banker

Wrapping Provider Sees New Market in Foreclosures

Article excerpt

Byline: Lew Sichelman

Here's an offbeat idea for bankers looking to protect repossessed properties: Instead of paying a caretaker a monthly fee to watch over the vacated houses, shrink-wrap them.

Fast Wrap USA LLC, a Reno company that shrink-wraps everything from boats to backhoes, has not handled any foreclosed houses yet. But Mike Enos, its chief executive, says that is only a matter of time. His company has wrapped half-built houses, churches and small office buildings.

"We're in the asset protection business," he said. Shrink wrap can extend the life of what it surrounds "by two or three times."

Enos said he got into the business after he tried to get a company that wrapped new boats to wrap his air boat, which was too big to fit into his garage. When his request was rejected, he contacted the maker of the wrapping material. He bought the material and used the maker's heat gun to wrap the boat himself.

Enos, whose previous endeavors were in taxidermy and portable toilets, started Fast Wrap in late 2007. Today it wraps things in 12 markets, including several where foreclosures are overwhelming mortgage servicers - places like Las Vegas, Sacramento and Dania Beach, Fla. Its goal is eventually to have 500 franchises nationwide.

Fast Wrap started out wrapping mainly dry-docked boats, but now roughly half its clients are recession-wracked businesses. Rather than store 11 pickup trucks that were sitting idle after a wave of layoffs, one company parked them side by side outdoors and hired Fast Wrap to ensconce them in plastic. …

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