Appraisal News and Appraisal Tips For Real Estate Appraisers - Your source for appraisal industry news, appraisers' opinions, and discussions of appraisal issues

Appraisers Landmark $36M Settlement with BofA 3

Appraisers Landmark $36M Settlement with BofA

Editor’s Note: Besides being a bit of good news, this ruling could have implications for all appraisers working for AMCs. Appraisers Landmark $36 million Settlement with Bank of America for Failure to Pay Overtime Settlement Covers 365 Plaintiffs Who Served as Residential Real Estate Appraisers Oakland, CA – Today, employment and civil rights attorney Bryan Schwartz announced a settlement between Landsafe Appraisal Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and 365 current and former employees working as residential real estate staff appraisers. The plaintiffs had sought damages for their misclassification as exempt from overtime, which left them...

Another Win for Appraisers - California 6

Another Win for Appraisers – California

Cooperation between appraisers and multiple appraiser organizations wins the day! When is the last time you heard of a State bill that was already passed by both State Houses (Assembly & Senate) in any state, being quashed short of a Governor’s veto? Especially a “consent calendar” item that legislators automatically vote to approve for each other as a legislative courtesy. In less than two months? Let me share a quote from Rey Cano’s regular appraiser newsletter (www.Malibuappraisal.com). Rey, along with George St Johns, was an original co-founder of the California Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (CaCAP), where with full disclosure, I...

Background Checks Issue for Appraisers - Imagecredit Flickr - Alan Levine 11

Background Checks Issue for Appraisers

Appraisers, One of the recent thorns in appraisers’ sides has been the issue of background checks. A key reason for this is the Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC) bulletin, which outlines the management responsibility banks must take when dealing with ‘third parties. Third parties include the AMC’s banks use to ‘manage’ their appraisal orders, and vendor appraisers. The bulletin puts the fear of God into bank Board of Directors. Since water runs downhill, the banks are telling AMCs that they must improve how they ‘vet’ appraisers on their panels. Many AMC’s are taking the position that their panel...

Skewed Customary Fee Perceptions - Imagecredit Flickr - Quinn Dowbroski 4

Skewed “Customary” Fee Perceptions

“Customary” in Dodd-Frank’s customary and reasonable is a negatively biased fee before state studies begin! We all know that the “C” part of C & R is supposed to represent the normal fee charged by most appraisers for similar work and conditions. Some AMC appraisers even know the “R” part is supposed to be an amount that is reasonable based upon ALL factors necessary for completion of the assignment in a USPAP compliant and professional manner. Unfortunately HVCC and the AMC havoc it wreaked has existed far too long for there to be a ‘reasonable customary’ fee anywhere in the...

LSI Fees - Absolutely Criminal! 6

LSI Fees – Absolutely Criminal!

We used to do a lot of work for LSI back when they paid semi decent fees that were only about 10% below the competitive norm back around 1992. I think the norm was around $300 and they were paying $275+/-. In late 1992+/- they cut back to $235. We lost a few people but most stayed. Bear in mind the appraisers were being paid on a fee split. I think they got 50% of the firms fee. I was on salary for QC review and teaching work plus a split fee for field reviews. Back then it was much simpler to...

The Realities of Regression - Imagecredit Flickr - Walfer X 6

The Realities of Regression

The use of Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter (CU) tool by lenders has created some “hot topics” for appraisers. Durbin is encouraged by the use of CU and thinks it will be a good thing for the appraisal profession. One of these topics is the discussion around how to clearly show the methodology the appraiser used to arrive at the adjustment values. In this presentation Durbin proposes the use of “Regression Analysis” (RA) as a solution to this problem.
Durbin lamented there is a perception that appraisers make subjective, anecdotal, arbitrary, and unscientific adjustments. Now that CU will be looking at adjustments…

Who Is Llano Financing Group? Who Is Carrington Capital Management? Why Are They Suing So Many Appraisers? - Imagecredit Flickr - Catherine Read 4

Why Are They Suing So Many Appraisers?

Who Is Llano Financing Group? Who Is Carrington Capital Management? Why Are They Suing So Many Appraisers? Short Summary Update 8-17-15: Hundreds of appraisers are being sued by two entities that invest in suing appraisers for profit.  At this time, the entity filing the most lawsuits against appraisers is Llano Financing Group, and most of the appraisals it is suing over were held by Impac Funding/Impac Mortgage.  Impac is expressly assigning its claims and rights to sue appraisers to the investors (according to the court complaints).  In the last three months, the investors have sued about 280 appraisers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois,...

TRID Impact on Appraisal Fees 2

TRID Impact on Appraisal Fees

Appraisers, The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has mandated new residential mortgage application and disclosure procedures, which take effect Oct. 3, 2015. Here’s a link to a brief article about this. When a consumer applies to a mortgage lender, the lender requests certain information from the consumer before the clock starts ticking in terms of ‘timing requirements’ on the consumer’s application. When the application is considered “complete”, the lender has 3 business days to provide the consumer with the Loan Estimate document. What’s of concern among lenders and appraisers is the speculated inability to change appraisal fees, which is disclosed...

Voice of Appraisal Podcast RE Coester vs. Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board (VREAB) Lawsuit - Imagecredit Flickr - Patrick Breitenbach 2

Voice of Appraisal Podcast RE Coester vs. VREAB Lawsuit

Folks, Phil Crawford with Voice of Appraisal has another great podcast about the appraisal profession and the recent lawsuit filed in Virginia against the Real Estate Appraiser Board (VREAB). This is probably the most important Voice of Appraisal show to date. In this “must listen” podcast, Phil discusses Coester lawsuit against VREAB and AMCs’ unsustainable business model. He does a stellar job with his analysis and recommendations of Coester vs. VREAB lawsuit. Phil, a fellow appraiser, who has become a catalyst for change in the appraisal profession, stated in his earlier message: In the next 30 days, the independent fee...

My Way or the Highway Attitude of AMCs - Appraiser - Imagecredit Flickr - Dan Taylor 38

“My Way or the Highway” Attitude of AMCs

As Chairman of the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, I have had the opportunity to see and hear directly about many cases involving alleged, as well as apparent appraiser abuse by AMCs. These cases ranged geographically from California, Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Maryland, and District of Columbia. As a QC consultant to a smaller appraiser owned AMC, I have also seen low fee spreadsheets from a variety of lenders that had 90% listed at the SAME APPRAISER fees: $495.00 (which INCLUDED the AMC cut) ranging to a high...

Fate of Unlicensed AMC's in Virginia - All Eyes on VREAB Meeting - Imagecredit Flickr - Alan Levine 1

Fate of Unlicensed AMC’s in Virginia – All Eyes on VREAB Meeting

The Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board meeting on August 18th will be historic and set a precedent, not just for Virginia, but for the entire country. The fate of unlicensed AMC’s in Virginia will be decided. Other State Appraisal Boards, Appraisal groups, and AMC’S are watching this meeting and waiting on the outcome. Check out the agenda for the meeting on the town hall website. There are some well known AMC’S on this list! The meeting will be August 18th @ 10:00 AM Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive Suite 200 Richmond, Virginia 23233 The meeting is...

Appraisal Fees ARE Being Manipulated - join AGA 18

Appraisal Fees ARE Being Manipulated

Gas prices in California were $4.25 to $4.50 when oil was last at $100 a barrel. A week ago they were $50+/- a barrel and our pump prices were still over $4.00 a gallon. We are told ‘environmental’ mandated blended methanol is the cause of the $1.30 higher pricing than anywhere else in the Continental US. When those environmental laws were being passed we were told they’d only add from $0.05 to MAX of $0.15 per gallon-NOT $1.30 or 43% more! We KNOW that California politicians have also very recently heavily increased gas taxes in their never ending war against internal combustion....

Enhancements to Collateral Underwriter (CU) Are Coming - Imagecredit Flickr - Alan Levine 3

“Enhancements” to CU Are Coming

Appraisers, In about 6 weeks, Fannie Mae will make available to LENDERS only, and probably by default indirectly, to their AMC agents, enhancements or improvements (in their opinion) to the CU electronic review process. None of the CU background info,  especially about Fannie Mae’s ‘additional comps’ selection process, is shared directly with appraisers.  But when these are returned to appraisers in the form of a Quality Assurance request from the lender or AMC, appraisers are expected to drop everything and immediately review those for applicability in the appraisal report. Pay attention to the info and bullet points below that I have...

Determining What to Charge for Appraisal Fees - Hard & Soft Costs - Imagecredit Flickr - Chris Potter 7

Determining What to Charge for Appraisal Fees

Have you ever asked yourself why gasoline prices seem to fluctuate so dramatically? Maybe it’s the weather. Perhaps it is a conspiracy in the Middle East. Surely the politicians are to blame. To be sure, the correct answer is complicated and likely multi-faceted. There is much that goes into what your card is charged at the pump, but not much the common man probably understands. You can bet however that those who make these decisions do indeed know and understand how it all works. Have you ever wondered why a Big Mac will set you back $3.99 at McDonald’s, yet...