Monthly Archive: January 2020

You Should Be Insulted if That’s All You Think You’re Worth 17

You Should Be Insulted…

A good friend and appraiser colleague of mine in the midwest sent me this appraisal order request from Better Mortgage in New York [redacted]: My friend and I and most of my peers marvel at order requests like this. They are paying half the market rate to the actual person analyzing the asset to be used as collateral for the mortgage, but most importantly that seems to enable them to provide free lunches and snacks to their employees who process the loans. See the review in Glassdoor. Companies like this can often find a few appraisers willing to work for...

Amrock Suspends the Use of CA Fee Panel Appraisers to Comply with AB5 20

Amrock CA Fee Panel Appraisers Suspended

Amrock recently sent their California fee panel appraisers an email informing them it will suspend the use of fee panel appraisers in California, in order to comply with AB5 law. Dear Valued Partner, New legislation has recently gone into effect that requires Amrock to suspend the use of fee panel appraisers in the State of California. As we take the difficult steps necessary to comply with this new law, we would like to thank you for all the contributions you have made towards making our partnership successful. We appreciate your dedicated service and we will continue to advocate aggressively for...

Amrock Sharing Appraisers' Personal & Tax Info Without Permission 25

Don’t Open that Email!

Have you given permission to Amrock to outsource / share your personal and tax information?… Amrock recently sent their panel appraisers an email informing them a third party company, Fidelity Financial LLC, will be sending an email with a link to obtain their 1099-MISC. Don’t open that email! A simple Google search did not reveal any specific results for Fidelity Financial LLC. Who are they? Are they part of Fidelity Investments which is the #1 result on the search? Are they part of Fidelity Financial Group, which is an insurance wholesaler? Where are they located? Who are the principals? How can we contact them?...

Mortgage Financial Services Puts Appraisers on Timeout for Delays 17

Appraisers on Timeout for Delays!

Early in January, Mortgage Financial Services (MFS) sent out a notice to the appraisers on their panel announcing changes in their turn time policy. In this communication, they state if appraisals are more than 48 hours late, the appraiser will be suspended for 10 business days with no new orders assigned. They also state that the appraiser must request for a longer due date prior to accepting the order, or to raise the appraisal fee for rushes. However, they add, “turn times and fees have to be realistic”. Not long ago, a small number of our clients included penalty clauses...

California AB 5 - Legal For Appraisers 1

California AB 5 – Legal For Appraisers

More than 375 California appraisers registered for the AB 5 webinar – I hope you didn’t miss it. I’ll be hosting my next free webinar for appraisers on January 31, 2020 – it’s the “California Legal Update just for Appraisers!” In this free video webinar, I’ll cover: New 2020 laws relevant to California appraisers and appraisal firms (other than AB 5), including the California Consumer Privacy Act, and The very most important thing that appraisers can do in 2020 in every appraisal report of every type (whether residential, commercial, lending or non-lending) to avoid liability. The webinar will last approximately 45...

Beware of Spot Value Solicitations 24

Beware of Spot Value Solicitations

Many appraisers have gotten invitation letters in the mail from Spot Value to join their panel. The letter states that the appraiser was recommended by one of their clients and that their panel is by invitation only! They have a website which makes them look legit. Their address at 2601 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614 is to Century Centre building but they do not provide a suite number. The domain is registered to a Michael Miller who is also the CEO and sender of the invitation letters. We were unable to reach Michael Miller at 919-404-4889. Their greeting message is...

We Need Software which Enables & Empowers the Analyst... the Appraiser 7

What Skills Do I Need Now?

Analyst software focuses on analysis – sorting, classifying, comparing, and associating data to turn it into useful information… New technologies require new skills. The bad news is that new data science skills are not taught in appraiser education. The good news is that the new technologies are things an appraiser can sell. Let’s look at the good news! Data science skills include the ability to: Identify the relevant data. Turn the data into useful knowledge. Express the analytic flow to a customer. Who can best collect, analyze, and explain an analysis? Well, it takes someone who understands the subject (the market), the analytics (algorithms), and communication (visuals and summaries).  Machines...

Independent Appraisers or Employees & CA AB5 Law - Appraisers Blogs 8

AB5 – Employee or Independent Contractor?

Most independent appraisers are paid ‘by the job’ and are issued 1099’s for the payments made. Appraisers who are ‘staff appraisers’ for specific clients are considered EMPLOYEES, and are issued a W-2 for income paid to them. Independent appraisers should not create an EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP until and unless that is specifically what is desired… I’ve been having a respectful discussion with a California appraiser, who believes (as do others) that just because a particular client requests a certain kind of appraisal report be completed using an online web based report form, then that action constitutes establishing an EMPLOYEE relationship with that...

The Importance of Attending Live CE Classes - Appraisers Blogs 11

The Importance of Attending Live CE Classes

The most beneficial part of participating in live CE classes is what you learn from other professional appraisers attending… The Best Decision You Will Make in 2020! What was the one thing your parents answered your “Why” questions with that made you angry every time? You have probably said it to your own kids as well. “Because I said so” would get you every time. You knew you were never going to win that argument, whatever it was about. VaCAP is not going to tell you “Because I Said So”. But we are going to explain to you why you...

Number of CA Appraisers Drop 50% & Renewal Fees Up 76% 31

CA Appraisers 50% Decline & Fees Up 76%

The Number of CA appraisers drops from 20,120 to 9,987. Renewal fees up 76% for 2020. Excerpt: It’s time to assess and reflect on the numbers as the decade ends. It’s noteworthy that the total population of Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers (BREA) licensees has now fallen below 10,000 for the first time since the Bureau began keeping records. The numbers reflect some interesting trends. Licensee population counts vary daily as licenses are granted and others expire, so this data is a recent snapshot in time. Also, approximately 7% of licensees are trainees, 8% report out-of-state addresses, and some percent...

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