Smedley Dingledorf Takes the Job for $275

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Smedley Dingledorf Takes the Job for $275...No Quality or ExpertiseOne of my lifetime best friends is Bart Simpson, who is an actual person. We grew up together from elementary school through high school but went our separate geographic ways to college. My other best friend during that era of my life was Harry Benson, who was also the key character in Michael Creighton‘s early best seller, “The Terminal Man” but that’s another story. Bart taught me how to ski and how to make plexiglass cookbook holders (hey it was the 70s). We spent our weekends riding bicycles everywhere, especially into D.C. on weekends to meticulously go through each of the Smithsonian museums – you could say we were sponges of random information. There must have been something borderline addictive in the Bethesda, Maryland water because we also both turned out to be real estate appraisers. He would tell me how he would leave messages to schedule appraisal inspections as “Mr. Simpson” because his full name caused many homeowners to think it was a crank call and not call him back.

Last week I posted an interview: The Apple Peeled – Ask the Experts: Market Dynamics with Jonathan Miller and Bart had something to say about it. He gave the most coherent spot-on description of the AMC situation most appraisers find themselves dealing with daily and yet these AMCs hire many of the lobbyists that have helped forge regulatory rule changes like the recent proposal that raises the de minimus to $400,000 without any concern for the consumer (or the taxpayer). Here is his perfect depiction of AMC interaction with appraisers:

I am so fed up with the AMC’s that spend plenty of time giving me the opportunity to bid on a job (Please provide your fee and turn time), when they have not even taken the time to see that I am not licensed in that state. They just send an email to everyone within a large radius, and wait for us to research it and provide a fee. Last week, I had one ask for a fee and turn time. The crazy part was that they did not have an address or legal, just: “30 acre property by the river Per lender-Tax Ma 4, Parcel 6” If you research this property and find out details please provide them to us so that we can provide the details to the customer when quoting this assignment. Please confirm you can assist with this assignment and then provide your fee and turn time.

So they wanted me to find a 30 acre parcel, assume that it was the one they needed appraised, research it and provide a fee, so they could respond to someone else that was clueless. I was not licensed in that state, so I did not waste my time.

The idea for AMC’s was logical – that they would be able to distribute the work without bias. Jonathan gets this appraisal, Bart gets the next one, and Whit gets the third. It is now standard practice to see: We collected $600 for an appraisal at Deep Creek Lake Bart charges $575, Whit will do it for $350, Bill can you do it for $300? Bill eventually will say yes just to get some work, but along comes Smedley Dingledorf, who just got his license and has never been to Deep Creek Lake. He is happy to visit and learn about it at the buyer’s expense, and takes the job for $275. No quality or expertise, but they got a piece of paper saying the house is worth what they need it to be.

Jonathan Miller

President & CEO at Miller Samuel Inc.
Jonathan Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986. He is a state-certified real estate appraiser in New York and Connecticut, performing court testimony as an expert witness in various local, state and federal courts.
Jonathan Miller

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Image credit flickr - Shannon Kringen
Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986. He is a state-certified real estate appraiser in New York and Connecticut, performing court testimony as an expert witness in various local, state and federal courts.

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73 Responses

  1. Avatar Bill Johnson says:

    Smedley Dingledorf has most likely been splitting fees with his trainer while getting the required minimum experience to on paper to call himself an appraiser. A fee of $275 might represent a raise, albeit one that now comes with 100% liability. Most clients don’t truly want to hear the truth (Complex fee request DENIED!), but rather want a rubber stamp to the issue.

    Seek the truth.

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  2. Herb Martin on Facebook Herb Martin on Facebook says:

    I believe a fee for a standard appraisal should be $500 not what I made 14 years ago when I started, then it was $300 to $350, and it was a lot less work.

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  3. Jon Anweiler on Facebook Jon Anweiler on Facebook says:

    Standard appraisal fees should be $400 plus $100 for dealing with bank reviewers who think they are the appraiser.

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    • Avatar Ronald Keeler says:

      Wow, you guys are easy. I won’t touch any type of residential appraisal for less than $600.00. Got all the work I can handle.

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  4. Jon Anweiler on Facebook Jon Anweiler on Facebook says:

    I am not against going out of area, I do it all the time. Problem is, it is more work, which is OK. If you are going to just run a comp run and not talk with anyone, then, yes, you probably should not be taking this on. The appraisal process is the same whether I am down the street or across the country. Run some online comps, talk to agents about the sales, what is in the area, and specifics about my property. I know some think an appraisal assignment is to fill out a piece of paper hitting the 11 items that make it an appraisal. On any assignment, please do the job justice. Do the research, both online and discussions. If you are just running comps online and not talking to anyone, then that makes the argument for zillow and other online services, weeding out the need for actual appraisers who actually think about their conclusions.

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  5. Baggins Baggins says:

    My favorite response to; what’s your fee and turn time? “What’s your best fee and turn time you can negotiate on my behalf?” If amc’s are going to take the place of the job independent appraisers used to do, negotiating fees and keeping the workflow going, we expect them to do an even better job. As none of them can fulfill this simple expectation, I don’t work with any of them. Who in their right mind chooses to work with an advocate that constantly negotiates their clients fees downward? Who’s the customer who’s the client? It does not matter because with friends like that, who would need enemies.

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  6. Avatar William R Temple says:

    The bid process sounds like Shipping Wars!

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  7. Always interesting reading. I think the real issue here is not whether Smedley will do the job for less. It’s that an AMC is allowed to keep their state license when it is clear that they have no comprehension about their obligations to the lender who in turn has mandatory compliance obligations to federal regulators.

    In the example cited, instead of ignoring the bulk email blast order to out of state appraisers I think a better response would have been to write to state AMC regulators and ask if that type of order screening meets state requirements for assuring appraiser competency?

    Either from laziness or a ‘nice guy’ desire to not make “unnecessary” (meaning anything that can be avoided) waves, we are our own worst enemies for tolerating this kind of activity without complaining. Formally.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Genius. Hence the call for all amc workers to be licensed on an individual basis. Amc’s are whole companies, recognized as a single person in terms of balance compared to appraisers whom are always licensed individually. David vs goliath. If we licensed them individually, it would bring them back down to size and foster a climate of more personal responsibility.

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      • We can turn the corporation into the state too.

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          There is none or inadequate anonymity. They’ll find out it was this or that appraiser and they’ll never get orders again. Where as if we could turn in individuals the company could just get rid of them without having to defend everything and everyone as a matter of fact and rule of thumb. The lack of individual licensing with assignment companies is the built in intimidation factor. Because there is no individual licensing, there is no meaningful qualification standard. If appraisers are fortunate enough to work with a direct assignment lender whom hires qualified appraisers, that’s the best available ML client.

          The systemic failure of the modeling is already mature, we’ve got people in management roles, having crawled their way up from the bottom of the assignment business, while never once having meaningful brokerage underwriting or appraisal experience. I’ve seen hr people, appraisers whom lost their licenses, employees with no experience what so ever whom just got their foot in the door filling the assignment manager role, people whom started as lowest level clerks now suddenly managing licensed appraisers a mere few years later. They have no incentive to be professional or ethical to the appraiser because there is no accountability outside of their immediate employer. The longer an unlicensed person manages an appraisal assignment panel, the more dangerous they become. They’ll outright say the mb’s told them to stop using you, must reconsider, if you’re lucky enough to get them to answer emails and calls. Complaining on the whole company to stop a managers rouge activity is a self defeating effort because it’s better to wait for them to turn over and then still retain the client at a later date. It is an unbearable risk to turn in a whole company into the state while I am merely one individual with a license. What they consider a day of legal fees is probably larger than what most appraisers earn in several years. At a minimum, all distribution departments, amc, direct, or otherwise, should all be required to retain at least one actively licensed appraiser to administrate the panel. The real good ones have already hired licensed appraisers for regular clerk duties so the contrast regarding how inconsistent the industry has become is already easy to measure.

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  8. Avatar Gregory R Reynolds says:

    While I believe there can be some correlation drawn between the fee collected for an appraisal, and the quality of said appraisal, you cannot make that assertion as a statement of fact. I know several appraisers whose model is that they perform high quality valuation services for a slightly lower fee in the attempt to capture a stronger volume. It is risky, indeed, to say that an appraisal is of low quality simply because the appraiser charged a lower fee. This is, after all, a business decision made by individual appraisers.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      It’s my business decision to recognize that honestly applied ethic is the difference between right and wrong, honesty vs deception, directing free market principals regarding the honest costs of goods and services for consumers, and equal access for workers.

      It may appear the consumer is irrelevant to many appraisers, and most especially most appraisal management companies. If you’re offering a discounted rate, that’s all good. But only so long as the consumer is saving a dollar. Otherwise this is clearly a pay to play engagement scheme.

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      • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

        Ah – the old deflect and disparage defense. Works well on the ignorant and uninformed, but I prefer to stick to objective and adult discourse. 🙂

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          So you’re saying that mention of free market principals, fairness in distribution, compliance with rule sets, fairness in consumer billing, you’re calling that immature deflective arguments?

          The three D’s of trolling. Distract, discredit, redirect. Yeah, talk to me about ethics.

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          • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

            Actually, the moderator removed most of your immature comment(s). The part they left is fairly benign. Thank you moderator(s). To my original point, however, the fact that an appraiser is willing to accept an assignment for a fee lower than his/her competitors does not correlate into someone who is less knowledgeable, less experienced, or who provides lower quality work. It IS, on the other hand, an important component of the free market system. The other alternative, as I’m sure you’re aware, is government established appraisal fees – which is, in essence, socialism.

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            • Baggins Baggins says:

              I edited the comment myself. It was apparent you’re an advocate for amc’s, so what’s a straightforward honest fair playing field appraiser to do? The plain truth is that the better qualified appraisers seek out business relationships with better qualified lending staff.

              Good luck with your amc work.

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              • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                So I think that you are missing the point. I am neither for, nor against, AMC’s. It seems that the main point of the article was that an appraiser who accepted an assignment for a ‘low’ fee was/is a schmuck (hence the name Smedley Dingledorf – which I can only assume was not intended to be a complimentary alias). You, on the other hand, seem to be arguing that AMC’s shouldn’t be part of the landscape – off topic of the main article, but worthy of discussion nonetheless.

                I believe, as with appraisers, there are AMC’s who provide benefits to the consumer and appraiser, commensurate with their margin. I also believe there are AMC’s who provide little benefit to either the consumer or appraiser, and are simply interested in maximizing profit at the expense of whomever might offer a deterrent to that end. Calling for an end to AMC’s simply because of the ‘bad apples’ is akin to calling for the abolishment of appraisers simply because there are poor appraisers amongst us.

                And to state that it is ‘plain truth’ that better qualified appraisers don’t work with AMC’s is an affront to the thousands of very qualified appraisers who do, in fact, choose to do business with AMC’s. Again – it is a business decision that individual appraisers make, and to apply blanket, inaccurate statements like that is to fail to understand the basic tenets of debate – namely that of deduction and logic.

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                • Baggins Baggins says:

                  Pay to play. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_to_play

                  C&R. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/rulemaking/regulations/1026/42/#c-2-iii

                  Unearned fee, pay to play, and relations to C&R w/ amc’s. http://www.mortgagecompliancemagazine.com/featured/kickbacks-unearned-fees-one-more-time/

                  The merits of cost plus. http://www.workingre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Cost-Plus-AMC-Model-NE.html

                  VA C&R fees from honest surveying. https://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/appraiser_fee_schedule.asp

                  Defining pay to play, absence of cost savings being returned to consumers and instead having discounted fees serving as a financial incentive to become the appraiser selectee, identifying unfair biased imbalanced distribution geared towards providing a thing of value, understanding that the vast majority of all amc’s do not pay C&R, is as easy as… Well, first appraisers have to stop looking away while middle management rips off consumers, so they can get that higher volume of work orders with ‘discounted fees’ ahead of equally deserving peers.

                  Amc’s, I would not mind them if they did not force pay to play engagement and refuse to return cost savings to consumers, violate C&R rules, etc. Amc’s are unable to bill with C&R in most instances, charging their part separate from the appraisal fee. The vast majority of amc’s do not pay C&R as defined by the VA, or even as defined by the WorkingRE yearly survey.

                  I would not mind them if they a; hired qualified persons with no exceptions. b; were required to have all employees individually licensed so there would be better personal accountability. c; billed on a cost plus basis and returned cost savings to consumers if appraisers did bill less. d; stopped playing appraisers against each other to gain unearned fees, which is the same point as C. Hey, what’s your fee and turn time? Edit again. Some things are important to say, but are not necessary to leave on the board.

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                • Baggins Baggins says:

                  I had a nice long response but it’s not showing up. Probably because I used the edit feature too quickly or something. If that does not re appear soon I’ll rewrite that later. Let’s survey all appraisers and see how many would willingly discount to keep amc’s in business, when they otherwise would keep that income for themselves in a direct assignment scenario. I’m pretty sure someone has already done that and the FNMA white paper Mr Ford wrote articles on seemed to have proved that only 1 in 4 total appraisers even work with amc’s in the first place.

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                  • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                    So I’m not really in the business of promoting AMC’s, but yes – there are several that pay what I would assume you and Baggins would consider ‘fair’ appraisal fees (for the record, any time the word ‘fair’ is used, you can bet the free market system is going to be derailed). That said, AMC’s CAN (and some absolutely do) provide benefits to appraisers in the form of: (1) reduced costs associated with client procurement, (2) steady volume – this is attributable to the fact that the volume AMC’s provide is generally from multiple lenders, so that if one lender is not doing well, there is not as much disturbance with the appraiser’s volume; (3) cheaper access to technology, (4) at least in theory – better access to SME’s (subject matter experts); and (5) insulation from lenders who would coerce appraisers into providing unsupported opinion(s) of value. There are other benefits, but as I see it, those five stand out.

                    In addition, I believe AMC’s can (and some do) provide benefits to lenders in the form of: (1) again, cheaper access to technology, (2) a more robust review process, (3) again, access to SME’s, and (4) reduced costs with respect to appraisal management. Finally, I believe AMC’s can (and some do) provide benefits to consumers primarily in the form of insulating appraisers from lenders who would coerce appraisers into providing unsupported opinions of value.

                    That said, is the fee AMC’s charge commensurate with the value they add? That is for the market to decide – not appraisers and not government.

                    Now, before Baggins declares me a puppet for the AMC’s, I do not work for an AMC, nor do I have any ownership interest in an AMC. I would, however, (were I in the field) very happily work for AMC’s if their pay structure was commensurate with what I considered necessary for me to be profitable – and, again, there are several that do.

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                    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

                      WOW Gregory..

                      1. Prior to HVCC, the cost to procure a client was $0. The appraiser WAS THE BUSINESS (they came to us / word of mouth, etc.), where as today, it’s the appraiser who chases the clients every time they move on to the latest and greatest middleman promise.

                      2. Steady volume, are you kidding me? Stop and ask the appraisers from 10+ years ago if they had a problem with volume?

                      3. Cheaper access to technology? You do realize that many appraisers pay thousands of dollars each year by way of delivery fees, technology fees, Mercury Network / Appraisalport fees, etc. right? When it was spun off originally, the Mercury Network (press release) said it was doing 20,000 transactions A DAY. Go run the numbers on 7,300,000 yearly transactions at $10 to $15 a pop, and tell me how technology makes it cheaper for the appraiser?

                      4. Subject matter experts? Meaning not having the ability to even identify the property type correctly, and thus the form type. Give me a break.

                      5. Insulation from lenders? Prior to HVCC the appraiser (Business) could black list any individual loan officer who didn’t play by OUR rules. Post HVCC, it’s the appraiser who gets blacklisted from entire companies, and ends up on secret and underground do not use lists.

                      AMC’s benefiting lenders.

                      The benefit for the lender Gregory, is that instead of having in-house costs like they used to (appraisal related), it’s the appraiser by way of split fees who are now taking on the extra financial burden. Lenders and borrowers pay nothing for the management of the appraisal, as its TAKEN FROM THE APPRAISER.

                      Happy to work with AMC’s.

                      If you say, “there are several that do” (AMC’s paying fair), does that mean in YOUR area, or are you saying in ALL areas? Just because in a few isolated counties within a few states, you might find reasonable fees from an AMC (who are they) / name names), don’t for one second think they are paying equal to or higher wages in the large cities (volume multiple by the thousands).

                      Seek the truth Gregory Reynolds.

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                      • ALL HVCC brought was the end to long-established relationships of 25-35 years with banks and even FNMA itself. Mutual trust and reputations became meaningless overnight. BECAUSE of AMCs like Landsafe!

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                      • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                        So my original point, should you guys care to go back and read it, was simply that the author of the article was using faulty logic, namely the misapplication of the transitive law of logic – e.g. ‘the fact that Smedley Dingledorf took an assignment for $275 must, therefore mean that his appraisal is worthless’ – fails the law of transitivity.

                        Had I known that the intent of the article was yet another rant against the evil AMC’s, I would never have responded, as I’ve learned that rants against AMC’s, as well as engaging those that do, are generally efforts in futility.

                        My apologies.

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                        • Gregory, seriously? You want to troll the site to argue debate logic? It’s an appraiser site. Those of us with 15, 20, 30 and more years full time as appraisers have seen over and over again what the quality is for sub par fees. You want a fact? I have never seen an appraisal performed for less than 80% of an areas C&R fee that is remotely comparable in quality to one that is in a normal fee range. That means based on long term experience, that if the norm in an area is $400 and Smedley (Skippy’s cousin) is doing them for $320 there is a very strong probability the sub par fee work is deficient. How badly deficient is arguable. Can there be exceptions? Sure. Let’s be polite and pretend our low ball associates are doing good work on a regular basis in less time than it takes to do good work.

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                          • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                            It’s not that I want to debate, Mike. It’s that I don’t believe you can draw a correlation between low fees and poor appraisal quality. There simply is no quantitative data to support that premise. And I agree – let’s be polite and ‘assume’ our low ball associates are doing good work on a regular basis.

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                          • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                            BTW – it’s a bit offensive to accuse someone of ‘trolling’ simply because they express their opinion.

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                        • Avatar Eric West says:

                          Gregory, the author of the article stated:

                          “We collected $600 for an appraisal at Deep Creek Lake Bart charges $575, Whit will do it for $350, Bill can you do it for $300? Bill eventually will say yes just to get some work, but along comes Smedley Dingledorf, who just got his license and has never been to Deep Creek Lake. He is happy to visit and learn about it at the buyer’s expense, and takes the job for $275. No quality or expertise, but they got a piece of paper saying the house is worth what they need it to be.”

                          I believe the author was trying to point to the fact that AMCs shop for lowest fee and will pick the cheapest appraiser over the most qualified; they will pick the cheapest regardless of their expertise & qualifications. Smedley Dingledorf “just got his license and has never been to Deep Creek Lake. He is happy to visit and learn about it at the buyer’s expense, and takes the job for $275.”

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                          • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                            Great point(s) Eric – and, if that was the intent, then I misread/misunderstood the gist of the article. Some additional thoughts if that is the case:

                            (1) not all AMC’s have a variable margin model – some have fixed margin models – e.g. regardless of the appraiser’s fee, they charge a ‘flat’ margin;

                            (2) USPAP doesn’t mandate that a person have been to a particular market – only that the person possess, or obtain, geographic competence during an assignment – and the fact that a person has not been to a particular market does not preclude them from being competent;

                            (3) it is quite common (as I’m sure we’re all aware) for ‘new’ appraisers to accept assignments at fees lower than typical in order to build their business – this does not make them a Smedley Dingledorf – in fact, it is quite probable that new appraisers possess more appraisal skills than some folks who have been doing this for decades.

                            I guess I just dislike the perception that, just because an appraiser charges less than what his/her peers might think ‘fair’, it somehow makes that appraiser the enemy, or a dunce, or a turncoat.

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                            • Avatar Brian says:

                              Gregory,

                              USPAP allows for one to become competent during the assignment. FNMA requires competence from the outset.

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                              • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                                That is correct. But, again, the Fannie Selling Guide (I’m assuming you’re referencing section B4-1.1-03) does not mandate that the appraiser have visited the particular market – only that he/she possess geographic competence. If the hypothetical Dingledorf accepted the assignment, AND it was for Fannie/Freddie, AND he didn’t possess geographic competence, then the hypothetical appraiser should not have completed the hypothetical assignment.

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                                • Avatar Brian says:

                                  Hypothetically agree

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                                • FNMA selling guide is NOT the arbiter of proper appraisal techniques and is especially not a reliable source of what is or is not USPAP compliant.

                                  Proof? FNMA has arbitrarily decided unpermitted areas and below grade area can now be considered GLA IF recognized as such in the local market.

                                  They clearly haven’t considered the requirements for HBU as vacant OR improved, in that decision. BAD decisions by FNMA do not amount to revisions of USPAP OR states which have incorporated ANSI into their appraisal regulations.

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                            • Greg, respectfully a new appraiser that does not yet know the full depth of what USPAP compliance means in terms of translating it to real-world actions IS a dunce, turncoat, and enemy of competent appraisers.

                              There are no (significant numbers of) appraisers with less than 3 years experience that can remotely compete with most appraisers having from 5 to 40 years experience.

                              On the basis of CE alone, they have only had one CE cycle past their original licensing requirements. They lack real (appraiser) world experience. When they undercut an experienced appraiser by using short cuts with improperly ‘reduced SOW’ (such as Clear Capital or Mueller bifurcated hybrids) they undermine the entire profession.

                              Take a poll and ask how many appraisers report a unique summary of highest and best use as if vacant in the text addendum portion of their written 1004 form reports.

                              Anyone that is NOT doing that is taking unacceptable short cuts. Admittedly it could include old timers as well but it is still illustrative of the impact of inexperience or bad habits left unrealized.

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                              • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                                I can only say that I am embarrassed for you, as well as any organization that you represent, in making the assertion that new appraisers are dunces, turncoats, and traitors. I would think that someone with as many letters after their name as you have (although I’m not sure what they all stand for) would have more class. New appraisers should absolutely not be treated as such Mr. Ford. I don’t know what else to say about that comment. I am speechless.

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                                • Gregory having looked up your multiple licenses in the various states shown several thousands of miles apart (yet with the same home address), I can only conclude you are in fact the multistate appraisal troll I believed you to be.

                                  Posing as one concerned about low experienced level appraisers being ‘unfairly’ criticized it appears they are what you’d refer to as prime employees or peers.

                                  I make no apologies for calling dunces, turncoats or traitors to the profession, dunces, turncoats, and traitors to the profession. I include those appraisers specializing in multi-state desktop appraisals with or without bifurcated property inspection/”appraisal report” writing. Right along with those more experienced appraisers doing the same thing that should know better. Somehow I doubt you are speechless. Though that you don’t what how to answer the post in a way that is responsive rather than deflective doesn’t surprise me.

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                                  • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                                    you didn’t call dunces, turncoats, and traitors to the profession, dunces, turncoats, and traitors to the profession. You called new appraisers dunces, turncoats, and traitors to the profession. To quote, “Greg, respectfully a new appraiser that does not yet know the full depth of what USPAP compliance means in terms of translating it to real-world actions IS a dunce, turncoat, and enemy of competent appraisers.” Shame on you.

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                                    • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                                      you are publicly posting my prior address????? What kind of indecent, depraved troll are you? This is going WAY, WAY, too far Mr. Ford! Not sure who, or what, the Appraisers Guild of America is, but if it’s leadership consists of trolls who publicly post other folks’ (assumed) private information, then I TRULY am embarrassed for anyone associated with your association!

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                                      • Greg why would you assume a business address you list on your ASC information is private? Ignorance of how the state and federal registry system works?

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                                      • Name: Greg Reynolds
                                        Subject: Michael F. Ford

                                        Message:
                                        Good morning.

                                        I am writing to see what recourse is available when one of the members of appraisersblogs (a periodic contributor, no less) posts another appraiser’s personal residence information. In an interaction with Mr. Ford, in which Mr. Ford became extremely derogatory and insulting, he proceeded to post my (now prior) personal address. Not sure how he found that information, but my ex wife still lives at that residence, and I can only assume he intends harm to come to her by posting her address – possibly in the hopes that someone will commit violence against her or her property?
                                        At any rate, I find it EXTREMELY disheartening that this would be allowed and would sincerely appreciate a retraction, and response as to what recourse is available (outside of legal action against Mr. Ford).

                                        The interaction (and posting of my personal residence) can be seen here:

                                        http://appraisersblogs.com/AMCs-appraisers-interaction-perfect-depiction/#comment-25719

                                        Thank you,

                                        Greg Reynolds


                                        This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Appraisers Blogs (http://appraisersblogs.com)”

                                        Ummm No Greg. I have no interest in violence toward you, your ex wife, any cats, dogs, gerbils or others. You have a VERY vivid imagination! I posted an address listed as A1 Settlement Services-mainly because I was curious about what ‘AppAppraiser’ was.

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                                        • Baggins Baggins says:

                                          Oh he’s a social justice warrior would be censor!

                                          Icing on the cake.

                                          If not for the annoying details that the low priced appraisers are selected because that provides a financial incentive to select them over more competent worthy help, as when dealing with evil unnecessary middle management amc’s, cost savings from reduced service costs are NOT returned to the consumer. The new guys would not have to discount to get work and instantly become a danger to the public trust in this profession, if not for the meddling of amc middle managers. In the old days they just had less work and B paper clients.

                                          Pay to play. He’s an advocate for amc’s, for sure. We’re not playing games on this board, we’re dealing with complex issues and facts that affect some of the most important fundamentals of our society and private property rights. Give me liberty or give me death. There is no in between. Censors should be careful what they wish for, and they’re learning this quickly as the culture of censorship ramps up at an aggressive breathtaking pace and patriots stand up for proper due process and constitutional rights. Take that irresponsible reckless behavior back to twitter and facebook. If you post with your real name, chances are a great many people have already looked you up. That’s not doxxing, that’s just the price you pay for having a publicly searchable state license. You’re supposed to update your address when you move and this also illustrates some dangers on big tech, it’s important to know who’s hosting your data, if it’s current, and if they had permission to post that in the first place. We certainly do need a right to be forgotten here in the states. Best argument thread of the year, absolutely entertaining. Cheers.

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    • Greg if you are talking a 10%+- variance, no argument from me. If you mean to say that a $125 or $175 LSI-style or another bottom feeder like them is getting good quality appraisals then I call “BS!” very loudly. There is no room in the appraisal profession for hacks whose work is only worth $175 for a full urar anymore when the going rate or “C&R” fee is $500 to $550.

      Don’t take my word for it. Invite anyone who does $175 appraisals to redact their name and other identifiers & submit one to public peer review here. Claiming ‘business decisions’ for higher volume still can equate to good quality is an empty claim. Let some of those pretending they still do quality work for such low fees prove it. Even anonymously there won’t be any takers.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        The argument is; We have no choice but to allow abuse of workers by powerful companies with much more influence than individual workers. If we do anything about it the only action possible is government price control. Socialism so therefore just roll with it.

        If only someone could do something like, pay amc’s separately for their services to remove the financial incentive to rip off both appraisers and consumers of lenders services nationwide in a grand price control scheme…

        Hey, I thought it was the socialists that promoted price controls, and it was the capitalists whom insist on free markets and straightforward honest billing processes…

        If any appraiser can deliver for less than me, more power to them. It is the fact that the amc’s force the depression of the wage, pocket the difference, and do not return cost savings to consumer, that’s where the ethical challenge lies. I will not participate in that, because, that is a socialistic model.

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      • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

        Mike,

        While I agree that price gouging – for any service or commodity – should be controlled (as price gouging is an inherent failure in any free market system), it is a slippery slope to determine what margin is, or is not, ‘acceptable’. And even more slippery is the idea that appraisers should have input into the margins that AMC’s charge. I absolutely agree that it should have been, at the outset, a cost plus type of pricing, but it’s not. Much in the same way that borrowers should never have been asked to pay for an appraisal that they don’t own or use – but they do.

        To Baggin’s point (whomever Baggins is), any price control is a hallmark of socialism – including the mandate for C&R – which has been nothing short of a complete catastrophe. If socialism is what appraisers desire, then we should not cry when the market replaces traditional appraisals with similar services (be it manual, automated, or some mix) that are cheaper and faster. Remember – when the government institutes price controls – for whatever reason – one unintended consequence is that jobs are lost – every single time.

        I don’t know of any appraisers who provide valuation services for $175, but if I want to, and if my model accommodates a profit that I am comfortable with at that price point, I should be allowed to perform that service at that price. Heck – I should be allowed to perform that service for free should I choose.

        But again – if socialism is what the masses want (e.g. C&R, or VA style fee ‘setting’), then don’t be surprised when we are replaced with cheaper alternative services.

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          C&R is taken from non amc surveys so can not be called a price control per se, it is better described as a measurement point of non interrupted free market billing. With non amc lenders one still sometimes have to quote, but it’s straight forward and nobody profits from reduced fees, but rather the direct assignment companies do so under honest principals to represent borrowers fee costs fairly.

          We are not currently dealing in free market principals with amc’s, but the illusion of that on only one side of the coin. It is an impossible choice to demand someone work for half rate or go out of business when on the consumer side the price of the goods and services has only increased. It’s very straightforward. Get loan, pay for appraisal, appraiser gets paid that same amount. Cherry on top is discovery 10 years later title and big tech companies have funded amc’s all along. These companies are stealing and redirecting the entire billion dollar appraisal industry, one fee cut, one fee quote, one additional outsourced service, one distressed appraiser at a time. Amc’s did not grow so rapidly because they offer something of worth and value. They did so because they have exploited regulatory loopholes, at our and the consumers expense.

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        • Gregory, the ‘slippery slope’ is failing to enforce Dodd-Frank which recognizes professional services require professional fee levels. Waiving or effectively neutering every single consumer & taxpayer protective measure in the mortgage process is the real slippery slope.

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            When push comes to shove, the amc will advocate on behalf of the lender so as not to lose the client. The appraiser is replaceable, the client may not be.

            I never needed insulation from lender pressure in the first place and I’m certainly not going to take a hundred to two hundred dollars short, per every order, just to have some non licensed person pretend to offer that to me. The amc staff is more likely to put value pressure on me than an individually licensed accountable person. It’s not 2006 anymore and all too many of the pro amc arguments are already answered through other regulatory means.

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        • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

          Under the umbrella of keep your friends close, but your enemies closer Gregory, I just received a 1025 request for $395 (Pro Teck Valuation Services). A good prior client transferred to them (no longer good) and by default their panel of appraisers (Me) were moved over. Funny how in the early 2000 our company charged $700, but today the borrower pays more, but our split is 40% less than 20 years ago.

          Seek the truth.

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        • Gregory (R?) Reynolds holder/past holder of multi state licenses in states separated by thousands of miles, and a previous employee of A1 settlement services?

          I suspected the free enterprise sophistry had an ulterior motive. Such as working in the field of low fee, garbage appraisal products? But you tell us. I’d hate to assume something about you based on a possible namesake…though there really aren’t that many Gregory Reynolds in the ASC directory.

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          • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

            You are correct that I am that Gregory Reynolds. And again – I am embarrassed for you that you would attack a peer without knowing the person. For whatever reason, I thought this venue was one where professionals could debate without dragging someone into the mud. I HAVE managed AMC’s, I have worked as a fee appraiser, and I have (and currently do) managed appraisal desk(s) for lenders. I will not comment further on my accomplishments as you do not deserve for me to do so. That is all that I will say as regards that matter, as I will not debate someone who stoops to your level. I will leave you with this, however. It is an embarrassment to any organization you represent that you resort to accusing me of embracing ‘garbage appraisal products’ without knowing anything at all about me.

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            • If I post negative viewpoints in response to yours it is an attack? If you post deliberately deceptive comments and infer disparaging commentary it’s open discourse?

              This forum is above all else traditionally intended for truthful based commentary. Trolls, low ball fee AMC advocates & other sub par product promoting appraisers pretending concern when they really want to promote the status quo of low fees and less than minimal standards have indeed been known to be treated with less than cordial warmth.

              Gregory I am union representative fighting just as hard as I possibly can to fight abuse of appraisers; and widespread corporate practices that conceal abuse of appraisers. I leave it to others to speak softly and avoid carrying ‘sticks’.

              Few will go further to assist other appraisers still trying to do things the right way. Similarly, I won’t shrink for using colloquial expressions in opposing those who undermine us.

              I never pretend to be what I am not. Any reader of these blogs over the past four years knows exactly where I stand and what my faults, as well as strengths, are.

              To the best of my knowledge, none are surprised that my tone or perspective may be critical in the face of subterfuge and deliberate deception. Post away and perhaps we can all learn something new.

              Im particularly interested in the online appraisal format at your swasa (seriously). Legitimate time saver or just another short cut?

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              • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

                I’m not sure how you were able to delete my comment, but apparently you’ve deleted your trolling, and posting, of my personal residence address (which I am grateful for), but not before I screenshotted it and submitted it to appraisersblog for review. Why someone would post another appraiser’s personal residence – unless in the hopes of some kind of retaliation – is beyond me. Do not EVER, however, expect me to respond to any of your comments again. Who knows – next time it may be my childrens’ or grandchildrens’ information you might publicly post.

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                • Magic.

                  Greg, Does it ever get lonely living in a world devoid of reality? YOU asked AB to delete the post. They did. I objected. They reposted it. I have no idea what you are talking about now…do you?

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                • Baggins Baggins says:

                  Just some cleanup on this point. The blog posting is not always ultra reliable. Sometimes routine software updates or administrators being logged in, something like that, even the rapid changes to our own various browser softwares or pc’s or mobiles, that can sometimes hinder posting or the edit feature. It’s normally quite reliable but like all tech, you can’t count on it 100% of the time. We’re only human so sometimes mistakes can be made. There is generally speaking no call for or action of censorship here, except for off topic or solicitors whom don’t really belong in the first place. Cheers.

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  9. Baggins Baggins says:

    You’ve glossed over the improperly co mingled fee and constant financial incentive to drive appraisers fees down for variable economic profit which is the staple of the majority of the amc industry, non cost plus. The amc’s profit margin should be dependent on the sale they carve out with a lender, and should not be dependent on how effective they are at pressing appraisers against each other for variable profit through compelled and variable appraisal fee discounting.

    1. Acquiring direct assignment clients is free.

    2. Direct assignment clients do provide steady volume, standard up front fees and nobody chops fees for higher volume.

    3. Mercury fees are still only $16 per order.

    4. Direct panels often accomplish the same workload with half or less of the workforce of amc’s. Some amc’s have substantial tech crews, something that when lenders use systems like Mercury, is much cheaper because of shared pooled cost.

    5. All panels must be managed by a licensed appraiser, regardless if amc or direct.

    6. You have less insulation if working with an amc because if you upset their people, you don’t just lose one lender, you lose them all.

    7. Appraisal software, mls costs, regular overhead, online access, all constant costs regardless.

    8. A more robust review process, via checkbox reviewing. Until someone tracks default rates against amc involved in origination vs non amc involvement, there is insufficient evidence to back any claim of increased quality of service. A lot of amc’s just dress up their participation when really they’re only using the same ready made tools available from the software platforms both governmental and private. It’s an easy buck.

    9. The amc’s operational margin and total profit should really not be affected by the fees paid to appraisers. A quality direct panel management staff only requires a half dozen people for pretty decent sized lenders.

    10. The please don’t mention this secret of the amc industry is the lender often pays out the exact same amount regardless if an amc is involved or not. It’s not surprising that lenders with increasing frequency have learned they get access to an entirely different set of appraisers if they don’t force the appraisers to share and compete with each other by fee.

    I’ve answered all of these points previously with amc solicitation staff and management. If amc’s want to find favor from the majority of the appraisal community, they’ll need to learn to start advocating on everyone’s behalf, not just the few lowest priced appraisers whom help them profit more, advocating on behalf of the amc’s interests against the consumers, by discounting and not questioning if cost savings are returned to consumers. Trying to edit this down, too long.

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    • Baggs, Mercury (owned by corelamode) is no bargain. It allows the lender to populate their own preferred panel. Optimally with respected appraisers. In practice often with their own preferred appraisers that regularly hit the numbers. Fail to do so and magically no more work flows down through Mercury to you. Worse, unlike an AMC that has to at least notify you when blacklisting or dumping an appraiser-a mercury system populated by a bank has no such [enforceable] requirement. Appraisers gets bumped and no one except the appraiser is the wiser. No paper trail. We just had one of these at AGA to resolve-appraiser only found out because the agent that got him dumped is an idiot.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Well, it’s still better than amc’s. We need some sort of go to alternative for the lenders still captured by the amc narrative.

        To add to your point, I think it may even come down to individual mortgage brokers. I’ve noticed a trend of only getting one guys work. What about all the other mb’s sitting at those origination desks? Anyone whom believes that separation from loan production is actually happening is living an illusion. Appraisers would be far better protected if we could look those whom apply pressure towards us in the eye and call them directly without hesitation.

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  10. Herb Martin on Facebook Herb Martin on Facebook says:

    If their not paying $500 then it’s not fair

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  11. To my fellow appraisers and AB readers. Heres who and what Greg is.


    —— Original Message ——

    From: Greg Reynolds
    To: leoregensburger@appraisersguild.org
    Sent: March 24, 2019 at 8:44 PM
    Subject: Mike Ford

    Good evening Mr. Regensburger.

    I wish this correspondence was in a more cordial tone, but it is not. I have recently had interactive correspondence with your Vice President, Mr. Mike Ford, who has, in my opinion, completely and fully compromised his integrity – both at a personal level, as well as a professional level.

    With regard to his professional integrity, Mr. Ford has publicly stated that new appraisers are (and I quote): “Greg, respectfully a new appraiser that does not yet know the full depth of what USPAP compliance means in terms of translating it to real-world actions IS a dunce, turncoat, and enemy of competent appraisers.”

    This comment can be seen here:
    http://appraisersblogs.com/AMCs-appraisers-interaction-perfect-depiction/#comment-25719

    In addition, Mr. Ford publicly posted my (personal) prior address – at which my ex wife still resides – on a PUBLIC FORUM!!!

    I do not know who manages the AppraisersBlog, but I will be on contact with their leadership to find out what recourse is available to me. In addition, I will be posting an article on LinkedIn addressing the EXTREMELY depraved and indecent actions of your VICE PRESIDENT!!

    I can only hope that my public reporting of Mr. Ford’s nasty, insensitive, and – honestly – potentially harmful comments will shine extremely poorly on your association.

    Sincerely,

    Greg Reynolds
    AQB Certified USPAP Instructor
    TALCB peer Mentor”

    Greg, you are an intellectual coward and a liar. I’ve not posted your address at all. YOU are a TALCB mentor? USPAP Instructor? Seriously? With your views on appraisal quality and compliance; and affinity for telling the selective truth?

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    • Mike & Greg: we removed the comment Mike posted with Greg’s prior address because he stated in an email that it was private information. We do not want appraisers’ private information published here. However, we later found out that Mike got this address from ASC (screenshot below) and that this address is/was associated with a business, A1 Closing Services LTD. Since this is public information, we restored Mike’s comment.

      AppraisersBlogs does not make a habit of censoring language or even passionate disagreements. We ask posters to be civil but ultimately it is the collective conscience of the blog readers and commenters that set the tone. This is a public forum. We try very hard to follow the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution though we have and will debar purely disruptive entities after explaining WHY. Post at your own risk of rebuttal.

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    • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

      As most readers will not be aware, I have reached out to appraisersblog and have asked that any comments referencing my prior address be removed for the safety of those now living at that address. Appraisersblog has kindly denied that request. Please know that, in addition to the several demeaning and slanderous remarks he has made toward me personally, he has also publicly posted (above) a private correspondence sent to the President of the AGA (Mr. Leo Regensburger) who has not responded to me, but who did forward that private correspondence on to Mr. Ford, who subsequently felt it prudent to publicly post that. I trust that any who are reading this see the unabashed animosity that Mr. Ford has toward fellow appraiser(s).

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      • Lol! Greg, should I just refer to you as ‘Cupcake’ from now on? You are not entitled to any degree of privacy when you lie about me. Sending an email to the AGA President was purely childish (and naive). Did you think he would NOT forward it to me for comment or opinion? What silly notion would lead you to believe I had any type of obligation to keep your whining private?

        Threatening me further with posting your drivel on LinkedIN is a decision you have to make for yourself. Keep in mind it is one that has legal consequences. Just as the one to AGA did. There is a difference between open forum public blog posts in the heat of the moment, and those deliberately intended to cause harm to employment or livelihood and professional reputation.

        Sending an email to AB using the return address of the settlement services company you currently work for was simply ignorant. Not the brightest bulb are you? Don’t worry overly much. I won’t stoop to our level Cupcake.

        Greg, AGA’s President and I have a very open and honest relationship. It’s strong enough to withstand your whining and malicious albeit feeble efforts to damage my reputation. Though it does pretty well establish what the intent behind your posts is, in fact, malicious and intended to cause harm. (That’s a legal concept y’all may want to investigate).

        If I were to reciprocate by communicating with the ‘numeric Choice’ Settlement Service company you purport to work for and over whose Company ID you sent a potentially damaging and litigious email, do you think they’d be as understanding as Leo is and was?

        Don’t worry Greg, I won’t stoop to your level over a blog.

        If you were concerned over the former Mrs Reynold’s privacy, perhaps you should not have used it as the business address of A1 Settlement Services…which is the address I posted – not one known to be a home address. No one had a clue it might be yours OR Mrs. Reynold’s until you claimed it was. In any case, it’s also one you listed in past licenses. A PUBLIC RECORD.

        My ONLY interest in any addresses ever associated with your past licenses is to see if they were corporate offices for an AMC or other biased low ball fee promoters.

        I had all but forgotten it was Title Insurance related “Settlement Services” that first invented the non-USPAP compliant spurious “reconciliations” of BPOs to appraisals …or as the rest of the appraiser world called them Phony reviews disguised as something purporting to be different just because it had a different name.

        Clearly the precursor to the bifurcated hybrid concept.

        IF my previous remarks have offended you in some small way, then I clearly understated them.

        Greg, my animous is not directed to my peers. Very few appraisers in general; and only focused specifically on those that lie or undermine our profession under false pretenses.

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        • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

          quick question Mike. Did you make this statement? “Greg, respectfully a new appraiser that does not yet know the full depth of what USPAP compliance means in terms of translating it to real-world actions IS a dunce, turncoat, and enemy of competent appraisers.” Just want to make sure I get my facts straight. Wouldn’t want to be called a liar, you know.

          Cupcake

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        • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

          Hey Mike! You know, for someone who has aptly demonstrated their eagerness to weigh in on matters, I’m a bit surprised by your silence on the question of whether you stated that a new appraiser, who does not yet know the full depth of what USPAP compliance means in terms of translating it to real-world actions (as if any of us do) is – and again, I quote, “a dunce, turncoat, and enemy of competent appraisers.” Actually, I’m not surprised – and the question was rhetorical. I know the other day I said I was speechless about that comment, but I’ve since regained my tongue. New appraisers are the lifeblood of our profession (as I’m sure you’re well aware). To receive that kind of animosity – and from the Vice President of the American Guild of Appraisers, no less (who also, it would seem, is the Chair of your Peer Review Committee), is an affront to any and all new appraisers. One would think that the seasoned folks would embrace the new appraisers, would encourage the new appraisers, and would guide the new appraisers – not offer slanderous epitaphs like you spout. Oh well – back to my world devoid of reality.

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    • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

      Mike,

      Just a quick clarification, please. You called me an intellectual coward – doesn’t really make any sense, but I won’t deny that I’m not the smartest bulb in the box. hat said, you also called me a liar because – in your words, “You’ve not posted my address at all.” Yet – there it is, posted by both you, as well as appraisersblogs (whom I can only assume you are in collusion with). Who is the liar, sir?

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      • You mean A1 Settlement Services address which is the one I posted?

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        • Avatar Gregory Reynolds says:

          that’s the one – Mr. ‘I didn’t post your address”… and it was A1 Closing Services, not A1 Settlement Services. GOD! Please get it correct…. 🙂

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Challenge accepted.

            https://myamc.com/about-us

            MyAMC, LLC opened its doors in 2004 under the name A1 Closing Services, Ltd. In December 2013, we rebranded as MyAMC, a name that more accurately describes our market offering – nationwide residential valuation services.

            And they wonder why some of us don’t trust amc’s and won’t post with our real names… This is a perfect ending to a failed flame and troll attempt to secretly solicit on behalf of the amc industry, discrediting the resistance.

            See, to other readers, it’s easy to spot these narratives. Distract. Discredit. Redirect. When you tune in, you can spot an advocate and deceptive writers a dang mile away. My AMC is fake news.

            Or provide a correction if this is not the actual correlation, but dang, do you believe in coincidences?

            The setup was apparent. The advocacy was apparent. The deception was obvious. The discrediting failed. The attempt at manipulation and to promote censorship was pathetic. Our eyes are open. We are awake.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        For the record Greg. I’m not a member of the AGA, and have no interest or management capability in this website, AGA, or otherwise. I’m purely independent, something you’re unable to claim these days. Give it up, amc’s are a complete joke and everyone who’s not lost in the hubris of self interest and advocacy knows it. The only reason they exist is because they’ve taken advantage of regulatory loop holes and have gotten away with unprecedented fraud through a process of self asking regulation which all started with the e appraise it cover up. The amc’s industries days are numbered and we’ll never stop illustrating this massive nationwide scale fraud in the public arena.

        You’re not the first one to step up with a stunt like this and you won’t’ be the last. We see amc advocates coming literally a mile away. That is because there is no effective way to solicit a fraud without also in turn, detailing the fraud itself. We don’t want amc’s. We don’t need amc’s. We don’t appreciate amc’s. We don’t answer for amc’s. We don’t answer to amc’s. We continue to break through the narrative and are flipping lenders back to more honest distribution processes, one call, one order, one argument at a time. You’ve done a great service to the appraisal industry today by helping to illustrate the pressures amc’s place on appraisers and what lengths they will go to, what we go through if we resist their false claims, so for that, we thank you.

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      • Herb Martin on Facebook Herb Martin on Facebook says:

        I had a great business until AMC’s came along and its sucked ever since

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