BREA the Energizer Bunny of Appraiser Abuse
The gift that just keeps on giving and giving. BREA is the Energizer Bunny of Appraiser abuse.
Anyone following AppraisersBlogs knows I’m no fan of BREA. I helped Zach Schorr humiliate them in court on a daily basis, for five days in a row in mid-2017. That result was that the Administrative Law Judge found myself and codefendant (respondent) to have “credibly testified.” The states witness to have “embarrassed” herself in testimony and original actions giving rise to the case; and very politely simply concluded that “BREA had not met the burden of proof” for one single charge or allegation.
Keep in mind that both myself and fellow respondent also directly testified a Senior State Investigator (John Schmidt) engaged in extremely serious wrong doing under color of authority. An accusation he committed perjury to deny. (Yes, Johnny we are ALL still willing to testify to that in Superior court should you wish to revisit your trial testimony and remove yourself and Bureau from the statutory umbrella preventing us from suing you & Seaters personally). The depth of the corruption we were subjected to goes on much further than I want to get into right now. It was extremely egregious.
I’ve tried to use our very costly experiences to aid other appraisers in avoiding similar unsupported charges and allegations. Even those outside California.
Recently a copy of another complaint letter notifying an appraiser of their own complaint was forwarded to me. It looks like it originated about a year and a half after my own case. I redacted the letter date and addressee as well as property address so there is less likelihood of BREA being too conveniently able to further retaliate against the appraiser. The appraiser is taking their own separate public and or legal actions regarding this.
The first paragraph of the BREA letter stresses how critical it is that a complete work file and exact copy of the appraisal report is. I redacted the property address but let’s concede it was probably properly reported by BREA.
The first real issue of concern that I see is the ‘date’ of the work or “Report Date” that a complaint was made for. “Any and All” is not a specific date. It’s not even a reasonable approximation.
Like many appraisers I have clients and properties for whom I have made multiple appraisals over the years. Some properties were the same property performed for different clients over more than a ten-year span.
If a complaint is made related to work one does in 2018, the BREA is not entitled to work files for that property dated in 2007, or 2012. If the complaint is made by non-client “C” as a seller in 2018 about a 2018 appraisal, then BREA is not entitled to another work file (hypothetical) done in 2016 for client party “A” who bought the property as a fixer and flipped it to non-client party “C” in 2017. Assuming my prior work was properly disclosed in the 2018 report. (Illustrative only – wasn’t applicable here).
“Any and all” dates are nothing more than a fishing expedition. If what they mean are multiple versions of one report prepared around a specific date, that would be understandable. They should say so if that is the case. We know BREA considers corrections to be ‘new’ report versions and that all previous versions are still subject to disciplinary scrutiny and punishment, even if subsequently corrected.
USPAP doesn’t demand perfection, BREA does.
The second paragraph asks for work files for all other services involving that property without limitation on when those services were provided. This is beyond the three-year USPAP required disclosure.
Appraisers are not required to maintain files for more than five years. This demand inserts an unlimited time aspect into the file demand. One that goes far beyond USPAP requirements.
The second half of the second paragraph goes even further. It demands a disclosure of ANY and ALL services ever performed involving the property. Whether an appraisal (practice) or appraisal related service at all. If this appraiser were also a surveyor doing a boundary survey six years ago, they are demanding explanations for that as well?
What if it was a Habitat for Humanity house that the appraiser volunteered time on four years ago. Some things are simply none of BREAs damned business; nor within their authority. (They’ve been cited by the State Auditor for exceeding authority and their jurisdiction in the past). Apparently that lesson didn’t ‘stick’ any more than the prohibition against continuing to shred documents did.
The appraiser is also required to sign a statement under penalty of perjury that the information being provided is correct and complete. How does one do that with no known date for the report in question?
For a BREA employee to caution anyone else about perjury is both ironic and ludicrous considering their own actions. Both under oath and in routine but official communications. The BREA logo should be changed to a round red circle with a diagonal ‘no Pinocchio’s’ stripe though it.
It’s the fourth paragraph where the first hint of their ongoing, and systemic dishonesty appears. There is no such thing as an informal telephone interview. They use the phrase twice to reinforce the misrepresented ‘informal’ non-threatening nature of the call(s) that they will make.
Anything that is said there will absolutely be used agaisnt the appraiser even if it has to be twisted, mischaracterized or deliberately misstated later. Anything that can be mischaracterized, likely will be mischaracterized.
Make no mistake, the process by BREA IS a third degree and is intended for entrapment – not eliciting exculpatory information. It is a lot of things, but ‘informal’ is not one of them.
The nature of the interview is further mischaracterized with the statement that it is an opportunity for you to present further information you believe is relevant to your case. BREA would be more credible if they identified the appraisal report date or dates in question!
Unlike more reputable appraisal regulatory agencies across the nation, BREA does NOT provide a copy of the complaint to the appraiser, so they know what the issue is. They don’t really care. They only want the work file so they can look for technicalities or vulnerabilities they can exploit. Appraisal quality and adequacy in the context of the reports identified intended use is irrelevant to BREA.
I have redacted the signature of the BREA letter author to prevent its misuse. The presumptive innocent have had their name(s) further redacted. State employees can try to defend their own actions.
No state should be permitted to judge other appraisers USPAP compliance if they cannot /do not follow USPAP review standards themselves. No exceptions.
I invite BREA to respond. However, I already know they don’t dare. Too hard to refute truth.