What is Real Estate Valuation Partners Hiding?

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
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What is Real Estate Valuation Partners (REVP) Hiding?In the case of the FTC vs Louisiana Real Estate Board, Real Estate Valuation Partners (REVP) was issued a subpoena by Louisiana to provide some documents. They have filed a motion to quash the subpoena and not provide documents.

When you read through the 11 page document, and we highly recommend you do, it appears REVP is hiding crucial documents that may be incriminating to themselves and other appraisal management companies. There are 12 specific items being requested.

Take a look for yourself here. It is very telling!

b.  Requests No. 4, 5, 6, and 11 ask for REVP’s internal and external documents and communications regarding customary and reasonable fees, Rule 31101, and the October 20, 2010 Federal Reserve Board Interim Final Rules regarding customary and reasonable fees. REVP’s communications and documents regarding the Board’s customary and reasonable fee rule, as well as the federal rules regarding customary and reasonable fees, are relevant to both the FTC’s allegations and LREAB’s defenses, including the defense that LREAB complied in good faith with a Federal regulatory regime. 2 Additionally, REVP’s communications with third parties regarding the impact of customary and reasonable fees are relevant to Complaint allegations that LREAB’s Rule 31101 impacted pricing and competition. See, e.g., Complaint ¶ 48 (“AMCs operating in Louisiana have increasingly used median fees reported in SLU Center surveys.”). Finally, REVP was the subject of an LREAB investigation which the FTC has alleged was part of an anticompetitive scheme. Id. LREAB is entitled to discovery regarding REVP’s response to that investigation.

c.  Request No. 8 asks for documents and communications relating to activities to inform or influence the Louisiana legislature regarding customary and reasonable fees. The process of promulgating Rule 31101, the legislative process for passing the Louisiana AMC Act, and the industry understanding of customary and reasonable fees are relevant to, inter alia, the FTC’s allegations (see, e.g., Complaint ¶ 27-28 (discussing passage of the Louisiana AMC Law)) as well as LREAB’s defenses of good faith compliance and state action immunity. (Answer, Affirmative Defenses ¶ 4, 9).

d.  Request Nos. 9 and 10 ask for documents sufficient to show AMC compensation from lenders and the cost of appraisal management services. These requests are unquestionably relevant. The Complaint alleges that the prices of appraisal services have increased following LREAB’s promulgation and implementation of Rule 31101. See Complaint ¶ 44. REVP, and other AMCs, are the only entities in possession of data that can support or refute this allegation. However, understanding that producing this data may be challenging for REVP, LREAB represented that it would be willing to accept data (in any form) sufficient to show the fees paid for residential real estate appraisal services in Louisiana from 2012 through the present. Counsel for REVP represented that she would discuss this compromise proposal with her client but never responded to LREAB’s offer to accept this clearly relevant information in a less burdensome format. See In re Gen. Motors Corp., No. 9077, 1977 FTC LEXIS 18 * 1 (Nov. 25, 1977) (“[A] Federal Trade Commission subpoena seeking relevant data will not be quashed on the grounds that a burden is imposed on a third party, especially where the party initiating the subpoena has expressed a willingness to mitigate whatever burden may exist by negotiation and compromise.”).

….

f.  Additionally, REVP objects to Requests 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 because they call for information that is “confidential” and “proprietary.” Counsel for LREAB has assured counsel for REVP that any concerns about confidentiality are fully addressed by designating documents in accordance with the Court’s May 31, 2017 Protective Order in this matter. REVP has not provided any basis for why the Protective Order is insufficient to protect the confidentiality of its information.

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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12 Responses

  1. Eric West says:

    I’ll tell you what they are hiding. The fact that they are charging their clients double, often triple what they pay appraisers. They are notorious for low fees. They often blast orders at $175!

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      A simple audit of their financials should reveal that. Since they won’t cooperate voluntarily, the state should exercise it’s powers to simply audit them instead.

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  2. Xpert says:

    The FTC is barking up the wrong tree but the hearing will help them get on track.

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  3. A. Brown says:

    They tried to recruit me as a staff appraiser and was told they had just increased their fee to $150 per report. No wonder they don’t want to provide the subpoenaed docs

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  4. Pt says:

    I am laughing my hiney off!!! they sure picked the wrong state!

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  5. EJ Brown says:

     REVP, sounds like my kind of AMC! Where do I sign up!!!!!

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  6. Anna Todaro says:

    LOL is an understatement here! Turnabout is truly FairPlay! They hold appraisers feet to the fire making them prove every adjustment while picking their pockets and suddenly their basis for a fee schedule is proprietary information? This is hilarious on so many fronts! Way to go LREAB!!! Outstanding job!

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  7. Baggins Baggins says:

    10,000 per instance, 20,000 per day, continuously. I told those amc’s that it was unethical to bid orders without passing cost savings back to consumers. If a lender or anyone else did that it would be a violation of lending rules and would otherwise be called an unearned or junk fee, if not outright fraud with intent to deceive borrowing consumers whom these rules are intended to protect.

    Please include the CFPB in the lawsuit, for failing in their duty to protect the public and include separation of the appraisAL and the appraisERs fees in the HUD1 disclosure documents. This data would be available in the absence of concealed cost data regarding all appraisal order distributors, amc or not, on a nationwide basis!

    Stop picking on just amc’s, everyone is doing it! It’s virtually legal to skim variable rates off of appraisAL fees, it’s made legal because everyone does it and nobody is ever penalized.

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  8. VaCAP Board VaCAP Board says:

    BREAKING NEWS! The Judge has denied the motion to quash the subpoena. Order Denying Motion to Quash

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  9. What are they hiding?
    1. Integrity
    2. Truth to their clients
    3. Sound appraisal practices
    4. Professionalism
    5. Regulatory non compliance (theirs)…
    I could do this all day.

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  10. Ralph says:

    That they pay $200 fees to appraisers while charging $600+

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  11. Pt says:

    the screw turns!!

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What is Real Estate Valuation Partners Hiding?

by VaCAP Board time to read: 2 min
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