AMC Incompetence in Appraisal Management

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Michael Ford

General Certified Real Estate Appraiser at Michael F. Ford Appraisal
Over 28 years appraising all property types and interests, in Southern California real estate. VP/Chairman National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU/AFL-CIO. - Michael Ford on e-AppraisersDirectory
Michael Ford

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USRES Lack of Competency in Appraisal Management - Appraisers Blogs

I’m told USRES routinely sends orders to out of state appraisers for orders in areas they don’t work in. Is this indicative of the Home Point Financial “We care” motto?

ATTN: Executive Leadership

Gentlemen, see attached copy of an Alabama appraisal order placed by your AMC, USRES.

Among our many other efforts on behalf of appraisers and promoting appraisal quality, we periodically communicate directly with lenders that use AMCs. We do this to make sure they are aware of any substandard practices or services that may be offered in their name.

This particular issue is not an isolated instance. Though I redacted their names to prevent retaliation, numerous people located outside the state of Alabama received this order for a so called “Legacy Drive By” appraisal report…whatever the hell that may be.

USRES AMC incompetence

When your AMC sends blast orders out as far away as California, it’s clear they are not the least bit concerned with competency to perform a specific job order. Apparently timeliness for completion is not a very important issue either. This order has been bouncing around the internet for over a week.

Additionally, the order form itself is too minimal to communicate meaningful and necessary information. Since this is a driveby, some information about the physical characteristics not ordinarily found in public records would be ‘nice’.

Do your agents speak with borrowers before placing appraisal orders? Do they ask questions about property condition; upgrades, owner occupancy, rental information, repairs needed, permits or external influences (positive or negative)? Keep in mind this is a driveby. The appraiser will only see a limited front and possibly angular side view of the property.

Is the interest being appraised a fee interest or leased fee? We note the assignment is purportedly for an FHA loan or related to one, but “other” as a transaction type is neither definitive nor informative. Apparently your agents don’t know, or don’t care what the intended use of the appraisal is.

I am writing you now because it’s possible you may be unaware that the ASC and federal regulators hold the LENDER responsible for assuring that your appraisal management is performed competently and in conformance with FIRREA; USPAP and Dodd Frank as well as any other applicable state and federal laws.

Repetitive ‘blast orders‘ does not achieve any of these. Nor does self certification of competency. That is specifically the AMCs and lender-clients obligation. It is a definitive finding, not a default boilerplate presumption. When sent to appraisers as far away as California, the ‘certification’ of geographic competency is ludicrous.

Frankly it reinforces the contention of many, that both your firm and USRES assign orders based purely on lowest fee found with no regard to appraiser competency to perform the specific appraisal.

This particular order has resulted in your firm becoming a laughingstock in an online appraisal group comprised of thousands of the nation’s leading appraisers. It’s a closed group or I’d share the links with you for your own verification.

The best I can do is promise to post any response you may choose to make on the same site. This particular order may be forwarded ASC and your federal regulatory agency (FHA/HUD) for their information, but wanted to give you an opportunity to respond and address the propriety of this order and it’s conformity with applicable regulations before doing so.

I’m told USRES routinely sends orders to out of state appraisers for orders in areas they don’t work in. Is this indicative of the Home Point Financial “We care” motto?

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions. Let us know if you’d like assistance (no obligation or cost) in developing more meaningful appraisal ordering policies.

Best,

Mike Ford,
Vice President, Special Projects
American Guild of Appraisers
OPEIU, #44, AFL-CIO

(714) 366 9404
http://www.appraisersguild.org
http://www.mfford.com

Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Over 28 years appraising all property types and interests, in Southern California real estate. VP/Chairman National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU/AFL-CIO. - Michael Ford on e-AppraisersDirectory

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19 Responses

  1. Heidi Ford on Facebook Heidi Ford on Facebook says:

    All the blast orders from the AMCs drive me crazy. Between the blast orders and the robo-calls from every random marketer/scammer out there — it’s complete mental assault, 24/7.

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  2. Michelle Sager on Facebook Michelle Sager on Facebook says:

    I got this email too. It went to my junk folder, whereas all my other USRES orders come directly to my inbox.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      When you set a sender to spam, according to the can-spam act and other, if they keep emailing you, the sender should be automatically sent email violation notices from your email provider. This can disqualify all of their sent emails through the entire platform if they continue to email even one person, after having been given notice the email was sent to spam due to interactive receipt and meta data communication. With the right email choice, when a sender is sent to spam, you also are likely to be automatically removed from their mailing lists by their i.t. department in order to protect their continued ability to blast single orders to hundreds of appraisers at once. Mixed inbox vs spam landing from a singular company indicates the company is walking the edge and is risking violation notices, depending on how many recipients properly inform their provider this company is spamming (via interactive in browser email management choices rather than one way pop3”s with restricted receipt settings.) Check the meta data and see if the originating outbound server is the same between the emails. It would not be surprising to learn these predatory amc’s are using multiple outbound sending avenues.

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  3. Avatar Diana N says:

    I get them all the time from USRES for assignments in NY, I’m located in CT

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  4. Avatar Nick says:

    At our firm, if we get a request from an AMC that we don’t work with, we call them. We give them one chance. If they don’t live up to our expectations we block their email address from our servers and prevent their phone number from connecting to ours.

    Mike, I think this is exactly the type of thing you should be doing. Out people and AMCs for poor practices. I think eventually what will happen following the next recession is that a significant number of these AMCs will be out of business. Most appraisers have protected themselves (hopefully) because we still have the ramifications of the last downturn in our minds. I think AMCs will be held accountable to an extent they have not experienced before. Many will not be able to survive.

    Appraisers….protect yourself.

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    • Thanks Nick. That’s the intent. Anyone can make mistakes. Those that do and then correct them are honorable people in my experience.

      To all those that rely on their being too big to have to worry about compliance or public opinion, I have one word of advice. Take it for what it’s worth.

      “OCWEN”

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  5. Michael Swaim on Facebook Michael Swaim on Facebook says:

    So glad I’m out of that whole fiasco now.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      How did you make it out, what are you doing now? I talked to the fedex driver and he’s getting 36 an hour and with overtime, approx 100k a year. 7 weeks paid vacation but with the time requirements of 70-80 hours a week, that equates to roughly all your weekends off at once, and no other time off. It’s tempting though, I’m thinking about it. Sitting at the desk all the time is not a healthy working choice as we get older.

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      • Michael Swaim on Facebook Michael Swaim on Facebook says:

        Figure out how many hours you are putting in now and divide that up by what you make then make the comparisons. As for me I’ve been out for over 5 years now and loving retirement.

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  6. Avatar Frank says:

    We should be working in response to a free market and not to arbitrary and capricious legislation written by thieves like Frank and Dodd.

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    • Mike Ford on Facebook Mike Ford on Facebook says:

      Frank the free market you refer to was usurped by Cuomo and HVCC; Ocwen , REVAA and a host of others. While DF had bad aspects for banks it had only positive conditions for appraisers like requiring reasonable and customary fees and codified appraiser independence.

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  7. Avatar TruthBTold says:

    I’ve completed a few assignments with URES now and what I’ve noticed is a high level of revision request for information/explanation that is already in the report. I’ve simply cut/paste sections already written as a response to these revisions. Are their reviewers under a quota system???

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  8. Baggins Baggins says:

    USRES, known also as RES.net, has a model which is carried over from before popular hvcc era amc management integration. They previously were focused on repurchased loans and had an almost completely reo assignment base. So they did not need to comply with federally regulated transaction rules in the manner most appraisers are familiar with when dealing with originations. Around 10-15 years ago they used to be a great client, paying full fees automatically, direct assignment, and no bidding. We’d routinely get $350 to $450 standard up front fees direct assignment, sometimes much more for further out properties. Then they officially became a registered amc through many locations, and hired a top heavy management structure. It’s been discounted blast fee orders ever since. They’ve managed to consistently pay appraisal fees much lower than they did 15 years ago. Usres/res.net has become a predatory management company as far as most appraisers are concerned. Then vs now. 2x attachments. They are the American version of ocwen.

    Unrelated but interesting. https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2019/09/19/fed-pumps-75-billion-into-financial-system-again/

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  9. Baggins Baggins says:

    Heidi, I went through that a few years ago when I finally said enough. My phone rang all day long, non stop email bids, sometimes hundreds a day when it was busy. Repeat quoting the same property request a week later still fishing for low fees. Amc’s are telemarketers, infinitely cycling through a finite contact list. I only get a few emails a day now, and never get calls. Sanity has returned to my office and if I get a notice of an order, it’s direct assignment and it’s always a sure thing. Rather than trying to run a business around a giant question mark, I simply redirected all of my time and energy into acquiring direct assignment originator clients. Brushing off all amc’s out of general principal is like night vs day. Full fees, direct assignment, ike clockwork, they keep coming in. When working with amc’s, you’re the customer. I prefer to be the appraiser instead. Seek out top 100 lenders or even the smallest 100 in your location, market down the list, take careful notes, create folders. Market to the lender mortgage department directly, ask if they have an appraisal desk, answer all amc redirection answers with a firm note you don’t work with amc’s but to keep your contact information. Many of the most successful originators out there have moved away from amc’s.

    You can also cause amc’s to leave you alone by opting out of all integration and records checking software, so when your license and insurance expiration date rolls around, and you don’t provide them updated information, they eventually cut you out and stop contacting. There is a tipping point and for every appraiser that says no, the amc’s solicitation list gets that much smaller. Appraisers whom continue to allow the amc’s to contact them are merely perpetuating the problem for themselves and everyone else. As long as there are enough appraisers willing to entertain these abusive engagement processes, nobody wins. When appraisers instead solicit to lenders directly and help move them away from amc’s, everybody wins. Appraisers should ask themselves what they want for the future, and simply make that happen on a personal level. The effects are cumulative. Another great amc exposure article, but it’s just typical practice for these guys, usres is just one of hundreds of similar amc companies doing the exact same thing.

    Here is another hot lead.

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  10. Shaun Murphy Jr on Facebook Shaun Murphy Jr on Facebook says:

    I’ve gone 15 years without accepting an order from them..

    I think I’ll go ahead and tack on another 15!

    LOL

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AMC Incompetence in Appraisal Management

by Michael Ford time to read: 3 min