ACI Software Users

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John Pratt

Certified Real Estate Appraiser at Appraisal Services
Self-employed since 1999. Banking Industry for over 20 years: Real Estate Loan Officer, Commercial Loan Officer, Manager Loan Dept, Senior Loan Officer in charge of Lending. President & CEO of an Independent Bank in California. Chief Financial Officer of 2 startup firms in Silicon Valley which raised over $5,000.000 in startup venture capital. He also conducts meeting which are open to all appraisers on a monthly basis with an open format discussing anything related to the appraisal industry.
John Pratt

Latest posts by John Pratt (see all)

ACI Software Users - Hold Harmless Agreement & Digital SignatureI just received a message from another appraiser that I believe uses ACI software. He received a request from ACI to sign a “Digital Signature Application” along with a few other forms. This appears to me to be in connection with a new form of an appraisal product which they have developed.

The first paragraph of this “Digital Signature Application” read as follows

1.1 Signature

Using BLACK INK, sign within the box below. Signature must remain within the confines of the box (see sample). All signature cards are destroyed after they are scanned, tested, and delivered. Passwords are not kept on file. I hereby authorize ACI to use my signature for the purpose of creating a signature image file to be used with ACI software. The intent of this image file is to allow my signature to be computer generated and printed on appraisal reports. I understand that these reports might be printed on my own computer, or sent electronically to another location for printing. ACI will not be held accountable for the loss of your password. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless ACI, a First American company, its parent and affiliates from any liability that may arise from the creation, installation, use or printing of my signature through this electronic signature file. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT ACI MAY TAKE STEPS TO VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS APPLICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO VERIFYING THE APPLICANT’S NAME, PASSWORD, AND EMAIL ADDRESS, AND THAT ACI MAY REFUSE TO PROCESS THE APPLICATION AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION IF IT FEELS THE POTENTIAL FOR IDENTITY THEFT OR FRAUD MIGHT EXIST.

The 3rd sentence in this paragraph reads as follows: I hereby authorize ACI to use my signature for the purpose of creating a signature image file to be used with ACI software.

My first question is does any appraiser want to authorize a software company to use their signature?

The agreement goes on to say.

ACI will not be held accountable for the loss of your password. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless ACI, a First American company, its parent and affiliates from any liability that may arise from the creation, installation, use or printing of my signature through this electronic signature file.

My next question is does any appraiser want to “Hold Harmless” ACI, and others for the misuse of their electronic signature?

I strongly suggest that appraisers contact their E&O Insurance Company for advice prior to signing this or any agreement that requires the appraiser to “HOLD HARMLESS” other parties related to an appraisal.

John Pratt

John Pratt

Self-employed since 1999. Banking Industry for over 20 years: Real Estate Loan Officer, Commercial Loan Officer, Manager Loan Dept, Senior Loan Officer in charge of Lending. President & CEO of an Independent Bank in California. Chief Financial Officer of 2 startup firms in Silicon Valley which raised over $5,000.000 in startup venture capital. He also conducts meeting which are open to all appraisers on a monthly basis with an open format discussing anything related to the appraisal industry.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Advocate says:

    At first I thought how is this different from alamode software in which we upload our signatures and attach to our reports. Then when thinking it through, we are in control of our signatures on the software on our computers. If ACI is cloud based and this signature will be held on their servers, then there is a concern. The language of this agreement allowing ACI to create and use your signature is where the issue is.

    “I hereby authorize ACI to use my signature for the purpose of creating a signature image file to be used with ACI software.”

    The management section of the Ethics Rule is very clear; you must have control over your signature on a per assignment basis. If you give authorization for the use of your signature to a third party company, have you, the appraiser complied with USPAP.

    What could possibly go wrong by putting the one thing unique to each and everyone of us, our signatures, in the hands of company (First American ) with known data breaches.

    JUST SAY NO!

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  2. Avatar Ron says:

    I’ve not seen this yet, but it is a big NO! from me!

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  3. Randa Arnold Madden on Facebook Randa Arnold Madden on Facebook says:

    The real caution is first American!

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  4. Maureen Sweeney on Twitter Maureen Sweeney on Twitter says:

    what could possibly go wrong?

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  5. Avatar Diana N says:

    HELL NO, I would never give permission to have my signature stored. That’s just asking for trouble.

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  6. David Samnick on Facebook David Samnick on Facebook says:

    At least ACI hasn’t sold out to Whorelogic.

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  7. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I would trust Alamode to exploit my signature and even open credit cards in my name but I’m not sure about ACI.

    Sarcasm Detector: Off The Scale

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  8. Avatar Dave Towne says:

    The ACI signature process has been in place for more time than I know. In 2002, I went to work in an office as a trainee where they used ACI. I had to sign their form, as this current one shows, and the office sent it to ACI…who then returned a password to the office so the signature could be accessed and used in reports. I was a greenhorn then, but was concerned about that. Never was comfy with the process, and in fact the office owner and office manager fraudulently used my signature on a modified report, which I discovered just before leaving that office. Have been with alamode before this interlude, and since.

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    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

      Same thing here Dave. Back in the day I worked with a client who mandated that the appraisal report was to be submitted through their appraisal software provider of choice (ACI). I believe I paid for a partial ACI system workaround called “Lighthouse”, which allowed me to use my preferred software provider while still being able to work with them and upload via their system. The process with this client resulted in me carrying duel software system fees, and yes issues with my digital signature.

      Fast forward to today, or over the past 10 years, and instead of carrying the cost of two appraisal systems (some what expensive at the time) appraisers pay 10 times as much via software that links up but comes at $15 to $30 per upload.

      Seek the truth.

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    • Avatar Ron says:

      I suppose you are right, I recall doing that back in the mid 1990’s when we did not really think of such things. My signature file is still on a 3.5″ floppy disk, but thankfully it has transferred from computer to computer without a glitch.

      I bet there was no hold harmless agreement then, but I wonder if they still might have it buried in their data somewhere.

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  9. Avatar Jack Of All Trades says:

    And yet so many of you use these software companies…….. why ?

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    • Avatar Diana N says:

      Not me. I use HOMEPUTER and have for over 25 years. Never a problem and Andy is always there to help if there is.

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      • Avatar Jack Of All Trades says:

        Agreed If I were an active appraiser I would use Andy or SFREP and never give money to Alamode or ACI , I don’t understand how Someone can give money to someone who is always out to screw you.

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    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

      I have a large credit union client ($25,000 to $35,000 a year), and despite my constant badgering for them to change, they use the Mercury Network system and by default A la mode. I suppose I have a choice to fire the client and thus A la mode, but in a way, perhaps I’m of better use being on the inside and constantly reminding them of the shortfalls of the system.

      Seek the truth.

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  10. Capitol One Credit Card Company ‘CLOUD’ was hacked. Is ACI, alamode Cloud more secure? Asking for a Friend.

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    • Avatar Advocate says:

      No form of electronic storage is 100% secure. First American, who owns ACI, has already been hacked a few months back.

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  11. Avatar Anonymous says:

    First Am used to own Corelogic, then they spun them off, then they wanted to buy them back. Search the two names together and be amazed.

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  12. It sounds like their traditional software license user ‘protection’. I agree with advocate above. When it was only in my computer I was (reluctantly) ok with it but in any cloud system, I am absolutely not ok with it.

    It’s pure laziness on First American/ACIs part. Licensed use protection can easily be done without messing with your signature.

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  13. Becky Lowell on Facebook Becky Lowell on Facebook says:

    Is anyone signing this agreement?

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ACI Software Users

by John Pratt time to read: 2 min