You Can Argue With Stupid, But You Will Never Win

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AMC Email Blasts to Undisclosed-Recipients... Return to Sender

Please introduce me to "undisclosed-recipients." I would like to pick his or her brain to find out how he or she is getting all these orders.

Now I don’t consider myself to be the most intelligent person out there, but do consider myself a fairly intelligent individual. Periodically I receive an email with an order request from different AMCs. These are unsolicited emails from amcs I do not do business with. Why I am receiving these requests is a concern and a question for another day. The emails I receive are addressed to the person who sent the email, undisclosed-recipients; or simply left blank. So far I comprehend what the senders is attempting to accomplish. but that is as far as I can go without some clarity and explanation. Here are some examples of why I am confused:

This email was sent by Erinn P. at Single Source The “To Address” is blank. At the bottom of the email this is stated:

“The information contained in this e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential and is intended solely for the use of the intended recipient. Access, copying or re-use of the e-mail or any attachment, or any information contained therein, by any other person is not authorized. If you are not the intended recipient please return the e-mail to the sender and permanently delete it from your computer.”

Well, I have a name printed on my birth certificate and my family and friends have been calling me that since I was born, and on occasion, a few have called me things I choose not to repeat so this email was clearly not meant for me, otherwise Erinn would have shown me some basic form of human decency and used my name. Even my dog gets called by name! I must have received this email in error and as instructed, I immediately deleted it from my computer.

Another example comes from Shelby S. at Service 1st LLC and was addressed to Shelby S. Here is what is at the bottom of the email:

“This email, its contents, and any attachments sent with it are confidential and the property of Service 1st, LLC. They are intended exclusively for the individual(s) or entity to whom the message is addressed. If you are not one of the named recipients or believe you received this email in error, please delete it and notify us immediately. Any other use or disclosure is strictly prohibited and could be in violation of state and federal law.”

Well if you send an email to yourself and then state it is exclusively for the individual or entity in which it is addressed, it must be for your own use. There must have been some sort of crossed lines, as I am not the intended recipient and have deleted it from my computer as the instructions state.

Here is one from Maria G. at ACT Appraisal. It is addressed to Maria G. Here is what Maria has put on the bottom of her email:

“This email may contain privileged and/or confidential information that is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of the information contained in the transmission. If you received this communication in error, please contact the sender (“Company”) immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, including all electronic and hard copies.

This communication may contain nonpublic personal information about consumers which is subject to restrictions under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. You may not directly or indirectly reuse or disclose such nonpublic personal information for any purpose other than to provide the services for which you are receiving the information.

There are risks associated with the use of electronic transmission. The sender of this information does not control the method of transmittal or any service providers and the sender assumes no duty, liability, or obligation for the security, receipt, or any third party interception of this transmission. The Company reserves the right to amend statements made herein in the event of a mistake. Unless expressly stated herein to the contrary, only agreements in writing signed by an authorized officer of the Company may be enforced against it.”

Is Maria bidding on this assignment? It appears she is the only recipient. And what about the disclaimer she takes no responsibility for sending it? Wow, is all I can say.

This one from OrdersYourAMC.com (Not even a person) came addressed to "undisclosed-recipients":

“NOTICE: The information contained in this communication is confidential and/or legally privileged. It is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, please destroy the original communication, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify us by telephone 954-495-4144.”

Hey, OrdersYourAMC.com, the email is not addressed to me or anyone else. Who are you sending this “confidential and legally privileged communication” to? If it is confidential and privileged, should the contents be more secure than Undisclosed recipients?

This one is from Steve S. at First Look Appraisals and is addressed to "undisclosed-recipients".

“The contents of this message may be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, do not disseminate, disclose, copy or use this message without the permission of the author. Nothing contained in this message or in any attachment shall satisfy the requirements for a writing, and nothing contained herein shall constitute a contract or electronic signature. If this message has been received in error, please delete it immediately.”

Hey Steve, please introduce me to "undisclosed-recipients." I would like to pick his or her brain to find out how he or she is getting all these orders.

All kidding aside, I do understand the verbiage on the bottom of the emails is something a legal representative has instructed them to add. I also am aware these amcs are not fulfilling their obligations to the lender and obtaining the most qualified appraiser when they blast orders to whomever.

At the very least, read, comprehend and understand what you are sending out written on every email you send. It is written in noncomplex English with no legal verbiage. If you cannot comprehend the verbiage on the bottom of your email, I suggest you ask someone more intelligent than you to explain it to you.

When these amcs get into legal trouble, and I predict they will, these “confidential and privileged” emails sent to themselves and "undisclosed-recipients", will be used against them by lenders, homeowners and appraisers.

Or maybe it is a thought out executed plan of collusion by the amcs to not have any appraiser respond. Then they can make the claim there is an appraiser shortage.

Like the saying goes, “you can argue with stupid, but you will never win.”

By TJ Everett, Certified Real Estate Appraiser

Image credit flickr - evan p. cordes
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10 Responses

  1. Advocate says:

    Does this surprise anyone? 

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  2. Eric West says:

    Great article TJ and I agree with you a 1000%. I don’t like blast emails. I do not bid on them and I’m not the only one. And yes, I wonder if this is what they will be using as evidence of a shortage in rural areas if S 2155 passes.

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  3. misguided says:

    amcs usually blast emails to hundreds of appraisers for the fastest and cheapest, regardless of their geographic competency, qualification, and experience. I never feel PRIVILEGED when I receive these “confidential and privileged” emails! Most end up in my spam box.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Imagine this engagement in a different industry. We have a documented medical visit record for the following individuals, and have determined they need anti depressants because they felt suicidal yesterday. Mr Misguided, Mr West, Mr Advocate. Our proximity guidance program indicates you may be their nearest possible retail servicer, as all are located in (city, state). This email is strictly confidential and you are required to respect hippa and medical privacy. If you are not the intended recipient…. Please provide your best fee and turn time.

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  4. MD appraiser says:

    “Or maybe it is a thought out executed plan of collusion by the amcs to not have any appraiser respond. Then they can make the claim there is an appraiser shortage.”

    Ding ding ding ding ding BINGO!

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      It would appear that way, but if true would not be true across the board. It’s more than less just a consequence of a massive body of companies behaving like telemarketers in an incompetent manner. It’s like legal telemarketing and spamming and the recipients, because we hold licensing in this specific field, have no consumer protections to stop the solicitation efforts. Think of amc’s like boiler room operations which recycle the same ever shrinking contact list, over and over and over again. That is in fact, exactly what is happening. We are the distributor companies one and only available customer base.

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  5. Scott R. says:

    I just looked at an email from Consolidated Analytics. I would be breaking the law if I responded. Sure enough….in the To: section my email is not there. At the bottom of the email is: Disclaimer Statement: Information contained and transmitted by this E-MAIL is proprietary to Consolidated Analytics and is intended for use only by the individual/entity to whom/which it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If this is a forwarded message, the content of this E-MAIL may not have been sent with the authority of the Company. If you are not the intended recipient, an agent of the intended recipient or a person responsible for delivering the information to the named recipient, you are notified that any use, distribution, transmission, printing, copying or dissemination of this information in any way or in any manner is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please delete this mail ? Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

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  6. IMJSAYN says:

    You nailed it TJ!

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  7. Baggins Baggins says:

    Well you know why they do that right? To skirt spam and email technical faults and hold ups. When addressed to themselves, the copied recipients, blind or included, the recipients use of the spam button is less likely to bring about a total block of email communications for the sender whom would be recognized as a spammer. In the early days we’d get these emails direct and we’d simply put them in spam. Then many of their communications were blocked automatically through regular email systems recognition of spam and unwanted mass mailer identification programs, there would be the occasional email from another address; communications are not getting through for these platforms, we’re working on it… Somehow these companies have avoided this lately, probably by addressing to themselves. In years past I observed that no matter how many times I put the unwelcome and previously rejected solicitation emails in spam, they’d just appear back in my regular inbox. I must have spent more time demanding to be removed from amc lists and dealing with massive spam email campaigns than I ever spent signing up or even working with most of these outfits. Direct assignment matters, it is important, nothing else is acceptable. Around 2016 I was deleting one to two hundred unwelcome quote fee emails per day. Their operational efficiency gain is our efficiency loss. We can’t run our business around a question mark and we are not day laborers. If the distributor can not assign the majority of orders direct assignment at consistent fees, they are immediately fired and replaced with more respectful companies whom can. It’s not rocket science but these geniuses have found glorious overly complicated methods to rake unearned fees and somehow provide the illusion they’re actually doing something and working. A reprogrammed alarm clock could distribute simple zap requests in continual rotational order with standard engagement terms. Idiots.

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  8. Well written article TJ! You are a much nicer person than I am. I do not consider myself bound by any sort of confidentiality when individuals send me THEIR clients private information without my having asked for it; or had any prior discussion with them concerning it. I also tend to take prohibitive language as a sort of personal challenge. Tell me I ‘cannot; must not, should not or shall not’ and my immediate reaction is “I bet I can!.” Admittedly it is a quirk of personality. It’s also what makes me so willing to go tilt at windmills a la Don Quixote. Like most people I’d have given voluntary cooperation to privacy requests on emails accidentally sent to me…right up until it appeared to be as much a routine as constant status update requests are from AMCs. Anyone that sends me an order to bid on without my asking to be on their panel, OR having an established a mutual vendor/AMC relationship is going to have a copy of their email sent by me (unredacted) to their client. If their client is not disclosed in the order, then I’ll send it to the property owner or borrower and inquire whether they anticipated that their lender would keep the fact that they are applying for a real estate loan confidential; or whether it was their expectation that it would be broadcast to a multitude of appraisers with no regard for their qualifications or their clients privacy. AMC ordering is not a new concept. If they are so arrogant as to think privacy or competency is important, then I’m more than willing to help them grease their own skids with their client. As appraisers, we have few opportunities to reject AMCs bad practices. This is one that would be too good to pass up.

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You Can Argue With Stupid, But You Will Never Win

by AppraisersBlogs time to read: 5 min