Class Action Against AMCs on the Horizon

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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AMCs Property Inspectors Denied Minimum Wage - Class Action Cases

Property inspectors suing ServiceLink to obtain minimum wage…

Peter Christensen wrote another article on LinkedIn about wages being paid by lenders and AMCs. This one should get your attention as it is from Independent Contractors suing an AMC. This will set a precedent and start a chain reaction.

In a nut shell, property inspectors are suing ServiceLink for work performed to obtain minimum wage. Yes, you read that correctly, minimum wage. According to the article, property inspectors receive between $3 and $5 for each assignment.

The article does not specify the specific service the property inspectors perform, but think bifurcated or hybrid product for a moment. Someone is being paid $3-$5 to provide the data the appraiser is to rely on to complete an appraisal. How good is that data going to be?

Now think REO for a moment. Someone being paid $3-$5 is providing data to the lender or servicer on the condition of the property and making a large financial decision based on that data. See the article here.

Excerpt:

…in a prior LinkedIn article (link), I wrote about the potential legal threat to appraisal firms relating to the classification of appraisers as independent contractors. We have not yet seen a full-scale “reclassification” class action by appraiser contractors against a mid-size or large appraisal firm (or AMC) but one sign that such a threat might be over the horizon comes from the filing of a property inspector re-classification lawsuit against a field services subsidiary of Servicelink. In Collins v. Servicelink Field Services, the plaintiff property inspector alleges that Servicelink Field Services used workers like himself who were hired through third-party vendors so that Servicelink could avoid minimum wage, overtime and other regular employee obligations. As an inspector performing property inspections delivered to Servicelink Field Services, the plaintiff alleges he was paid $3-$5 per inspection. This lawsuit was filed in San Diego Superior Court on August 10. Servicelink Field Services has removed the case to federal court and filed a motion to dismiss that is now pending.

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Image credit flickr - Fibonacci Blue
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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8 Responses

  1. Vincent R Simon on Facebook Vincent R Simon on Facebook says:

    Service link. Lol. Shady.

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  2. Donna Corrado on Facebook Donna Corrado on Facebook says:

    AMC”s should be audited for one.

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  3. Jeff Weeks says:

    Interesting weren’t AMC’s created to be the middle person between a lender and an appraiser. Seems they are drastically misbehaving. So AMC’s were created to keep everyone independent and are now trying to do away with the appraiser all together.

    You cant make this stuff up

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  4. Diana N. says:

    I hope it works, appraisers tried to sue ES Appraisal Services who was the AMC for Chase and J.P. Morgan Chase and we lost, the judge in Florida threw the case out. I guess he had stock in Chase.

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      Diana, there is much greater clarification of client relationships now than there was before. Both federal regulators and TAF is on record as saying the lender is the client. The FNMA forms specify it.

      Federal Regulators “See no daylight” between the lender and their agent AMCs. The lenders regulatory obligations are not in any way diminished by using an agent (AMC).

      This particular suit is essentially generally meaningless to appraisers right now. Except for pointing out that there are very low paid people involved in hybrids and other undefined services, the vendor-vendee relationships are very different I believe.

      WE should be contemplating our own class action suits. FWIW I think that lies in the direction of the old FNC class action suit over theft of professional work product. A theft that there is now a mountain of evidence that it is ongoing and includes some of the original participants as well as many new players. A theft that (I believe was 5th Circuit Court of Appeals) has already been recognized. I’ll recheck the court when it’s closer to time to take our own actions.

      Anyone interested in interim, write me directly. mike@mfford.com

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  5. Jeff Weeks says:

    So if AMC’s can hire anyone to do a field inspection then why aren’t appraisal companies allowed to hire field workers that are appraisers to do inspections. Our hands are tired or we could compete on another level with the amount of work we complete.

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  6. Jeff Weeks says:

    Corporate America is a nasty disgusting place where the pond scum thrives and wants to feed off off everyone’s profession and diminish the small business owner into a minimum wage employee

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  7. marion says:

    Collins v. Altisource Solutions, Inc. et al
    Filed: September 20, 2018 as 3:2018cv02185

    Defendant: Does 1-50, Altisource Solutions, Inc.
    Plaintiff: Joseph Collins
    Cause Of Action: Diversity-Notice of Removal
    Court: Ninth CircuitCaliforniaCalifornia Southern District Court
    Type: LaborLabor: Other

    Collins v. ServiceLink Field Services, LLC et al
    Filed: September 14, 2018 as 3:2018cv02142

    Defendant: ServiceLink Field Services, LLC, Does 1-50
    Plaintiff: Joseph Collins
    Cause Of Action: Diversity – Labor
    Court: Ninth CircuitCaliforniaCalifornia Southern District Court
    Type: LaborLabor: Other

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Class Action Against AMCs on the Horizon

by VaCAP Board time to read: 2 min
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