Deceitful Little Lies
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At some point, appraisers need to take a stand against the appraisal management company business model. There are simply no benefits to appraisal management companies and there is no accountability for their actions. Haven’t we all been abused enough? Do the lenders really understand they are responsible for every action of the appraisal management company? Do the lenders really know the questionable ethics of the appraisal management companies? Are the appraisal management companies lying to the lenders?
Deceitful, liars, bait and switch, trickery, fee shoppers, bottom feeders, empty promises and illegal activity are some of the nicer terms used to describe the actions of appraisal management companies. It does not matter which appraisal management company you are referring to, they all pretty much operate the same; with questionable ethics.
How many times, have appraisers received a bid request asking for your best fee and turn time? What about a phone call asking for the same? What about those laughable statements “so we can assign you the order right away” attached to the request? How many emails are addressed to “undisclosed recipients” or to the sender? How many times have you verbally accepted an order over the phone after getting your fee approved and then the email comes over stating the assignment is no longer available? We all know they kept calling around till someone agreed to complete it cheaper.
How many appraisal management companies follow 129E of TILA and assign appraisals based on the competency and experience of the appraiser? How many appraisal management companies continue to shop the appraisers to obtain the one who will do for the least amount of money? If speed is so important, wouldn’t it be best to go with the first appraiser to accept?
Has the amc provided any appraiser information on the property? Don’t we need to know this basic information to determine the appropriate scope of work in order to quote a fee and turn time? How many times has the appraisal management company’s employee quoted what Zillow says? How many appraisers just accept “the form” the appraisal management company orders as being appropriate?
What about those bid requests that come through a portal? Is the appraisal management company sending that request properly authorized (licensed) to operate in your state? Are appraisal management companies using the portals to circumvent state licensing? There is strong evidence to suggest they are doing just that! How many appraisers are doing their due diligence to determine if an amc is properly licensed in the state they are conducting business? Just because they use a portal, they still have to be properly licensed to operate in that state.
What about those reviews done by the appraisal management company. No disrespect to any reviewer, but can we all say clueless check boxers? Is the lack of a “.” after Inc really a reason to reject an appraisal report?
What about all those automated scheduling apps the amcs want appraisers to use? Is it not best practice for appraisers to actually talk with the owner to determine conditions, renovations, incomplete repairs etc. prior to the appointment? Having surprises at the property is not going to save anyone time.
What will it take for lenders to realize they are responsible for every action of their agent, the appraisal management company? Does the lender really know what goes on at appraisal management companies?
If appraisal management companies are supposed to be independent third parties, how are they allowed to have staff appraisers completing appraisal reports in the field? Could it be said the entity responsible for assigning business to you is also your competitor? Is this the bi-product of behind closed door meetings?
When assigning appraisals to independent fee appraisers, how many appraisal management companies take into consideration the C&R fee requirements of Dodd Frank which state they must consider the complexity of the assignment/property, the appraiser’s experience, the time frame in which the appraisal is to be completed, location, etc.? If state Boards were asking these questions during complaint investigations, would appraisal management companies act differently?
Now ask yourself this one final question:
Are you, the appraiser, enabling the appraisal management company by agreeing / tolerating their abusive practices?
By Advocate. The author is a Certified Residential Appraiser and has chosen to use the pen name Advocate to protect their identity. Many famous people including Benjamin Franklin, Agatha Christie, and Steven King have written under a pen name for various reasons. Just Google pen names used by famous authors, there are only 45,700,000 results to choose from.