Appraiser’s Response to MyAMC

Michael Ford

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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Appraiser’s Response to MyAMC Panel Invitation - Appraisers BlogsThank you for your invitation to join your panel. I read all your details. They are addressed in the following:

  • I find it unlikely you retain top appraisers nationwide if you think $350 is a reasonable fee in my area. Did you arrive at that by buying Corelogic’s purported ‘independent survey’?
  • I don’t accept 30 day billing from any unproven clients with unspecified volume. Provide a copy of your current Dunn and Bradstreet rating along with a guarantee of a minimum of 25 orders per month, and I will consider deferred billing. Otherwise you would have to pay me by ACH at the time an order is accepted; prior to my driving to the appointment. I’m willing to schedule the appointments upon acceptance, however if fees are not paid at least one day prior to the scheduled appointment, it will be cancelled.
  • As noted above, your purported ‘rates’ for my county don’t seem like a negotiable fee OR a reasonable one. If you believe that to be a reasonable rate, then quite frankly you cannot afford my fees for complex assignments which start at $750 and typically run around $1,500. That’s assuming the property transaction, and or estimated value is under two million dollars. Over three million raises the fee to +/- $2,500. My E&O provider quotes rates based on $3 million dollar appraisal limits. While I don’t base fees on actual or expected values; ostensible or perceived values can be a factor affecting the anticipated assignment complexity.
  • Your taking care of upload fees is acceptable. Of course I would expect no less.
  • My normal turn time depending on what’s ahead of you is from 5 to 10 working days. A working day is Monday through Friday, excluding holidays  from 8 AM until 5 PM. There may be assignments in which research and data verification requirements result in longer turn times. You will be notified any time this is a factor, as soon as it is identified.
  • I’m pleased & encouraged that you seek long term relationships with your appraisers. Provided that your firm meets the above requirements, I’m sure we will enjoy many years of a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • I’m not sure why I need live support teams ‘to assist’ your members. I’m a professional. You order an appraisal. You pay for it. I perform it and deliver it. It’s nice that you have staff though.
  • I don’t respond to automated communications. Ever. I communicate with humans that have thought about the purpose of their communication with me prior to making it. I appreciate it may take some effort to modify my profile with your firm so that such nonsense doesn’t interfere with our relationship. I’ll ignore the first few such ‘bot bombs’ but after three, I’m afraid our relationship simply won’t work out.
  • I choose not to use First American’s ACI software program for appraisals. Do you know whether their Sky upload system functions with software that is not designed by either First American or CoreLogic owned subsidiaries? Will they warrant and agree not to data-mine my confidential and professional work product? BY that I mean, will they agree specifically to not steal my data? You must understand that my work is a copyrighted work and that any use other than a specified lender-client using it to ascertain collateral suitability for a specific loan transaction is unacceptable and is expressly forbidden.
  • My driver’s license is of no concern to you for what I am being hired to do as an independent contractor. If you wish to hire me as an employee, of course that may be a different matter. It contains confidential information I choose not to share with you otherwise. If I am not required to identify myself in order to vote, it seems odd I must do so to you. You contacted me. I didn’t seek you out. Heck, I could even be one of those appraisers that use professional drivers in order to be more productive.
  • You do not need a copy of my state license. I don’t want copies being attached to my reports by third party intermediaries. I’m listed on the national appraisal directory at the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC.gov); and also with my state bureau of real estate appraisers along with license level and certification number and expiration date.
  • As for my methodology, I follow USPAP. Geographic competency is subjective but ultimately it is MY obligation to assure competency. That includes perceptions of “geographic” competency. I follow traditional, long established proper appraisal procedures. If I identify a need for additional local competency, it’s my habit to either consult with area agents, or other appraisers. Are you instead asking what areas or counties I cover?
  • Let me know your response to my above requirements and I’ll consider your service agreement. My initial review of your Master Service Vendor Agreement identified numerous discrepancies that must be resolved prior to my signing it. The most obvious one is you are confused as to who the client is in a federally regulated transaction. It is NOT your firm. It is the lender. You are merely a lenders agent. FNMA and all GSEs require the specific lender-client to be identified within the appraisal itself. As this affects my legal obligations and responsibilities; as well as recourse in the event of a payment default that clause will obviously need to be modified.
  • My license history can be found at my states BREA website. That and my website should provide you with the information you need to either decide to add me to your panel or not. I don’t fill out nuisance forms with redundant questions that any competent AMC can (and should) identify on their own.
  • You will need to provide at least three (3) payment history references from appraisers that have performed work for you in the past six months.

Thank you for your interest. Please acknowledge your concurrence with my requirements for accepting work from your firm.

Best,

Michael F. Ford, AGA, GAA, RAA, SCGREA, Realtor®
California General Certified Real Estate Appraiser #AG002512
Vice President Special Projects; & Chairman National
Appraiser Peer Review Committee of the
American Guild of Appraisers,
#44, OPEIU, AFL-CIO
(714) 366 9404
http://www.mfford.com

PS: In reading your principal staff members backgrounds I’m pleased Sean Bobbitt used to work at Navy Federal Credit Union. I did as well. Perhaps he knows the Director of their Mortgage Services Division, Crystal Stanley? Why did he leave NFCU? Did he work at Indymac during the run up to their collapse? How long since he left Wells Fargo?

Your other executives history with Landsafe, & ServiceLinks are a concern, but I will keep an open mind and withhold any judgments subject to your response to my requirements noted above.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Michael F Ford – Adding to our Panel in Los Angeles County
From: Marlene Ungarean
Date: Tue, October 30, 2018 6:18 am
To: “mike…”

Good morning Michael,

My name is Marlene Ungarean with MyAMC, and I manage our panel of appraisers. MyAMC provides real estate valuation services nationwide, and one of our larger clients (Supreme Lending) is experiencing growth and specifically asked that we recruit in your area.

We would like to extend an invitation to join our panel of appraisers.

Here is some additional information about our company:

  • We retain top appraisers nationwide
    • We pay customary and reasonable levels.  You may negotiate the fee for more complex assignments.
    • Payment – MyAMC policy is to make all ACH deposits or mail checks within 30 days of invoice. Normally we pay before the 10th & 25th. Invoices are paid current based on the date data is pulled. (If date is pulled on the 9th, invoices are paid up to the 9th.) This is a manual process and dates do vary slightly each month.
    • Currently rates for this county are $350 Conv/$400 FHA. You may request fees different from what we indicate is customary. Please let me know if your fees differ and this will be noted in your profile. Only orders meeting your fees would be assigned.
    • There are no technology upload/download fees
    • Our expected turn time is 5 business days from the acceptance of the order
    • We seek long term working relationships with our Panel vendors
  • We have a commitment to improve our appraiser satisfaction
    • We have live Support teams ready to assist our appraisers
    • Our ordering system has automated notifications and communication processes to keep everyone informed of the order status
    • All UAD – EAD compliant reports will be uploaded through the MyAMC – ACI Sky Delivery System
  • MyAMC is licensed in all U.S. States which require licensing. We provide you with a list of our licenses and expiration dates by reference.  To view our license in your state, please  see our coverage map at: http://myamc.com/coverage-map.  Click on your state to view our License # and the expiration date.

Please let me know if you are interested in joining our panel of appraisers and if I can answer any questions you may have.  I have attached the documents that are needed to join our panel for your review.

To complete our application process, the following documents are needed and can be emailed to the address below:

  • W-9 (attached)
  • Resume
  • Copy of Driver’s License
  • State license certificate
  • E&O insurance
  • Methodology-Geographic Competency Form (attached)
  • Service & Compliance Agreement (attached)

Office & Cell phone #s and cell provider for text messages and mobile acceptance

If you wish for your payment to be made by direct deposit, please complete the ACH form attached along with a voided check and return it with your documents.

Thank you for the consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Marlene Ungarean
MyAMC | Panel Development Manager
14881 Quorum Drive, Ste 400
Dallas, Texas 75254
214.572.2518
http://myamc.com/ | marlene.ungarean@myamc.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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24 Responses

  1. Eric West says:

    MyAMC? LOL…I would have said “no thanks” simply because of their corny name 😉

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  2. Scott R. says:

    I like this.

    Typically……..I do not respond to AMC’s anymore.

    Going forward I will create a similar response and send it back to any AMC that extends an invitation.

    Thank you for posting this.

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  3. marion says:

    Great response Mike.

    Name change to Not Your AMC.

    And I believe that AMCs are management services, not valuation services, unless they are also appraising properties.

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  4. Michele says:

    Ha ha ha!  I am laughing and doing a happy dance….this is awesome, love it!  Made my day so thank  you for sharing it!  Words to live by….

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  5. Baggins Baggins says:

    Bring it home! Well organized and professional. Sometimes I still give it the old we’re in it together try but after a decade of not going anywhere, I have simply given up on the vast majority of amc’s. I personally don’t mind 30 days out billing or putting license copy in the report. It’s just part of the newer structure for most companies.

    I’m on about how in the heck I can continue to receive a new real estate related email solicitation daily from a new company. Someone has sold my data and is using it in a very organized way, this never happened before. It’s like clockwork, knock one down, the next springs up, it’s not a coincidence.

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  6. michael wilbanks says:

    Michael Ford is amazing. I feel very fortunate to have him as a voice of reason and professionalism.

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  7. Eric Boggs Eric Boggs says:

    Low fees are driving me out of this profession

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  8. Justin Case says:

    Troll Alert: This comment/commenter was flagged as suspicious!

    Hello? FTC? Are you listening? Appraisers building a cartel to conspire to fix prices and organizing boycotts.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Building a cartel! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What a crack up this guy is. Oh yes, we’re price fixing by trying to have honest free market business pricing structures without the influence of non licensed process clerk middle men who have to date billed borrowing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars if not a billion by now, in unearned junk service fees which would otherwise be illegal and land them in jail if they were actual mortgage lenders. Rich, really great trolling, comic relief for the day, fulfilled. Thank you.

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  9. Pete Deatherage says:

    I work with them on a regular basis. They not only pay good fees for my area, they pay better than average fees. They have an easy to use web portal and are one of the few AMC’s that doesn’t overwhelm you with status updates.  In addition, they are always really easy to talk to and have never pressured me on values. If I need additional time, I just ask them for it and they give it to me.  Also, while some long term clients started “bids” when things get slow, MyAMC still sends stuff out on a rotation and does not make appraisers fight each other for work.

    If I was you I would try to educate them on fees in your area, as that is really the only thing I think you could have an issue with. All that other stuff is just part of doing biz these days.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      The term ‘average fee’ is irrelevant if dealing with a company who’s raking a portion of that. If you were to receive an actual customary and reasonable fee by the current recognized legal definition, which is without a third party company being involved, that is the only fee comparison that matters. Do they pay C&R and are you also working with lender direct without amc to have reasonable bearing on that? One doubts the legitimacy of your statement if they have ever in the past decade tried to get C&R out of amc’s because as a rule of thumb, none of the amc’s pay C&R during times of normal or lean distribution of orders. You can check this by simply stating your fee and then simply stating the consumers appraisal services fee. We’ll take it from there.

      I will give them a single thumb up for not playing the bidding game, that sure is the worst thing amc’s do. I will take that thumb back if I learn they have appraisers enter their own fees in their system, which of course is amc code speak for we select based on the fee which brings us the most profit, aka the lowest entered appraiser fee. Only if a company has an up front fee, by way of fixed cost plus billing process, can there be a truly fair and balanced rotational distribution of orders. In journalistic terms, your statement is all fluff and no substance.

      This website is not a wise place to try and bolster pr for amc companies. Thank you for playing, try again. NEXT!

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      • I’m not doing PR for the company, my only point was that I get about 10 orders a month from these guys and they are great to work with. If you want to jump to conclusions based on your interpretation of an email, that’s fine by me, it means I get more work from a good company.

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          I’m fair minded. What is the consumer fee, and what is the up front fee from the amc? Do they present the fee, or do you enter that? Want to get better factual info on this ‘fixed margin’ billing approach.

          When it comes to working with amc’s, please do take all of the work. I don’t want it.

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    • Better than average fees? They BUY THE CORELOGIC FEE Book! They are $100 LOW for Los Angeles area. As for educating them on fees Marlene and I had a very candid discussion. They are fighting her on $400 which would bring them to about 90% of C&R out here (based on OLD rates).

      When greed gets in the way of open minds, then they cannot be educated as you suggest Pete.

      Some appraisers such as myself are routinely quoting and receiving $550 for non AMC work now.

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  10. Juan Zamudio on Facebook Juan Zamudio on Facebook says:

    That how I feel with Novo…. they short change appraisers every day… but then again I’m located in Miami where people take assignments for $275….

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  11. Ron Schwartz on Facebook Ron Schwartz on Facebook says:

    Wow this is great…Michael
    If everyone here got your permission to copy and paste and send to a AMC clients our profession might yet survive…

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    • Everyone here has my permission to copy and paste any articles I write. Now or in the future.

      The only thing I ask is that quotes out of context not be used to mislead or misrepresent positions I’ve taken. (You can take portions but please don’t misrepresent them). Attribution is appreciated but NOT required. Use caution though. SOME of what I write could be argued to be actionable in some quarters. You may not want to have those works viewed as your own!

      Thanks Ron, I didn’t know there was any interest in doing that.

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  12. A day or so after I sent the response above, Marlene called me. She was a polite, well informed professional. In fact she and I spoke for a good half hour so clearly I was interested in her views and responses.

    I AM extremely impressed by their customer service if she is representative.

    As I told her though, I’m not at all impressed by either their fee OR the manner in which they are deriving it. My unconfirmed & expressed suspicion was from a corelogic fee analytics summary being sold around the country that seems nothing more than a compilation of low ball amc fees despite claims it isn’t.

    I told her I also have extreme reservations about where her firms AI designated members come from. Landsafe, Lenders Link, LSI etc. Not exactly the cream of the crop to offer appraisers as references.

    Another concern is WHY MAI’s are focusing on staff and executive positions at national AMCs rather than going out and appraising high rise office buildings; refineries, hospitals, marinas, Amazon style fulfillment centers, shopping centers, apartments, new subdivisions, and complex litigation issues instead of focusing on individual houses, where MAIs have NEVER had any widespread record of credibility, let alone expertise! SFRs are usually a different perceptive thought process than C&I work. While some smaller full service appraisal offices owned by MAIs understand the differences and are able to make the transition, most MAIs that only ‘dabble’ in sfrs have little more than a philosophical understanding of it. A lack of competency so to speak.

    Seems like a phenomenal waster of specialty education and talent to be Big Fish in the little pools. Then again, it’s done purely for marketing purposes. The idea being to sell corporate clients on the designation titles as if those individuals were going to be maintaining the actual daily quality control.

    Marlene said she’ll keep trying to persuade her employers to raise fees to at least $400. I told her that she’s a few years behind the times for her target. They SHOULD be seeking to raise fees to $500 to $550 or more ($650?) for non complex work to remain competitive with current C&R fee ranges required by many if not most appraisers across the country.

    I believe and accept the ‘MyAMC’ claim of great customer service based on speaking with Marlene. That’s about it though. Nothing else about the firm excited me.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Negotiating with an amc regarding bringing fees up is a fool’s errand. Either they deal in cost plus billing practice, or they have a financial incentive to assign by fee because they do not return cost savings to borrowing consumers. This particular company on their website says they ‘adhere to a “fixed margin” pricing policy to ensure that vendor quality, not price, drives selection at the transactional level.’ What’s the effective cap on that margin, do tell. Clever, but no.

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  13. Scott R. says:

    If AMC’s would just mirror what the VA offers its appraisers. I don’t know how much more simple it can get. And STOP with adding fees the appraiser has to pay. I’m NEVER paying an AMC to complete their work. That’s the most ridiculous thing ever invented.

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  14. Ron Schwartz on Facebook Ron Schwartz on Facebook says:

    Recently I had a very long conversation with an underwriter/ bank that I do alot of VA work for. She asked that I do other work for her company, but she has to use large AMCS that are notorious for not paying adequate fees to appraisers. She stated to me that she hates working with most AMCs since they have to pay a flat fee to the AMC of $460 so obviously every AMC shops for the lowest appraiser fee cause the difference is their profit. So yes the business models of AMC will eventually destroy our appraisal profession as long as there are appraisers willing to appraise properties at outrageous low prices…

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    • That solution is an easy one for the bank that wants to use you. Tell them to pay the AMC on a cost-plus basis. If they are only paying a total fee that is C&R with no allowance for an AMC, then they are likely going to have to increase it to around $600-$650 and TELL the AMC that they expect the appraiser to be paid $450 (or whatever is truly C&R in your area).

      They have told you they don’t like substandard service they are receiving for $450. Now you have to tell them how much above average service costs and stick to it.

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  15. I love this response. These AMCs are crazy. Why are we paying Appraisal Port fees? Why are they customizing our data? The list is long with the complaints. Do not tell me what my fees are!

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Appraiser’s Response to MyAMC

by Michael Ford time to read: 6 min