Coester Sued by Appraiser
CoesterVMS & Brian Coester have a questionable history with the law…
What is the Meaning of This Word “Hack”?
The Free Dictionary: verb “to cut or chop with repeated and irregular blows”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: verb “to cough in a short broken way”
Urban Dictionary: verb “to post ‘Hilarious’ statuses on somebodies Facebook profile”
Techopedia: verb “the action of performing activities on a computer system in an unauthorized manner”
Dictionary.Cambridge.Org: noun “a person who willingly works or acts for money or other rewards without worrying about independence, beliefs or reputation”
According to a lawsuit filed against CoesterVMS and Brian Coester by appraiser Mark Skapinetz on April 20, 2017, Brian Coester and CoesterVMS have illegally accessed (hacked) his email accounts. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Stored Communication Act, Trespass to Chattel, and Trespass to Land, Conversion, Fraud, and Invasion of privacy.
Mark Skapinetz is a Certified Residential Appraiser in Georgia that owns the Facebook page “100% Real Estate Appraisers”. This is a very active private group with over 700 members. Mr. Skapinetz has been very vocal about appraisers being treated unfairly by AMC’s and advocates for appraisers.
This is not the first time Brian Coester and his company CoesterVMS have been accused of wrong doing. CoesterVMS and Brian Coester have a questionable history with the law. He was recently in a legal dispute over fraud with a former Vice President, Robert Scheer. Let’s not forget about the lawsuit Brian Coester filed against the Virginia Real Estate Appraisers Board over the licensing of CoesterVMS. Then there were the numerous state violations against CoesterVMS for noncompliance of customary and reasonable fees, late payments to appraisers, etc. Then there was the disciplinary action against Mr. Coester’s father in Virginia on a report in which Brian Coester was the assistant. These are just some highlights of Brian Coester’s questionable activities.
Phil Crawford, Voice of Appraisal released a special show concerning this new lawsuit against CoesterVMS and Brian Coester. Phil does a great job of breaking it all down. Listen to the podcast here or below.
Do we have a Peeping Tom?!?!
Jonathan Miller also covered this breaking news in his weekly blog. See Jonathans take on the lawsuit here.
See the entire verbiage of the 27 page lawsuit embedded below or, click here .
According to the lawsuit, access was gained to Mr. Skapinetz’s email by malware installed on Mr. Skapinetz’s computer. This raises the valid question of how it got there.
Many AMC’s have developed apps to blast orders to appraisers. Does anyone really know what they are installing on their computer, phone or tablet? Could this be the source of the malware?
The use of mobile applications by AMC’s is wrong on many levels.
First: It is unprofessional. Appraisers are licensed professionals with credentials that align with their education, background and experience. Each and every appraiser has passed a test to obtain their license. AMC’s merely filled out an application and paid a fee. The AMC’s lack of trained and knowledgeable employees in the appraisal process and the lack of understanding of the basic principle of real estate that every property is unique, has caused considerable harm to consumers, lenders and investors. Texting and the use of apps is simply inefficient and causes delays in assigning the appraisal to the most qualified and competent appraiser. The use of the app reinforces the “fast and cheap” business model. Sadly, the AMC’s have not figured out, or simply not smart enough to figure out, how this is counter-productive.
Second: The app is not secure! Regardless of how much encryption is placed in the programming, electronic communication is simply not secure! Cyber-crime is on the rise; just ask Hillary about emails and hacking.
Third: The appraisal process requires thought, analysis and concentration. Constant interruptions because of AMC texting and app dinging, is a huge distraction. This directly impacts the finished quality of the report.
Fourth: The AMC is paid to “assign and manage”. Vetting of the appraiser is probably the most important part of the AMC role. This basic, but crucial function is where most AMC’s consistently fail. Their duty to the client is to assign the appraisal to the most qualified and competent appraiser, not the fastest and cheapest! Appraisersblogs published an article a while back on this very topic. See it here.
Bottom line, why you install any app on your phone is only your business. We encourage everyone think it through and realize you may be giving access to your entire computer, phone, or tablet. This includes email, banking, documents, photos, etc. Protect your privacy!
If the allegations are true and appraiser’s email accounts are being hacked by AMC’s, is it plausible AMC’s can and will alter your appraisal reports?
Should the AMC license of CoesterVMS be suspended in each state until this case is resolved? Shouldn’t the states ensure Public Trust is protected?