Author: Dave Towne

Homeowner report appraiser identity fraud 13

Appraiser Removed from AMC Panel due to Fraud

Homeowner was not comfortable with the apparent fraud that was committed… Folks, I am sometimes offered information about appraiser issues in a confidential nature by other appraisers. When that occurs, I do not distribute specific information about the issue, but may choose to reveal facts via the ‘big picture.’ This is one such case: A homeowner decided to refinance their home. Appraisal appointment was scheduled. ‘Someone’ showed up at the home to do the interior & exterior inspections and take photos, etc. When the homeowner asked who that ‘someone’ was, ‘someone’ provided a different appraiser name. Report was completed and...

Coffin Lid Closed on Defunct AMC 38

Coffin Lid Closed on Defunct AMC

AMC is indeed closed! Over the last number of days, I have sent messages about a Washington State Appraisal Management Company which was about to fail. This AMC is owing many appraisers thousands of dollars in unpaid appraisal fees. I performed an ‘autopsy’ on that AMC while it was still kicking and screaming. I now have confirmation from two separate appraisers, on two separate days, that the AMC office is now closed, with most furnishings removed. The AMC owner has not informed any appraisers about this action, or anything else related to the business closing. Because those of us involved...

Valligent New $40 Alternative Valuation Assignment 31

Valligent New $40 Alternative Valuation Assignment

Valligent, an AMC with ‘national’ presence, is soliciting appraisers to complete a new alternative valuation product on behalf of their GSE clients. There is nothing wrong with doing these. Any appraiser can. But any appraiser who does these assignments is required to comply with USPAP’s Record Keeping Rule. Which means keeping a Workfile for every assignment. In order to do these alternative valuation assignments, you need to comply with USPAP Standard 3, because you ARE providing a report review service. Even though Valligent is sly about not really revealing that aspect. The SOW for these assignments, which I highlighted below,...

Autopsy of a Failing AMC 16

Autopsy of a Failing AMC

The autopsy has revealed… Appraisers and others, I have previously reported about a Seattle area AMC, who I and others believe, is just about to ‘officially fail.’ This AMC claims to be registered in many states, places orders ‘nationwide,’ and uses both “Staff” (1099) appraisers in the metro areas, and independent vendor appraisers (also 1099) in other areas. I am purposely not reporting the AMC’s name. Even though it’s a terrible situation for many appraisers, the AMC deserves some courtesy as they attempt to stay afloat. They have taken steps to do so. But with no expectation from observers with...

Mortgage Rates Approaching all Time Lows 2

Mortgage Rates Approaching all Time Lows

Mortgage rates are approaching all time lows…again In case you have not been following mortgage lending rates activity, mortgage rates are again very close to what we experienced in the second quarter of 2013. Here’s the link to a Mortgage News Daily e-newsletter article. From the article: Mortgage rates were widely available at 3.5 percent for much of the day today. At any other time from the middle of 2013 through the end of 2015, that’s not something that very many people thought they’d be able to say (or read, or think!). A few lenders had been dabbling in quoting...

Urban or Suburban 4

Urban… or Suburban?

Difference between Urban and Suburban locations Appraisers, Last week, I asked your input regarding why in many cases appraisers check suburban in the Neighborhood Characteristics when often the subject’s location is actually an Urban area (at least from the definitions perspective below). The example I used was from an actual report. The subject property is located within a city of 90,000 population. It has typical urban services, including police and fire protection, utility water deliver and sewer service. It is surrounded by competing subdivisions, nearby shopping, colleges, city administrative offices and business buildings. It is also close to Interstate 5,...

Demand Payment - AMC in Trouble 11

Payment Trouble – Another AMC Failing?

If you don’t demand payment, you work for free. Folks, I learned from two different appraisers, that an AMC/Appraiser Company may be on the verge of failing. The AMC is based here in Washington State not far from Seattle. It has 4 initials in its name. First initial starts with “W”. This company operates as an Appraiser Company with W-2 employee staff appraisers, and as an AMC with vendor appraisers in those areas where their staff appraisers don’t work. The situation came to light today in an email sent out to their appraisers. They admitted they do not have the...

PACE Pro Form is an appraisal 11

Form PACE Pro – Appraisal or Evaluation?

Frankly this form is so screwed up! To First American Mortgage Solutions…(copy to appraisers around the US): Do you folks really understand what your PACE form report REALLY is??  It is not an Evaluation report. It is an actual appraisal, disguised very poorly as a so-called Evaluation. Here’s what I found in your form, after actually reading it: “This report is provided for the benefit of the named customer only and is not intended to be, nor shall it be deemed to be, an appraisal or any form of an appraisal.” OK, fine, not an appraisal. The main form page says...

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Safe Room Adjustment in Appraisals

Use of a Safe Room has Increased by Property Owners Appraisers, If you’re doing a standard 1004 SFR, or 1073 condo (or perhaps a Co-op), report and encounter a “Safe Room“, you might need to add that to one of the extra adjustable component lines on the grid. The trick however, is how do you determine the value of such a safe room and apply a proper adjustment? I suspect they vary in size, interior amenities, vault door construction, and bazooka stopping power of their perimeter wall structure. I dunno! If encountered, I think I’d call Jonathan Miller, who is...

Chief appraiser says AVM is an appraisal 14

Chief Appraiser says AVM is an appraisal

Appraisers, Maybe I’m too much of an anal retentive type person, or perhaps it’s because I believe it’s important to use correct terminology. Regardless, I’m very concerned when someone with Chief Appraiser attached to their name attributes an AVM electronic value statement to an actual appraisal opinion produced by a human. So where did this rant come from, you ask? Future of Valuations Marries Automation and Human Instinct Within the article is this statement by the writer: “While AVMs do hold value — they are a cost-effective, fast tool to produce appraisals — the popularity of AVM usage among home...

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