Author: Michael Ford

Copyright of Appraisal Reports: Control Over Our Own Intellectual Property 42

Copyright of Appraisal Reports – Again

Why do we need a copyright in the first place? Before deciding whether you need to copyright, or whether it is too complex or not I urge all to read the information found in the following link. When I started searching to see what the specific requirements were, I initially thought I’d have to pay a fee and submit each ‘work’ (appraisal report) to the United States Copyright Office. Clearly not a practical process for most of us, even if the fee weren’t so high (about $114.00). I’m pleased to say if is not that complicated, or costly. In fact,...

FTC Attorney Response & AGA Seeking Appraisers Opinions 9

FTC Attorneys Response to AGA

Is the FTC asserting that FNMA is exempt from antitrust laws? I don’t think of myself as being obtuse, nor do I think those that know me well would consider me to be particularly slow of wit or comprehension. Despite this, I’m truly confused by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) attorneys response to the American Guild of Appraiser (AGA) email letter we sent them. The first sentence states “The federal antitrust laws prohibit anticompetitive mergers and business practices that seek to prevent hard-driving competition, such as monopolistic conduct, attempts to monopolize, and conspiracies and combinations that harm competition and consumers.”...

Suppression of Appraisal Service Free Trade & Fair Price Competition 23

Restraint of Trade Investigation

I am heartened that the Federal Trade Commission has recognized the need to assure that appraisal “…consumers deserve to benefit from a free market where those fees are set by competition.” It appears that your complaint may have been instigated by the very special interests that are most responsible for suppression of appraisal service free trade and fair price competition in America today. By that I am referring to the entities broadly described as Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs), and in this specific complaint – the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae and/or FNMA .

Baby or Bath Water? And Is it Time to Take Back USPAP? 31

Baby or Bath Water? And Is it Time to Take Back USPAP?

About half of AICPA members don’t believe in USPAP… When I first heard that “they” were trying to do away with the Appraisal Practices Board (APB) of the Appraisal Foundation (TAF), I tried to keep an open mind. I also wondered who “they” are. Did the Appraisal Institute (AI) finally get a sympathetic ear in Congress? Was it preemptive action by the Board of Trustees in anticipation of budget cuts by the new administration? By the way, what does the APB do? I certainly had it wrong. I thought they helped develop the Advisory Opinions (AOs)! To be candid the...

Eliminate the Appraisal Subcommittee too! Appraisal Institute Effort to Eliminate the ASC 38

AI’s Effort to Eliminate the ASC!

Refocused effort to eliminate the ASC… Why? It’s now much more than rumor. There is a concerted effort to eliminate not just the Appraisal Practices Board (APB) which was the Appraisal Institute’s original target, but now a refocused effort to eliminate the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) itself! Think about that folks. What started as a partisan effort to lay ground work for the eventual elimination of Dodd-Frank has quickly morphed into a behind the scenes opportunistic all out push to eliminate the ASC too! It’s no secret among regular Appraisal Institute (AI) members or non AI appraisers that have listened to...

Congress, Please…No More Cash for FNMA clunkers! 7

Congress, Please…No More Cash for FNMA Clunkers!

Congress, cut FNMA loose from conservatorship and let them sink or swim… Every day I tend to agree more and more that we are facing an uphill battle against corporate America. Then I remember that as a former Marine, I’m supposed to be ‘ok’ with uphill battles. We make do with what we have, not necessarily what we want or need. Add to this most, if not all of our Congress from both Senate and House. Some isolated exceptions but most either don’t care or encourage the weaknesses in the financial system for their own gain. There is a reason...

APB Focus Group Interested in Your Input 8

APB Focus Group Interested in Your Input

What is the goal of the Focus Group? Appraisers, Please read the memo below from a member of the Appraisal Practices Board. The Board is meeting FEBRUARY 23, 2017 in Torrance, California. They are sincerely interested in appraisers written input. It doesn’t have to be a formal letter. Jot down some thoughts and views in your email and either send it to the APB, Mrs. Desmarais, Vice Chair of APB (lap…@comcast.net), or if you prefer send to me (m…@mfford.com) with subject line “Forward to TAF/APB” or something similar. Please try to get comments in by 02/22/2017. The original agenda has...

Comparable Selection Manipulated to Produce Lower CU Scores 6

Comparable Selection Manipulated to Produce Lower CU Risk Score

Appraisers harassed to use sales not comparable to lower CU risk score… Readers that have followed my past Collateral Underwriter (CU) articles already know my opinion of it. It was flawed system design starting with its underlying database. Designed by seven people that did not have a valid appraisal license between them! Setting aside the basic database flaw in CU, it was and is a system that’s highly susceptible to manipulation. The CU scoring parameters can be modified at the lender-user end. Even if that were not possible, it is still subject to manipulation. As Phil Crawford points out, FNMA first...

Real Estate Appraisal Industry Crying Out for Leadership & AI Inaction 7

AI Current Path is a Serious Issue for ALL Appraisers

Time for the AI to cooperate with real estate appraisal state coalitions…? Is it finally time for the AI to cooperate with other respected professional peer organizations and state coalitions? Please read the following article by Jonathan Miller, titled “Sadly, The Appraisal Institute is now working against its local chapters“, to see what AI insiders views are about the relevance of the AI’s current path. While my intent is not to take cheap potshots at the AI, I do find it odd that the same organization that repeatedly testifies in public that it represents the interests of all appraisers in...

The Partisan Battle to Eliminate Dodd Frank 15

The Partisan Battle to Eliminate Dodd Frank

Dodd Frank created the illusion… I had a different “take away” from the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee “Modernizing Appraisals” hearing. My impression was that there were two simultaneous hearings by the same people in the same place. There was the actual televised hearing with disparate prepared speeches, and then there was the real underlying reason for the hearing. The partisan battle to eliminate Dodd Frank. I try very hard to take a non partisan approach to the issues facing appraisers when writing about or for the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA). Obviously AGA is a union organization, though as I’ve...

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