Author: Peter Christensen

Appraiser Expert Witness Issue 2

Appraiser Expert Witness Issue

Discovery of Draft Expert Witness Reports (Draft Appraisals) in State Court – a Chart Appraiser Michael Brunson, SRA, MNAA, and I recently wrote an article for the Appraisal Institute’s 4th Quarter 2015 edition of Valuation entitled “Getting Ready for Expert Witness Work: 10 Practice Pointers.” One of the pointers is that while the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 26) now generally protect a retained expert witness’s draft reports (e.g., draft appraisals) from discovery by the opposing party, appraisers need to understand that if a litigation is pending in state court and thus subject to the state’s rules of civil...

Llano Cases - A Nightmarish Affair 0

Llano Cases – A Nightmarish Affair

Llano cases against appraisers The mass litigation against appraisers fueled by Impac Mortgage/First Mutual Group/Llano/Savant is definitely consuming too much of this blog’s space. I will in the future likely create a special home just for their coverage — because their legal and economic assault on appraisers could cause profound harm for U.S. appraisers if unchecked. Until that separate place exists, here is another update: “This is literally a nightmare for me and I am literally shaking as I write this reply.” Those are the words of First Mutual Group and Llano Financing’s own attorney Henry Portner to describe the predicament he is in...

Beware of Appraiser Karma - Llano Cases - Imagecredit Flickr - Doug Geisler 7

Beware of Appraiser Karma – Llano Cases

In our world of claims involving appraisers, we quite often see different versions of this same story — in this version of the story, an appraiser did a review appraisal that was used by Savant LG in a currently pending case against another appraiser in Florida. Just months later, that appraiser found himself named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed…

Who Is Llano Financing Group? Who Is Carrington Capital Management? Why Are They Suing So Many Appraisers? - Imagecredit Flickr - Catherine Read 6

Why Are They Suing So Many Appraisers?

The grand scheme of suing appraisers! Who Is Llano Financing Group? Who Is Carrington Capital Management? Why Are They Suing So Many Appraisers? Short Summary Update 8-17-15: Hundreds of appraisers are being sued by two entities that invest in suing appraisers for profit.  At this time, the entity filing the most lawsuits against appraisers is Llano Financing Group, and most of the appraisals it is suing over were held by Impac Funding/Impac Mortgage.  Impac is expressly assigning its claims and rights to sue appraisers to the investors (according to the court complaints).  In the last three months, the investors have sued about 280 appraisers...

Protect Yourself with a Limitation of Liability Clause . Limitation of liability clauses are contractual provisions used to cap the liability of a party to a contract or transaction. - Imagecredit Flickr - Tax Credits 2

Protect Yourself with a Limitation of Liability Clause

Set Your Limits and Protect Yourself with a Limitation of Liability Clause In a recent case on the West Coast, a certified general appraiser was sued for professional negligence by a commercial lender. The lender had made a high-interest, short-term loan to an  investor/developer for the purchase of a large parcel of land that the borrower planned to subdivide and sell as mini-ranches. The property was appraised for approximately $5 million in 2007, and the lender had loaned $3.2 million. Within months after closing, the borrower’s project began sputtering because of the financial crisis, and by early 2009, the borrower was in default. The property sold at...

LenderVend Requirement For Appraisers to Upload Copies of Appraisal Workfiles - Imagecredit Flickr - GotCredit 23

LenderVend Requirement For Appraisers to Upload Copies of Appraisal Workfiles

Many residential appraisers we insure and several appraiser organizations have contacted us in the last few days about an appraisal management company’s new requirement that their panel appraisers upload a PDF copy of their appraisal workfile for each assignment they perform.  The AMC is LenderVend, LLC and, according to its website, it is affiliated with mortgage lender Provident Funding. We understand that LenderVend’s requirement imposes an additional burden on appraisers.  We’ve also heard firsthand from appraisers about the anxiety the policy is creating because of the unknown uses to which the workfile may be put by the AMC.  As is the case with any peculiar...

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Appraisal Management Company Sued in Consumer Class Action Complaint

A consumer class action complaint has been filed against a lender and its AMC relating to the subject matter of a prior CFPB investigation and settlement. Last August, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had taken action against Amerisave Mortgage Corporation, its affiliated AMC Novo Appraisal Management Company, and one of the owners of both companies Patrick Markert. Part of the CFPB’s action concerned alleged overcharging for appraisal services by the AMC and failure to disclose the AMC’s affiliation with the lender. Under a consent order, Amerisave and Novo agreed to pay $14.8 million in refunds to consumers and a $4.5 million...

Who are Mutual First, LLC and Savant Claims Management? Why is Mutual First Suing Appraisers? - Imagecredit Flickr - paurlan 2

Who are Mutual First, LLC and Savant Claims Management? Why is Mutual First Suing Appraisers?

Some appraisers are now being targeted in lawsuits by an entity named “Mutual First, LLC.” It has filed at least 35 lawsuits since May. Mutual First is not a bank, credit union or any kind of regular financial institution. It’s an entity aiming to make money for investors by suing appraisers. Based in Texas, it acquires foreclosed loans for small fractions of the original principal amounts. It then files lawsuits against the appraisers who performed appraisals years ago for the original lenders who made the loans. In its lawsuits, Mutual First claims that the appraisers are liable to Mutual First...

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Warning for Appraisers about CoStar Copyrights and Licenses

CoStar in its “John Doe” case… In the last week, CoStar Realty Information has filed several lawsuits against commercial appraisers and real estate brokers for intentional copyright violations and fraud relating to the alleged use of CoStar property data and photos without proper registration/payment. If you use CoStar, be sure you are doing so properly and within the terms of your license agreement. Examples of the types of alleged situations that have led to CoStar’s recent and past copyright lawsuits are: (1) sharing IDs/passwords, (2) obtaining an ID/password for an appraiser or other person who is not employed with the company...

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“Fake” Appraiser E&O Insurance and Shady Things from AMCs Too

Outright Fake E&O For many appraisers and also some AMCs (appraisal management companies), the only reason they purchase professional liability insurance (E&O) is because a client requires them to show coverage in order to receive work.  The fact that some appraisers and AMCs only look at insurance as an “E&O ticket” leads to some unfortunate examples of fraud, which appraisers, firms, AMCs and clients should be aware of. Before I get to the fakery, however, I’ll explain that our purpose in providing E&O, and also the reason that most of our insureds purchase it, is because E&O first serves the insured by providing...

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