Author: Peter Christensen

Commercial Appraisers Against National Firm - Overtime Class Action 3

Appraiser Overtime Lawsuits Continue

Appraiser Overtime Lawsuits Continue to Hit Banks and AMCs – and Now Commercial Appraisers Against a National Commercial Appraisal Firm In May, I wrote a short piece (posted here) about the legal threat posed to AMCs, appraisal firms and other employers of appraisers in relation to classification of appraisers as exempt from overtime. I included a warning that the threat was spreading to commercial firms. It’s time for an update. In August, another bank – U.S. Bank – was sued for unpaid overtime by a potential class of appraisers. Also named as a defendant to the class action is U.S....

Appraiser Disciplinary Complaints: Who is Filing Them? What for? 8

Entities Behind Appraiser Disciplinary Complaints

Appraiser Disciplinary Complaints: Who is Filing Them? What for? We were doing some research for a project and came up with some basic data that appraisers may find interesting about disciplinary complaints to state appraiser licensing agencies. Who files the complaints? What’s the basis? Well, here’s some data from claims reported to LIA Administrators & Insurance Services in the last three years: Source of disciplinary complaints reported by LIA insured appraisers, April 2015 to April 2018: 61%   Borrower or purchaser 16%   Seller 8%     AMC 6%     Lender 5%     Miscellaneous (litigation party, estate beneficiary, other appraiser,...

Liability Risks of Hybrids to Appraisers and Others 10

Liability Risks of Hybrid Appraisals

“Hybrid Appraisals” – Speaking about the Liability Risks to Appraisers and Others at The Appraisal Foundation’s Joint Council Meeting “Hybrid appraisal” liability? I am looking forward to speaking about the subject at a joint meeting of The Appraisal Foundation’s two advisory councils — The Appraisal Foundation Advisory Council (composed of 60 non-profits and government agencies) and the Industry Advisory Council (composed of 35 business entities with interests in valuation). “Hybrid appraisals” (which provide a desktop value opinion from a licensed/certified appraiser relying on a physical inspection of the property by a third party) are being marketed by AMCs and technology companies...

Trade Secrets Battles of AMCs & Lenders Relating to Valuation Technology 16

AMCs & Lenders Fighting…

…Battles over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to residential valuation technology and services… AMCs and Lenders Fighting Over Next Generation Valuation Products and Technology The residential valuation business for mortgage lenders has been taking big steps lately toward wide scale replacement of the historical Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR or 1004) form used in mortgage lending. As this movement happens, some would-be providers of replacement valuation products (such as “hybrid” appraisals) and automated valuation models (AVMs) are fighting over technology turf and trade secrets. There are currently three big legal battles over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to...

Importance of Intended Users Identification - Case Helpful to Appraisers 12

Case Helpful to Appraisers

This is the only way that the opinion would ever help other appraisers, especially residential, in future cases filed by parties who are not intended users of the appraiser’s work. Newly Published California Case Helpful to Appraisers: Tindell v. Murphy Today, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District certified for publication its recent decision in a case entitled Tindell v. Murphy. The case involved mortgage borrowers who sued a real estate appraiser blaming the appraiser for a purchase they made in 2005 at the peak of the real estate bubble. The trial court had dismissed the borrowers’ suit because they...

Hybrid AMCs & Appraisal Firms: Employees vs Independent Contractors 5

Hybrid AMCs & Appraisal Firms

The monetary risk, however, may be much bigger for hybrid AMCs… company’s vendor panelists should be classified as employees, rather than contractors, plaintiff’s counsel offered evidence that the company “tells vendors where to go, when to go, what to do, when to get it done and how much and when they will be paid for their efforts…” Appraisal Firms and Hybrid AMCs: Beware of the Dynamex Decision and Its Impact on Classifying Appraisers as Independent Contractors in California Classifying “staff appraisers” as independent contractors, rather than as employees, is a very common business practice among real estate appraisal firms. It...

Staff Appraiser Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Against Corelogic AMC 25

Class Action Against Corelogic

A residential staff appraiser has filed an overtime class action lawsuit against appraisal management company CoreLogic Valuation Solutions. The appraiser is a current employee and works as a staff appraiser in Southern California. On behalf of herself and a putative class of similar CoreLogic staff appraisers, she alleges that CoreLogic’s compensation practices violate the overtime pay requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California state labor laws. The case will be legally interesting to watch because CoreLogic allegedly pays its employee appraisers on a “piece work” per appraisal basis with additional compensation for based on production and other...

Appraisers Classified as Independent Contractors Treated as Employees 13

Reclassifying Appraisers as Employees

Classifying Appraisers as Independent Contractors – an Issue for Appraisal Firms and Maybe AMCs Too A hot legal issue that is beginning to more often affect appraisal firms and similar businesses, such as inspection and field service management firms, is the classification of workers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. In some lawsuits, plaintiff workers argue that they were improperly classified by firms as independent contractors and then claim that, if they had been treated properly as employees, they would have been entitled to compensation for overtime, as well as reimbursement for expenses. In other situations, the issue is a...

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...

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