Author: Peter Christensen

Bill Prohibiting Discrimination in Appraisals, BPOs & CMAs 12

Bill Prohibiting Discrimination in Appraisals…

A bill to amend Illinois’ appraiser and real estate licensing acts to address discrimination. With increased public attention on the issue, complaints alleging unlawful discrimination are emerging in the courts and before regulators in relation to appraisals. In Illinois, a bill (HB 5862) has been introduced to amend the Illinois Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act and the Real Estate License Act to expressly prohibit discrimination in appraisals, broker price opinions (BPOs) and comparative market analyses (CMAs) for residential real estate. The bill would amend each licensing act to state that an appraiser or real estate licensee engages in prohibited discrimination...

Are Appraisers Being Sued for Errors Relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic? 1

Appraisers Being Sued for COVID-19 Errors?

The alleged errors in appraisals that parties are suing appraisers over during the pandemic are the same types of errors that appraisers usually get sued over… Wow. I did not go into the basement on my last visit. I’ll explain why an appraiser wrote that in a moment. Are appraisers being sued for errors relating to the COVID-19 pandemic? My short answer is “no” – there’s no pattern of that happening. One of the services that I provide to my legal clients is tracking lawsuits and legislation that relate to valuation services. I locate and follow cases of all types...

Update on FTC’s Price-Fixing Enforcement Action Against LREAB 6

New Appellate Decision – LREAB v FTC

FTC’s price-fixing enforcement action against LREAB… A federal appellate court – the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit – has issued a decision in the long-standing fight between the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission about “customary and reasonable” appraisal fees. I’m venturing here to provide a short, understandable, unbiased summary of the litigation and what this latest court decision means. What did the Court of Appeals decide? Here’s the very short summary: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing an administrative complaint it filed in 2017 against LREAB, contending that LREAB’s “customary and reasonable”...

COVID-19 Legal & Risk Issues for Appraisers - Appraisers Blogs 5

COVID-19 Legal & Risk Issues for Appraisers

Free video webinar: “Legal and Risk Issues 2.0 for Real Estate Appraisers Stemming from the COVID-19 Crisis.” Scheduled for April 10, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific. For those who cannot watch live, a video recording and the presentation materials will be made available here shortly after the webinar. In this second Valuation Legal webinar for appraisers relating to COVID-19, I will be joined by attorney Claudia Gaglione of Gaglione, Dolan & Kaplan LLP. She is the national claims counsel for the appraiser professional liability insurance program managed by LIA Administrators & Insurance Services. We have worked together on appraiser liability...

Sharestates Seeks to Overturn NY Appraiser-friendly Statute of Limitations 13

Lender Seeks to Overturn NY Appraiser-Friendly Statute of Limitations Law

Sharestates operates a crowdfunding platform that provides alternative mortgage lending secured by both residential and commercial real estate. Over the last 10 years, it has reported average annual returns for loan investors ranging from 9.24% to 11.02%. With returns like these, there is likely some loan risk – and Sharestates reports a current foreclosure rate of 2.44%. Following several of its foreclosures, Sharestates has filed professional negligence cases against about a dozen defendant appraisers, appraisal firms and appraisal management companies, blaming the loan losses on inflated appraisals. Last year, it lost one of those cases in a Nassau County, New...

Borrower Class Action Against LandSafe Appraisal Settled for $250 Million 8

Class Action Against LandSafe Settled

…alleged that the lenders conspired with LandSafe to inflate appraisals to increase the size of mortgage loans sold on the secondary mortgage market… Believe it or not, cases are still being litigated in relation to events during the mortgage meltdown years. After nearly seven years of litigation, a settlement (subject to court approval) has been reached in the borrower class action filed in 2013 regarding appraisals managed by defendant LandSafe Appraisal Services between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008. The other defendants in the suit include Countrywide Home Loans and Bank of America and various affiliates. The central premise...

AMC Liability for Deficient Appraisals - Can They Be Sued for Negligence? 14

AMC Liability for Deficient Appraisals

…may AMCs be liable for the deficient work of contractor appraisers? Can AMCs be sued for negligence? Can they be sued by borrowers?.. It’s now been a decade since the market relevance of appraisal management companies surged in connection with the procuring of appraisals for residential lending. Since then, interesting recurring legal issues have arisen relating to AMCs’ potential liability for the work of contractor appraisers: when and how may AMCs be liable for the deficient work of contractor appraisers? Can AMCs be sued for negligence? Can they be sued by borrowers? Here’s an overview of the answers to these...

California AB 5 - Legal For Appraisers 1

California AB 5 – Legal For Appraisers

More than 375 California appraisers registered for the AB 5 webinar – I hope you didn’t miss it. I’ll be hosting my next free webinar for appraisers on January 31, 2020 – it’s the “California Legal Update just for Appraisers!” In this free video webinar, I’ll cover: New 2020 laws relevant to California appraisers and appraisal firms (other than AB 5), including the California Consumer Privacy Act, and The very most important thing that appraisers can do in 2020 in every appraisal report of every type (whether residential, commercial, lending or non-lending) to avoid liability. The webinar will last approximately 45...

Cyber Threats Are Real Risks to Appraisal Firms. Corelogic's Data Hacked 14

Cyber Attacks on Corelogic

Recent Cyber Attacks on CoreLogic and a Large Appraisal Firm Expose a Real Business Risk to Valuation Firms and Companies. As two recent attacks show, cyber crimes pose a real risk – legally and economically – to appraisal firms, management companies and other businesses involved in property analytics. If an operation like CoreLogic can be victimized by criminal hackers seeking property information, as it was in an attack earlier this month, any valuation firm or property analytics company is at risk. And, more seriously, the losses suffered by an appraisal firm in the separate cyber attack discussed below demonstrate how...

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....

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