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 first-hand experience they actually will survive.
We appraisers normally don’t have an opportunity to witness first hand probable failures like this. In this situation, I am privy to information from a source I can’t reveal.
The autopsy has revealed:
- Placement of many assignments to select few appraisers, who treat the AMC as their primary client, and have not broadened their client base (the AMC does not restrict the appraiser from accepting other client assignments)
- Slow pay to those appraisers for assignments completed – despite requirements in various state AMC licensing laws to pay within a certain time frame
- Failure of those appraisers to monitor the slow pay situation, who blindly and gleefully continue to accept (and do) new assignments
- NSF checks issued to appraisers for appraisal assignments – not necessarily regularly, but possibly on several occasions over time
- Poor bookkeeping and accounting processes at the AMC
- Clients of AMC continue to place appraisal assignments with the AMC, despite being aware of the probable shut down of the AMC
- Removal of key important administrative personnel from the AMC. Shifting burden of operating responsibility to fewer people – including one or more ‘owners’ who may not have a full grasp on daily procedures
- When a demand is made by an appraiser to obtain payment ‘or else’, a NSF check is issued to the appraiser
- Key personnel in the AMC siphon off business income for their own purposes, before paying appraisers
- Tens of thousands of dollars are owed to multiple appraisers
I have harped on this before. Appraisers have to learn to be better business people. Pay very close attention to what is owed you for prior assignments. Take action quickly if any are past-due.
Don’t be the “Mr. Nice Guy”. Because in the long run, you will get the royal shaft from people who really don’t give one whit about you.
By the way, for the wordsmiths among you, I do know ‘when’ an autopsy is typically done. I used this term to capture your eyes! The AMC is not yet dead.