Update on Llano’s Lawsuits Against Appraisers

Brian L. Trotrier

Brian L. Trotrier

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at FREA
A former practicing attorney with more than 30 years experience in real estate and risk management. The Foundation of Real Estate Associates (FREA) has specialized in providing Errors & Omissions Insurance to appraisers and home inspectors since 1993. As a membership organization with over 6,000 members, FREA is one of the largest and most well respected professional associations in the country, providing E&O Insurance for appraisers and inspectors as well as educational opportunities, member benefits, and legal support.
Brian L. Trotrier

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Case Dismissed - Update on Llano Cases against Appraisers

And the house came a tumbling down…

Most of you already know the background on Llano and its wave of appraiser litigation. So we won’t spend a lot of time repeating past details here. Let’s just say that karma appears to be alive and well in 2016. For those of you who are not aware of what Llano has been doing, we’d recommend you go to www.frea.com and search past blog posts for information on Heritage Pacific, Savant Claims Management, Llano, and the Ganter brothers. It won’t take time for you to get up to speed.

Here are some of the latest developments relating to Llano:

  1. A growing number of lawyers who initially filed cases for Llano have withdrawn from representation with many cases then being dismissed or put into limbo.
  2. An attorney representing Llano sent a cease and desist letter to us demanding that we stop reporting on the Llano litigation and alleging our reports are not factually correct. This is a blatant attempt to stifle our 1st Amendment rights and will not work.
  3. In one somewhat unique case, an appraiser sued by Llano filed a counterclaim (with the support of his E&O carrier) asking the court to order Llano to pay all of the fees and costs incurred in defending the lawsuit in the first place. If he wins this request, the tides will shift dramatically.
  4. We remain unaware of any cases decided on the merits going in favor of Llano. And thus far almost every one of the carriers involved in defending these cases is not settling. If anyone reading this knows of a case that Llano or any of the other entities related to the Ganters either took to trial and won or won on a motion on the merits, please let us know.
  5. We have been in contact with the general counsel for Impac Mortgage Holdings, the company that allegedly assigned the right to file these lawsuits to an entity related to the Ganters that in turn assigned the rights to Llano. Not surprisingly, it appears Impac may have had no idea who they were getting in bed with.
  6. Finally, some recent decisions handed down by several different courts seem to indicate the courts believed the cases in question were without merit from the outset and never should have been filed. We believe the correct legal term for cases like these is “frivolous”.
  7. We also learned one attorney representing Llano had been suspended from practicing law for 3 years for fraudulently signing documents that were submitted to the court and then lying about it when first asked.
  8. Last, but not least, the word on the street is that one of the Ganter brothers had to file personal bankruptcy recently and claimed to be so broke that he wanted permission to pay his filing fees in installments. A quick review of court records reveals that this is not the first bankruptcy filing for the brothers and/or companies they own or control.

In spite of all of this good news, as recently as last month, Llano was still filing lawsuits in new states like California. Now is the time to stay aware and alert. Until Llano pulls the plug and disappears the battle is not won. By working together on behalf of the entire appraisal profession, we can win this and put an end to vulture lawsuits like these.

Remember, if you are involved in a Llano case (whether you have insurance coverage or not) have your attorney send an email to b…@frea.com so we can pass along what we know that might help either reduce the cost or improve the odds of winning your case or both.
Image credit flickr -Herb Neufeld
Brian L. Trotrier

Brian L. Trotrier

A former practicing attorney with more than 30 years experience in real estate and risk management. The Foundation of Real Estate Associates (FREA) has specialized in providing Errors & Omissions Insurance to appraisers and home inspectors since 1993. As a membership organization with over 6,000 members, FREA is one of the largest and most well respected professional associations in the country, providing E&O Insurance for appraisers and inspectors as well as educational opportunities, member benefits, and legal support.

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2 Responses

  1. Everyone one of us needs to be aware of the background in this. I strongly encourage reading Mr. Trotier’s prior posts on the topic.

    Additionally, I would give very serious consideration about seeking other clients instead of these mentioned in his articles. At a minimum we know that some of them will make bad loans and then when the inevitable happens, their first thought is to go after the appraiser’s E&O.

    It just isn’t worth dealing with people like this. Frankly, I wouldn’t care “if they knew who they were getting in bed with or not…” If THAT is how careless they are about serious legal issues I simply wouldn’t want to deal with them at all.

    Yet one more reason to join the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) and KNOW that you have at least ONE party on your side if this ever happens to you!

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  2. Koma says:

    Thanks Brian!

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Update on Llano’s Lawsuits Against Appraisers

by Brian L. Trotrier time to read: 2 min
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