Category: LandSafe

Appraisal news for real estate appraisers and real estate professionals regarding LandSafe Appraisal Services, an appraisal management company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America. News relating to the Appraisal Industry.

Appraisers Landmark $36M Settlement with BofA 6

Appraisers Landmark $36M Settlement with BofA

Editor’s Note: Besides being a bit of good news, this ruling could have implications for all appraisers working for AMCs. Appraisers Landmark $36 million Settlement with Bank of America for Failure to Pay Overtime Settlement Covers 365 Plaintiffs Who Served as Residential Real Estate Appraisers Oakland, CA – Today, employment and civil rights attorney Bryan Schwartz announced a settlement between Landsafe Appraisal Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and 365 current and former employees working as residential real estate staff appraisers. The plaintiffs had sought damages for their misclassification as exempt from overtime, which left them...

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Overseas AMC Staff: Could I Speak to “Villiam?”

At least one appraisal management company (AMC) put a new accent on appraising by having the point of contact be in another country—specifically, a call-center in India. According appraiser Bill Streep, this is how the conversation went: Bill Streep: “Hi, this is Bill.” AMC Staff: “HELLO! Bill. Could I please speak to Villiam?” Bill Streep: “This is Bill.” AMC Staff: “Yes, Bill. I need to speak to Villiam.” Bill Streep: “My name is Bill, it’s short for William.” AMC Staff: “Yes… (insert long pause) Could I please speak to Villiam?” Bill Streep: “This IS William.” AMC Staff: “No, this is...

Bank of America Appraisals Reviewed in India 6

Bank of America Appraisals Reviewed in India

Bank of America Reportedly Sending Property Reviews to India Bank of America reportedly opened a unit in India to review valuation reports in an effort to boost its share of the U.S. mortgage market at a lower cost, Bloomberg reported June 28. Workers in the new Bangalore office use checklists to decide if appraisals are complete, according to people who talked to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity. Bank of America also eliminated positions at its Plano, Texas-based LandSafe appraisal division, which made $78.8 billion in loans in 2012. “One of the biggest problems in the mortgage business is all...

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Overtime Lawsuits Continue to Spread

Overtime Lawsuits Continue to Spread Among Valuation-Related Companies — Interthinx Becomes the Latest Defendant First it was Integrated Asset Services.  In February, I wrote here about three employee overtime class actions affecting the Colorado AMC filed on behalf of “timeline managers,” “valuation managers” and “quality reviewers.”  Then it was LandSafe Appraisal.  In April, I wrote an article about a newly filed overtime lawsuit by staff appraisers against that company. There is definitely now a small wave of overtime litigation unde the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) affecting businesses in valuation-related fields.  The industry has become an easy target for...

Another Overtime Class Action Filed Against an AMC - Imagecredit Flickr - moppet65535 1

Another Overtime Class Action Filed Against an AMC

A lawsuit filed last week by a former staff appraiser against LandSafe Appraisal Services, Inc. exemplifies the overtime liability risk faced by many appraisal firms and appraisal management companies. In February, I wrote that overtime lawsuits by appraisers present a genuine liability risk to appraisal firms and AMCs.  In that article, I explained some of the special issues relating to whether appraisers properly can be treated as “exempt” employees for purposes of overtime compensation.  The real-world risk to an appraisal firm or AMC is that a staff appraiser will file a legal action alleging that he or she worked more...

An Appraiser's Response to LandSafe Appraisal Services Agreement 9

An Appraiser’s Response to LandSafe Appraisal Services Agreement

In April of 2011, LandSafe Appraisal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America, released its “Appraisal Services Agreement” which included, among others, indemnifications of LandSafe Appraisal Services against any liability, and loss of intellectual rights. Many appraisers stood firm and refused to sign the agreement. Heather Fox, a Certified Residential Appraiser in Virginia, CEO of Cross Country Appraisal Inc. and President Elect of VaCAP, responded to LandSafe Appraisal Services with this letter: To: Landsafe Vendor Panel Management Team I will not be signing the appraiser agreement. I have known I would not sign this agreement since the moment...

Negative Repercussions of HVCC & Dodd-Frank Act - VaCAP 3

Negative Repercussions of HVCC & Dodd Frank Act – VaCAP

Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCAP) Letter to Senator Warner Addressing the Negative Repercussions of HVCC and Dodd Frank Act Dear Senator Warner: In response to the devastating effects of the legislative changes that have crippled the appraisal profession and undermined the quality of appraisals, appraisers throughout Virginia have joined together to educate the public, raise consumer awareness, protect appraiser independence, and work toward effective legislation that will benefit us all. We have now formed the Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCAP). VaCAP appreciates this opportunity to present to you the position of appraisers across the state regarding federal legislation as it...

Landsafe appraisal service agreement - appraisers are gatekeepers 4

Aren’t Appraisers the Gatekeepers of our Collective National Equity?

LandSafe Appraisal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America, recently released its latest “Appraisal Services Agreement” to its panel appraisers. The agreement includes, among others, indemnifications of LandSafe against any liability, and loss of intellectual rights. If this goes through and appraisers agree to sign this new agreement, other AMCs will follow LandSafe’s lead and produce their own version of Appraisal Services Agreements. LIA Insurance has reviewed the new LandSafe Appraisal Services Agreement. The review is available to LIA’s insured appraisers and READI members but others can also view it by registering with code 201700. The whole idea of appraisers as...

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