Category: Appraisal News

LREAB Response to FTC Allegations 15

LREAB Response to FTC Allegations

FTC seeking to punish LREAB for following federal regulatory mandates… BATON ROUGE, LA (May 31, 2017) – In an administrative complaint filed today by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it was alleged that the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) had fixed the minimum price of residential real estate appraisals by enforcing the Board’s obligations under federal law to ensure that appraisers are paid customary and reasonable fees for their services. Bruce Unangst, Executive Director of the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB), said: “Respectfully, the FTC is just plain wrong. By issuing this legally faulty and factually incorrect complaint,...

Suppression of Appraisal Service Free Trade & Fair Price Competition 23

Restraint of Trade Investigation

I am heartened that the Federal Trade Commission has recognized the need to assure that appraisal “…consumers deserve to benefit from a free market where those fees are set by competition.” It appears that your complaint may have been instigated by the very special interests that are most responsible for suppression of appraisal service free trade and fair price competition in America today. By that I am referring to the entities broadly described as Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs), and in this specific complaint – the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae and/or FNMA .

Paying Too Much For Appraisals? 29

Paying Too Much For Appraisals?

Why am I paying more than TWICE the amount paid to the appraiser? I was recently charged/paid $750.00 to have the appraisal completed on the home I was purchasing. With the fees and costs associated with obtaining a mortgage, the appraisal fee was one of little to no concern to me BUT then I received a copy of my appraisal. In accordance with local regulations, the appraiser disclosed the amount he was paid to do the appraisal… $275.00 minus a $15.00 technology fee. I thought to myself why am I paying more than TWICE the amount paid to the person...

Zillow Gone Wild 19

Zillow Gone Wild

Some very interesting news is surrounding Zillow… A lawsuit over Zestimates has now gone to a class action status. This will have rippling effects on each and every state and expand the liability to not only licensing, but privacy and consumer fraud. Read about this change here. Excerpt from the article titled “Class-action suit aims to halt Zestimates in Illinois”: “The Zestimates that Zillow posts are misleading and pose as accurate appraisals in violation of Illinois’ legal description of an appraisal, according to the complaint filed by three members of the Patel family and Schaumburg-based CastleBldrs.com. They claim homebuyers read...

LRES Wants Your Digital Signature 27

LRES Wants Your Digital Signature

Do NOT send your digital signature! I just received the following message from LRES (AMC) requesting I send my digital signature to them. I think this message should get out to all appraisers immediately. I don’t know if any other appraisers received this message however I would strongly suggest that you do NOT send your digital signature to this AMC or anyone else. I hope you all understand the possible problems this could open you up to, including forgery, fraud and many other illegal activities. If you have any doubts just call your E&O insurance and ask them what they...

SettlementOne Valuation & Dart Appraisal Disciplined by VREAB 31

Virginia is NOT Playing Around!

Two AMCs Disciplined by VREAB… At the May 16, 2017, Virginia Real Estate Appraisers Board Meeting two AMC’s were disciplined by the Board. SettlementOne Valuation Corporation was disciplined in Mississippi, Illinois and Pennsylvania, all for unlicensed activity within those states. SettlementOne was required to report the disciplinary action to Virginia within 30 days, which they did not. The Virginia Real Estate Appraisers Board imposed a $2,500 monetary penalty for these violations of the Boards Regulations. Dart Appraisal was disciplined in Minnesota for providing an estimate of value on the engagement letter to the appraiser. Dart Appraisal was required to report...

Legislators Supportive of Appraiser Issues 5

Legislators Supportive of Appraiser Issues

We need supportive legislators! June 13th is an important date for Virginia Appraisers The Republican Primary is June 13, 2017. VaCAP does not care if you are Republican, Democrat or Independent. We do however; think it is important for you to know of several candidates that are supportive on appraiser issues: Senator Frank Wagner is running for Governor of Virginia. Senator Wagner introduced the successful AMC legislation for 30 day payments to appraisers that goes into effect July 1, 2017. Although the bill for using only third party fees when calculating customary and reasonable fees to appraisers did not move forward,...

Photographs in Reports & 2 Refers 12

Photographs in Appraisal Reports

Photographs, 2 refers & Nat’l RE Appraiser’s Day… I’ve been asked to formally review a recent report. When looking over the report pages, the subject photo pages contain a mix of horizontal and vertical photographs, about half ‘n half. And there are lots of subject photos. Bear in mind, most report photo pages are formatted for horizontal photographs. It appears to me the appraiser used a smart phone for photos, as there would be no normal tendency to hold a regular camera vertically except in rare occasions to emphasize height of some feature. But people do that with phones. The...

CoesterVMS AMC & Brian Coester Sued by Mark Skapinetz, Appraiser 14

Coester Sued by Appraiser

CoesterVMS & Brian Coester have a questionable history with the law… According to a lawsuit filed against CoesterVMS and Brian Coester by appraiser Mark Skapinetz on April 20, 2017, Brian Coester and CoesterVMS have illegally accessed (hacked) his email accounts. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Stored Communication Act, Trespass to Chattel, and Trespass to Land, Conversion, Fraud, and Invasion of privacy. Mark Skapinetz is a Certified Residential Appraiser in Georgia that owns a very active private Facebook page with over 700 members. Mr. Skapinetz has been very vocal about appraisers being treated unfairly by AMC’s and advocates for appraisers.

Skapinetz Believes Appraisers Are Being Held Captive by AMCs 28

Who is Mark Skapinetz?

Mark Skapinetz believes that appraisers are being held captive by AMCs…. Reserved is not a word that anyone would use to describe Mark Skapinetz; at least of those who know him. Shy is not in his vocabulary. Mark is the founder of the “100% Real Estate Appraisers” group on Facebook. He joined me on April 23, 2017 as a guest on The Appraiser Coach Podcast to discuss everything from training the next generation of appraisers to the AMC debacle. Mark believes that appraisers are being held captive by AMCs. Though he works for a handful of AMCs himself (in other...

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