Category: Customary & Reasonable Fees

Appraisal Fee Price Fixing Claim Case to Reach the US Supreme Court 6

Price-Fixing Case May Reach Supreme Court

The first case about real estate appraisers to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in almost 60 years may concern the Federal Trade Commission’s price-fixing claims against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. Would that be a good thing for appraisers? Well, maybe it’s not the best timing. Filed in 2017, the FTC’s administrative complaint asserts that the Louisiana appraiser board, “a state agency controlled by licensed real estate appraisers, has unreasonably restrained price competition for real estate appraisal services.” The FTC contends that the board carried out this price-fixing through its regulation of fees paid to appraisers by appraisal management...

Classless Class Valuation AMC Lives Up to Its Nickname Again! 17

Classless Class Valuation

Class Valuation has done some pretty horrific things in the past, but this one has earned them the true title of Classless… It finally happened… I was sent an email from Class Valuation. The subject line “New Benefits from Class Valuation – Just in time for Thanksgiving!” Well fellow appraisers, I can honestly state with 100% certainty, Class Valuation has lived up to its nick name given to them by so many… Classless! Class Valuation has done some pretty horrific things in the past, but this one has earned them the true title of Classless. You see, the benefits Class...

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”...

Was Fast & Cheap AMC Appraiser Racist? Biggest Snowball of Your Life 14

The Biggest Snow Job of Your Life

Remember the saying “Pick two: fast, cheap or good. You can only have two of them?” Well you see, amcs got impatient and stopped reading after fast and cheap… The concept is simple enough, a fire wall between the loan production staff and the appraiser to avoid any possible pressure, coercion or influence. It sounded like a good idea to many; hence the HVCC legislation passed and was enacted. This was a period of trial and error for so many and before anyone found their way, along came Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank to give their official stamp of approval...

The Power of No! Use the Power of No and Let the AMCs Self-implode 14

The Power of No!

Appraisers always had the power to end the appraisal management pyramid scheme. All we had to do is say no. Low fees, headaches, and idiotic reviewers have reached maximum capacity. The imploding of appraisal management companies is forthcoming. Over the past few months, appraisers have been simply saying no to low paying, time wasting, headache giving appraisal management companies; problematic portals too. I even read recently an appraisal was unable to be uploaded to a portal because the opinion of value was below the contract price. This type of influence rises to a whole new level, not to mention the...

iMortgage, the Dollar Bidding Company, Sues LREAB for Antitrust Violation 7

LREAB Hit With an Antitrust Lawsuit

…everyone knows that iMortgage / Single Source is the “dollar bidding” company. They send out appraisal requests at $1.00 and ask everyone to provide their fee… The Louisiana Real Estate Appraiser Board has been hit with another legal battle. This time, iMortgage, operating under the name Single Source has filed suit against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board claiming a violation of antitrust laws. This suit mirrors that of the FTC, which is currently paused by the Fifth Circuit Court. In the suit, iMortgage claims rules created by the Louisiana Real Estate Board, which consists of market participants, set appraisal...

Old Habits & Past Mistakes… Appraisers Are Creatures of Habit 14

Old Habits & Past Mistakes …

Learning from your mistakes is all part of the change. You can’t change past mistakes, but you can certainly make sure the future doesn’t include them… My last blog focused on change and how I have benefited from changing things in both my personal and professional life. While I have made many changes, I have now come across another aspect that seems to have followed me from my past, the ability to learn from my mistakes instead of making them over and over. See, we as appraisers are creatures of habit. Well, let me rephrase that, we as humans are...

Think It's Okay to Do Bifurcated Hybrids? Georgia Fines Hybrid Appraiser! 99

Georgia Fines Clear Value Hybrid Appraiser

So, do you think it’s ok to do bifurcated hybrids? On January 31, 2018, what appeared to be egregiously deficient Clear Capital “Clear Value” bifurcated hybrids were exposed in AppraisersBlogs. See What IS a “ClearVal Appraisal”? The properties were in Georgia. The appraisals were performed on a desktop basis by an appraiser in Indiana. Total fee was $250. Out of that $250, AMC Fee was $225, and the Indiana desktop appraiser was paid $25.00. Keep that fee in mind as you read through the attachments. Two complaints were filed by AGA™. One with the State of Indiana, and one with...

Appraisal Fee Transparency Falls Short - Appraisal Complexity Ignored 9

Appraisal Fee Transparency Bill Falls Short

No system that continues to allow (or limit) defining appraisal complexity to the lender or AMC will ever achieve reasonable, or fair compensation for the appraiser…. We need to do much better than “half a loaf” in our appraisal legislative efforts. Especially when that half loaf does no more than enshrine continued price-fixing by lenders; with the support & blessing of REVAA… WorkingRE published news of recent House of Representatives action. The Bill addresses consumer disclosure of AMC fees among other issues. While the American Guild of Appraisers applauds the efforts of those that worked in good faith on this,...

Appraisal Fee Transparency Act of 2019: Pivotal Point for Appraisers 21

Fee Transparency, Pivotal Point for Appraisers

…appraisers may finally have a chance at making the goal of fee transparency a reality… Keep your eyes open, events are happening fast. Ever since the passage of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) in 2010 and the monumental rise of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs), one of the main issues appraisers have pressed for is transparency for consumers in terms of the fee split between appraisers and AMCs. Specifically, how much of the actual “Appraisal Fee” being paid by the consumer goes to the licensed real estate professional and how much is withheld by the AMC “manager.” Now, over...

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