Category: E&O

Protect Yourself with a Limitation of Liability Clause . Limitation of liability clauses are contractual provisions used to cap the liability of a party to a contract or transaction. - Imagecredit Flickr - Tax Credits 1

Protect Yourself with a Limitation of Liability Clause

Set Your Limits and Protect Yourself with a Limitation of Liability Clause In a recent case on the West Coast, a certified general appraiser was sued for professional negligence by a commercial lender. The lender had made a high-interest, short-term loan to an  investor/developer for the purchase of a large parcel of land that the borrower planned to subdivide and sell as mini-ranches. The property was appraised for approximately $5 million in 2007, and the lender had loaned $3.2 million. Within months after closing, the borrower’s project began sputtering because of...

Indemnity Agreements and Appraisers 4

The Dilemma of Indemnity Agreements – What Should an Appraiser Do?

Appraisers are often required to sign lengthy contracts to obtain assignments from lenders or Appraisal Management Companies. These contracts outline the scope of work, when the assignment is due, how to transmit reports and other items that require review and understanding. Once the contract is formalized, the appraiser is then legally required to comply with its’ provisions. One important and often troublesome requirement is the Indemnity Provision. The concept of indemnity means “security against hurt, loss or damage”. Through indemnity, one party can shift the...

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LenderVend Requirement For Appraisers to Upload Copies of Appraisal Workfiles

Many residential appraisers we insure and several appraiser organizations have contacted us in the last few days about an appraisal management company’s new requirement that their panel appraisers upload a PDF copy of their appraisal workfile for each assignment they perform.  The AMC is LenderVend, LLC and, according to its website, it is affiliated with mortgage lender Provident Funding. We understand that LenderVend’s requirement imposes an additional burden on appraisers.  We’ve also heard firsthand from appraisers about the anxiety the policy is creating because of the unknown uses to which...

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Thank You Wall Street for Killing off my Hallmark Moments

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime in my lifetime the family home stopped being where you chose to live to raise your family and put down roots and became an investment asset. It seems this transformation began when investment bankers on Wall Street first realized residential mortgage lending represented a potential source of huge profits. Prior to the Great Depression, a typical mortgage loan was for 50% of the cost of a home, was interest only, was for 5 years with a balloon...

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Why I’m Leaving Residential Appraisal

The Law of Unintended Consequences is a law, like Murphy’s Law, which is always lurking in the background to foil the attempts we humans make to control the world around us. It is particularly true of government attempts to reduce crime. A couple of examples follow:  I used to love air travel. I was a flight test engineer at Boeing and for many years I flew all over the world for both work and recreation. Then came the shoe bomber. Now I wait in long...

Deja vu all over again ~copyright AppraisersBlogs 5

Déjà Vu…All Over Again

Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. In light of recent actions in the mortgage lending industry, we all may be able to experience the thrill ride of 2007-2009 all over again…soon.  You may wonder what actions I am referring to so let me share a brief list of what I will call the top ten contributing factors to the downturn I see happening by July of 2017. By 2017 it will have been 10 years...

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a la mode and National Data Collective Form Partnership to Offer Real Estate Data Services to Appraisers

November 10, 2014 — Naples, FL — a la mode announced today that NDC (National Data Collective), a leading national provider of property data for real estate professionals, has agreed to integrate its data products with a la mode’s full range of appraisal formfilling systems. NDC offers a subscription-based data service to appraisers covering more than 130 million properties in all 50 states, with full property profiles, assessor records, deed history and comparables data.  Its products are available on desktop and mobile platforms, with an...

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Appraisal Management Company Sued in Consumer Class Action Complaint

A consumer class action complaint has been filed against a lender and its AMC relating to the subject matter of a prior CFPB investigation and settlement. Last August, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had taken action against Amerisave Mortgage Corporation, its affiliated AMC Novo Appraisal Management Company, and one of the owners of both companies Patrick Markert. Part of the CFPB’s action concerned alleged overcharging for appraisal services by the AMC and failure to disclose the AMC’s affiliation with the lender. Under a consent order, Amerisave...

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Down the Rabbit Hole with the Form 1004MC

OK, I admit it. I am old school. I still think you need to understand how to do something manually before you throw caution to the wind and buy into new technology to replace a good, old-fashioned, hands-on process that has worked fine for years. I honestly believe the use of technology without a complete understanding of how to do the basic process manually just lets us make more frequent and more complicated mistakes faster. In other words, if you can’t drive a Chevy Nova...

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HUD Blacklisting: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Being on HUD’s FHA Appraiser Panel and performing FHA appraisals is an essential source of work for many appraisers. However, according to a recent legal brief filed by the National Association of Appraisers (NAA), HUD has been quietly blacklisting appraisers for years without due process. At the center of the case against HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) is Ken Taggart, an appraiser in Penn., who was removed from HUD’s roster in January 2010. Taggart says that his mortgage servicer, GMAC Mortgage, LLC,...

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Are the Inmates in Charge of this Asylum?

What really caused the real estate market to collapse? While much has been written about the multitude of complex reasons behind the collapse of the real estate market in 2007, it is the opinion of this writer that there is one primary reason for the collapse. Simply stated, banks loaned money to borrowers who lacked the ability to pay back the loan. That’s it, pure and simple. If you loan money to someone who has no resources to pay back your loan, you will lose...

Suing Appraisers ~ copyright AppraisersBlogs 1

Who are Mutual First, LLC and Savant Claims Management? Why is Mutual First Suing Appraisers?

Some appraisers are now being targeted in lawsuits by an entity named “Mutual First, LLC.” It has filed at least 35 lawsuits since May. Mutual First is not a bank, credit union or any kind of regular financial institution. It’s an entity aiming to make money for investors by suing appraisers. Based in Texas, it acquires foreclosed loans for small fractions of the original principal amounts. It then files lawsuits against the appraisers who performed appraisals years ago for the original lenders who made the...

Partnership of Property Data Service  & E&O Business - Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 0

Alliance Allows San Diego-Based Property Data Service to Offer E&O Coverage at No Additional Cost to Qualified Residential Appraisers

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (July 28, 2014) – National Data Collective (NDC), a San Diego-based property data company serving real estate professionals, announced today that it has formed a strategic alliance with CRES Insurance, LLC, a leader in protecting the real estate industry with risk management services and insurance solutions. NDC offers a subscription-based data service to appraisers, providing access to a database of full property profiles, assessor records, deed history and comp reports for more than 130 million properties nationwide. NDC has joined forces with CRES to...

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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...