Appraisers Ditch a la mode

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Appraisers Ditching a la mode After News of Corelogic's AcquisitionIn 2015, Dave Biggers of a la mode stated:

I’ll wrap up by wishing you a happy new year, in spite of all the recent fear mongering, and by thanking you for supporting us with your business. I’m confident that in 2015 you’ll see even more reasons for that loyalty, especially in terms of us continuing in our long-standing role as the independent appraiser’s staunchest advocate, and in being the most innovative, reliable, and accessible technology provider. We look forward to working with — and for — all of you this year.

Time and time again, we were assured that our data would be ours and would not be sold.

Let me be clear however: Any database we build for sharing comps will not be a database for us to use for our own purposes. The data is yours. It isn’t ours. We don’t want to sell it, use it, move it, share it, or do anything else with it other than manage it for you. (We’ll also put in place full controls to prevent others from misappropriating it.)…

SmartExchange Q&A – Aren’t you just going to build an AVM with our data?

Beyond the pro-appraiser position which I’ve proven repeatedly over the years, there are just too many solid financial reasons why that would be insane. First and foremost, you’d stop doing business with us and I’d go broke. (And I wouldn’t blame you.) Then, as soon as you stopped using our product, your appraisal data would dry up anyway. We’d be twisting in the wind. The business model just doesn’t work….

Then yesterday, the news release that Corelogic acquired a la mode was issued. April Fools…right? Nope. And again, we are being assured that

Question: a la mode has always advocated for appraisers. Will that continue?
Answer: Absolutely. CoreLogic is one of the largest employers of Appraisers. In fact, we believe we can have an even stronger advocacy position as a part of CoreLogic.
 
Question: Will CoreLogic have access to my appraisal data?
Answer: a la mode, as part of CoreLogic, will continue to honor the product licensing agreement which outlines how we treat the data. We will continue to treat data securely and notify you to get your explicit agreement if something changes.

Per their Q&A regarding the sale of a la mode, future products like Titan Reports and SmartExchange were the driving forces behind this transaction:

Question: Why did CoreLogic buy a la mode?
Answer: CoreLogic is a leading provider of technology, analytics and services in the Valuation space. Our commitment to appraisers plus our current products and future ones like Titan Reports and SmartExchange were driving forces behind this transaction. Both a la mode and CoreLogic are focused on helping you work faster, more accurately, and with the highest level of credibility and support. Our entire history of products, from DOS? TOTAL to Titan embodies that unwavering commitment. We see the acquisition by CoreLogic as a next exciting stage in a la mode’s evolution.

Should we be concerned about the future of our data knowing what we know about Corelogic?

About a month ago, we called a la mode and asked if the rumor of Corelogic’s acquisition was true. Our annual subscription was coming up and we didn’t want to renew if that was the case. We were told such rumors were baseless and unfounded. Reassured, we renewed our subscription less than two weeks ago. But when we heard the unsettling news, we called to find out if 1) we would get a prorated refund of our renewal fee when we cancel and 2) if they would confirm that we were not participating in their SmartExchange program. The answer to our first question was no. They do not offer a refund of the annual renewal fee. We also found out that we were automatically opted in the SmartExchange program even though we never chose to participate. We asked to be removed from the program immediately. They later called us back to let us know that they would offer us a full refund if we wanted to cancel. We are now looking at the few competitors and plan to switch:

  • Clickforms is owned by Jeff Bradford. An appraiser is working with Bradford to offer a discount to those wanting to switch
  • SFREP – “SFREP is giving away their current software to new customers for free for 6 months in the lead up to the release of their all new version, Appraise-It Pro, later this year. Appraise-It Pro is being re-written from the ground up and will be 64 bit aimed at the new generation of computer hardware. Features like flood maps and their mobile app will be charged but the full suite with comp management, image management and basic sketching will be free. Also, if you already own Apex 5 or 6, that will also integrate for free. After that, Appraise-It Pro will be just $49 per month”
  • Homeputer – “HomePuter® is an independently owned and operated company with decades of appraisal and programming experience, specializing in designing and selling Windows based Real Estate Appraisal Software. The HomePuter® FPS 9.2 includes software for the latest appraisal forms and addenda, building sketch processor, importing and labeling maps or documents, digital photo addenda, signature scan, Compliance Checker, UAD (Uniform Appraisal Dataset) Interface, Fannie Mae/FreddieMac /FHA / VA MISMO 2.6 GSE and non-GSE XML delivery, AI Ready™(AppraisalPort® and ENV delivery), StreetLinks Plug-In Delivery, HotSPOT and Sky Delivery Certified, and Adobe Acrobat PDF Compatible, all for one low price – $249.”
  • reggora – there isn’t much information about who owns this company and who is behind this software. We did not find an about page on their website. WHOIS information is private. It appears to be a free cloud base appraisal software. Not enough information to form an opinion and we are not too keen about cloud based software
  • ACI –  First American created one of the first and worst hybrids PACE PRO product with ACI. Needless to say, they won’t be getting our business

Mark Skapinetz posted the following announcement on his 100% Real Estate Appraisers Facebook Group:

Skapinetz announcement
Social media was flooded with comments by appraisers disappointed with the news

appraisers comments RE Corelogic acquisition of a la mode

Many wrote to the DOJ, the FTC and complained to their state organizations. And one appraiser wrote the following to the U.S. Department of Justice:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to you today on the topic of the proposed purchase of Al A Mode technologies by Corelogic. Al A Mode technologies is a software company primarily in the real estate business, and more specifically & primarily geared toward use by real estate appraisers. Al A Mode provides the software for completing & reporting the actual appraisals and is the largest software firm in this industry by quite a degree.

Corelogic as you may know, has a hand in many industries, but is primarily also in real estate and mortgage financing areas.

The complaint I have, as do thousand of others, is that Corelogic is, per communication from Al A Mode, in contract to purchase Al A Mode. For an industry like this, where there has been so much consolidation already, and there are very few small players in the process left, Corelogic is becoming a full on monopoly in the appraisal industry. This purchase will help solidify this.

AVMs (automated valuation modules; Zillow, etc.) pull data from some public sources and MLS systems across the country. However, Corelogic, by purchase of Al A Mode, will have a distinct advantage over all of the others by getting actual human verified data from thousands of appraisers across the country, thus creating a monopoly in that field as well.

You see, about a decade ago when the real estate industry went into melt down, congress stepped in and worked to help protect independence for the appraiser (with mixed results), as it is important for humans to see, judge, verify, value, and report on real estate without pressure or influence to keep the real estate market in check. Since Corelogic is already the MLS (multiple listing service- where all listings and data are reported) for many major market areas across the country, hires appraisers through their own appraisal management company, provides the service to deliver these completed reports to many of the lenders across the country, and now wants to own the platform in which the majority of this work is already performed on, a company with this much involvement in the process can effectively put an independent appraisal professional, firm, or small appraisal management company out of business should they decide to ‘cut them off’ from the giant system of real estate they are working on consolidating. In addition, the more Corelogic owns of the system, the less of a competitive advantage smaller appraisal firms, appraisal management companies, credit unions, small banks, and any of the supporting industry individuals will ever have a fighting chance of being truly independent ever again. The size of Corelogic is fast becoming overwhelming to the appraisal industry and I truly believe this purchase needs to be examined and stopped.

I do not know much about trade laws, (I know nothing honestly) but I know that I choose to work as a self employed individual, where I protect the risk of buyers, sellers and lenders in the real estate world everyday. This purchase and consolidation will perhaps be a catalyst to putting myself and thousands of others out of self employed work in the short term.

Thank you for your time.

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171 Responses

  1. Charles Thomas says:

    copy right violations, I don’t care what they say, I am the author and I own the report, it is licensed and for the use of the client only. Restraint of trade!!

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    • Barry Noble says:

      How will you ever know or prove they have usurped your data?

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      • Barry they ADMITTED that they did. There are roughly 40,000 unique appraisers doing FNMA appraisals (their stats from a course by Hagar not mine). CoreLogic previously claimed they screened appraisals to develop their AVM product (it is in blogs here too). The recent FHFA working paper though is the one that ties it all together. THIRTY MILLION appraisals sent to FNMA and Freddie Mac (12 million were some kind of duplicates) and THAT is a REAL interesting thread to follow…are they saying 12 million appraisers out of 18 million were forced to modify reports? – they never addressed that though. Anyway, CL is shown throughout Working Paper. There’s enough admissions that they have scanned appraisals to make me think class action for ANYONE having completed a GSE report from 2012 to 2016 could be covered. The numbers show an average of 750 reports per appraiser in the covered period. Now THAT is significant.$337,500 per appraiser at $450 per report assuming I’d sell appraisals for RESEARCH purposes at same rate as appraisals for loan purposes. I would not! Add in penalties for the theft rather than negotiating prices with appraisers and I think the numbers could get pretty big. NOT one of my past appraisals lists them as an intended user nor data aggregation as an authorized or intended use. Clearly they have ALSO misused our data concluding percentages incorrectly that appraisers over appraised when a sale is involved. I’ll submit copy of our AGA letter to FHFA, to AB tonight to see if they will publish. It’s long (Gee what a surprise).

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        • Mike, you know I will help any way I can.  I think there should be a class action suite against the GSE’s and CoreLogic for taking out data and using it against us with PIW’s and AVM’s. In some respects this can be looked at as a restriction of fair trade under the Sherman Act. Every appraiser worth a hill of beans should be jumping on this. Every last one.

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          • Greg, see article in a day or two RE FHFA. It leads into exactly what you are saying. We have a federal agency citing that up to 30 million appraisals were used for purposes that were never intended, and in part they rely on CoreLogic as well. CoreLogic who has also admitted to using our data in the past (over a million instances). I think we now have cases where we can show FNMA itself has violated FIRREA and Dodd Frank; AND DCs own real estate appraiser and appraiser REVIEW laws. CU has morphed long past being a mere risk rating system of collateral. By their own admissions and claims it is now being used to review 100% of appraisals AND appraisers! Rating them on quality in tiers. Too much news for comment only. Needs article. PLEASE keep following up on this issue and related FHFA Working Paper.

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  2. Ryan Henson on Facebook Ryan Henson on Facebook says:

    Does anyone know a appraisal software that easily converts alamode files to a new software format? I was told a few weeks ago by another software vendor alamode files are encrypted and the only way to convert is copy each file or xml format….

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    • Lizzie Judge on Facebook Lizzie Judge on Facebook says:

      My associate and I were just talking about this and researched it. I don’t think there is a way to do this. We just have been converting all of our reports to pdf-xml. If we absolutely need the actual zap report and leave alamode we just figure we can hopefully do a free trial or something to get us back in.

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    • Monica Medina-Lozano on Facebook Monica Medina-Lozano on Facebook says:

      I may be wrong but if we cancelled Alamode membership wouldn’t we still be able to use the software we have installed? We just wouldn’t be able to update it and use some of the features?

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      • No. Alamode knows when their software is being used. They can simply kill your install at any time.

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      • Yes. They cannot kill it during a current already paid subscription/maintenance period unless they wan to get sued. You would likely lose any add on services or if you have a monthly services account with them you’d lose that and associated benefits.

        Use what you already paid for. I don’t think they offer refunds. Switch before that runs out..

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      • Ryan Henson on Facebook Ryan Henson on Facebook says:

        Abdur’s statement above is true. They are watching us closely. That is why I began to search for a solution for an easy transition to a new software a few weeks ago. I converted from dayone software many moons ago. It was plug and play with alamode transferring and converting the dayone data to their format of zap files. If I knew it was going to be encrypted so no other provider of my choosing was able to access a file which I own I would have thought twice about it. What are those loyal alamode users going to do with their data if alamode ever goes under just like dayone did?

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        • Issues of CoreLogic seeking to replace appraisers aside, your explanation is the best reason for not using them any longer. The same holds true with cloud based or cloud storage software.

          ANY company that designs software or services that must be subscribed to on an ongoing basis is not doing so for my benefit. They are holding users of their products hostage for what would otherwise be unnecessary annual maintenance contracts or subscription fees..

          I may go all the way and switch OS to linux while I’m at it.

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          • Brian says:

            Is there a company offering the type of product you are talking about Mike?

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            • Brian … Yes. While Alamode and ACI both can be used without storing data online, you are not getting the full benefits of the software being purchased if you do not. I very specifically chose never to use vault or any form of cloud storage. That is the big complaint I have against Narrative1 as well. N1 wont function properly without extreme workarounds to online storage which pretty much defeat its purpose. Also, cloud storage is handing ‘data aggregators’ all your professional intellectual property for mining, on a platter.

              All cloud storage does is to lock you into an annual contract AND it discourages PROPER work file documentation. CoreLogic has admitted in the past to having screened millions of appraisal reports to develop their AVM software. Does anyone seriously think they won’t design future versions of software that mines the data of their subscribers automatically, in the background – with no one the wiser?

              Count your own ‘pages’ of workfile data. When I went to court in my case where we humiliated the State Perjurer and Head Liar at BREA; along with their clown-college supervising Deputy Attorney General from L.A.  it was in large part due to a work file that when printed out was 692 pages. Only about a 1/3 of that was stored hard copy with about 2/3 being stored links and online files researched and retained as urls; along with multiple cop print outs by the state of the same files. Admittedly we were trying to make that a picture perfect documented file to determine the full impact of CU but if we had NOT documented everything so well the results may well have been different.

              Even my normal workfiles usually have from 100 to 200 pages (only 30 to 60 of which are usually the report copy). I put EVERYTHING in work files. No matter how seemingly inconsequential it may be at the time. The mere fact of such documentation is considered favorably by a good judge.

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              • Diana N. says:

                I still have 8 file cabinets chock full of reports, when they get to be over 7 years old I burn the reports.

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  3. Kathy Hubbard Bright on Facebook Kathy Hubbard Bright on Facebook says:

    A la mode customer since 1995. No more. One step closer to burning my license…

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    • Juliana Homstead says:

      I also am seriously considering the burn option. This job is no longer fun or profitable and it only seems to be getting worse.

       

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    • Jack (Of One Trade) says:

      Please do NOT burn your license! That’s what they want you to do because the end result is monopoly and power for Corelogic. Automation without human interaction and common sense will prevail. Thanks Frank-Dodd. Nice Job self serving yourselves. Enjoy your pensions.

      You would think the Legislators would have picked up on this extreme situation years ago. Literally, years ago. In their defense, they are quite busy with these very important congressional hearings that don’t affect 98% of the American private citizens with which they are charged to protect and take action on our behalf.

      I’m pretty sure that the mortgage finance industry is a huge part of the economy (as we have all seen). Let’s all jump back to 2008 again. How’d that work out?

      I’ve used Total, Wintotal, Win2000, Al a Mode or whatever they are nowadays (Core A La Mode?) for 20 years. Shame on you………..I expect an invite for your first fishing trip on your new yacht.

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      • realrose says:

        Finally a comment that realizes what they have done to us. Most of the comments that say they are ditching al a mode and giving up on this blog that is created by trumpsters are getting it.

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        • Brian says:

          I feel sorry for you realrose. I hated Obama and the things he did and was angrier every day.  I’ve tried to get past it

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  4. John B. Cox on Facebook John B. Cox on Facebook says:

    I’m not switching away from a-la-mode… especially not for this reason alone.

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    • Each of us must make our own choices John. Id ask that you also read articles here about First Americans Pace Pro product…PURE FRAUD inducement. First American is the other monopoly. When CoreLogic and First American wanted to merge even the feds recognized that was a complete monopoly.

      First American bought ACI (NEVER trust them when they claim a form is ‘compliant’)

      CoreLogic bought alamode. Now the very software we write reports on will be designed to suit these amoral giants. VaCAP listed all the appraiser and real estate tools and data sources they control (they left of RealQuest which was the old DataQuick).

      If after doing your homework and seeing how CL is directly seeking to eliminate residential appraisers through Big Data alternative promotion you still want to support them it’s certainly still your choice and your business decision to make. Please make that choice from a position of full knowledge.

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  5. Lizzie Judge on Facebook Lizzie Judge on Facebook says:

    Doesn’t anyone do appraisals for lenders anymore? You know they’re collecting all your data anyway through the UCDP….

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  6. Tony Grubb on Facebook Tony Grubb on Facebook says:

    I’m on the fence about it. 14 years of reports with them it would be extremely time consuming to transfer all of the files to a new platform

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  7. Eric West says:

    20 years with them… buh bye alamode!

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  8. Tony Grubb on Facebook Tony Grubb on Facebook says:

    That’s all fine and everything but the task of transferring tens of thousands of reports and converting them would be daunting. That’s all I was saying.

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    • Brian says:

      Why do you have to transfer and convert? You can leave the software installed on your computer and just keep the zap files.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Do any competitors offer a program where one could submit the xml raw file then convert that to the new software peramiters? Like anti zap I guess. It’s only conversion, and the xml is the pure raw coding. All a software provider would have to do is create a stand alone supportive program which would convert the xml into the given file type. The utility is already there, it just needs to be ran in reverse. They’re likely reading this today and that’s a long overdue utility anyways. The whole thing about tying us up with proprietary coding has always been an improper approach. I’d rather do this on a dang word processor, xml requirements itself is just another way to restrict the market. In this thread I see legitimate market forces of consumers at work, it warms the heart.

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        • Appraise-It from SFREP can load in MISMO XML files from any software if that’s what you’re asking.

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        • Jack (Of One Trade) says:

          My computer crashed 8 months ago. When I lost my appraisal files I called Al A Mode and they couldn’t help. My security software backups were useless so I tried to convert the .XML files on my own.

          I was able to retrieve and convert information enough to know that any high school student probably knows how to convert an .XML file.

          Might be a good side job for those that can bring it to fruition.

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    • True it would be…but I haven’t done tens of thousands of reports in the past five years. ALL the reports I have done are already in hard copy work files. And client that wants an old file modified would have to pay me for a complete new appraisal anyway. So, I don’t mind doing a whole new appraisal,

      MAYBE I have a need to convert the one file I opened up in alamode three days ago but cant see any reason to convert any others. Its time I rewrite my templates anyway.

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      • Jack says:

        I agree Mike. I don’t care about the older reports. The so called “vault” was useless and the Norton backups also failed. I got screwed with the reports in progress (photos, sketches and all the other information gathered). Even 1.5 weeks of work was a huge headache when you have to start over. Not to mention when you get a STIP and have no report left to revise. Not funny. And yes, try re-writing the templates! That was fun too.

        As far as I can see, we need a Mike Ford to get us all on the same page. Yes, I mean union again. I’ll pay the membership but I don’t know what to do after that. Respectfully, Jack.

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        • Jack contact Janbellas@appraisersguild.org. Once you are a member let her know if you want to get more actively involved. We can use the help of every single member.

          From simply informing other appraisers on important issues to writing regulators with us. From letting us know about new problems or old unresolved ones in your state.

          We can also use some volunteers to help with or write articles / memos for a news letter. There is more than enough work to go around. How deeply involved you want to be is your choice.

          PS thanks for the kind words..

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          • Mark Skapinetz says:

            I’m a member of the AGA and the head GA REP. Best organization I’ve been a part of. They helped me when I needed it with my state board and I’m forever thankful. Worth the yearly membership. If you ever need them they will be there and go above and beyond.

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  9. Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

    I can’t stand monopolies , whether it’s big data or internet, I’m always looking for alternatives to giving these grifters my money. I have used alamode for 23 years, it’s a great product, but I see quality going downhill and prices going up, it’s inevitable

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  10. John B. Cox on Facebook John B. Cox on Facebook says:

    This fear we are having is overblown. I don’t like monopolies at all either… but I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax a bit and just don’t over react.

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    • Do you have any clue what big data and advanced analytics can and will do to the residential real estate profession?  Fannie and Freddie are already issuing appraisal waivers for 5% of their loans to test their models they are building.  Right now 5% of what would have come to appraisers is not coming to us.  That number will only grow over time putting more appraisers out of business.  Now CoreLogic is building a competing system with 10’s of millions of appraisals they just bought from al a mode and linking that data to the MLS systems, taxa data, and cost data they own.  Every bit of this is designed to streamline and automate the the appraisals process and removing you and I from the transaction.  So if you are OK with this you are OK with having your job taken away.  I encourage you to fully understand the impact of these things before you say all is OK.

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      • B says:

        Maybe its time to test the copyright comments I have in each report they are stealing

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Testing the legality of that would require class action which could lead to rico. It’s a commendable effort and I’d sign on if someone started that up.

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        • Jack says:

          Don’t judge, but I haven’t heard of the copyright comments. Very interesting. I’d be on board. Any step forward as opposed to doing nothing is a breath of fresh air.

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      • Lizzie Judge on Facebook Lizzie Judge on Facebook says:

        Real Estate Agents are still doing well despite Zestimates and online Multi-Lists. Stock Brokers are still doing well despite E-Trade and other online services. You are never going to fight the technology, so finding a way to adapt and prove your job to be useful in spite of it might be a better source of energy….

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        • Greg Wilkinson on Facebook Greg Wilkinson on Facebook says:

          You clearly aren’t seeing the big picture. In a few years you will. I figured I would try to enlighten you some. It’s time for me to move along from this exchange

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      • realrose says:

        Another one who knows what the plan is. Greg Wilkinson, you got it.

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    • Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

      I’m not overacting, I’m making a business decision, if I had a decent alternative to Microsoft I would do that too. I think it’s important not to be overly dependent on a company to the point where there is no competition. I’ve seen this coming for the last couple of years and having used Corelogic MLS products, I can say they are terrible. I can see Alamode going down the tubes as well. Why would I pour my time and money into that?

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    • Lizzie Judge on Facebook Lizzie Judge on Facebook says:

      I did extensive research on some of the other options. The bottom line is no one has the level of customer service ala mode does. A few reviewers of ACI for example said they were on hold with customer support for an hour plus when alamode is available 24-7 with relatively no wait time. This is important to me because my time is money. Other platforms do have faster speeds, web based options, etc. that alamode does not have which I also considered but the bottom line is I still think at this point in time this is the best software for me personally. Maybe the Corelogic merge might change that, but not sure. As far as Corelogic products, I’ve never had any issues with them for my MLS software, realist, etc. They were honestly an upgrade from some of our old platforms in the past personally which I’m hoping might improve our user experience on the software now. Guess we will see.

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      • Scott R. says:

        With all due respect that is simply not true. There are options. I do not work for Clickforms but I can tell you in 12 years I’ve never been on hold longer that 5 minutes and mostly they pick up straight away. I have appraiser friends that use a la mode and switched to ClickForms and said it was the best decision they ever did. It took a few hours of learning a few new things but it was very much pick, point and go. Just my humble opinion.

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        • Clickforms is decent software but I’ll never admit that to my friend that swears by them. Its awkward for me to transition between alamode, ACI and clickforms but that’s more likely to just dealing with too many different software types.

          I bought homeputer yesterday. I’ll keep it and Clickforms but my ACi and ala-mud have gotten there very last renewals from me. No more support for those trying to kill our profession!

          ACI can take there PacePro and put it someplace uncomfortable. Alamode can use theirs to help them clean up after ACI’s insertion..

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          • Brian says:

            So I gather you didn’t mention SFREP because of their business model? I will check out both. I used ACI for years and disliked. Liked appraisal studio by United systems. Which of the two you are trying would you say is the easiest to transition to from A La Mode?

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            • EDD HABEGGER says:

              I have used SFREP for many years switching from ACI, Alamud etc. I have enjoyed SFREP and their service far more than any of the others. I go back to the of DOS and then seeing our software converted to windows. Love SFREP.

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        • Larry says:

          I agree Scott. I’ve used Clickforms for years & have no problems with it. Good product & easy to use.

          Larry G

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      • Jack Of All Trades says:

        You Lizzie are a corelogic employee in disguise

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      • Norm Graham on Facebook Norm Graham on Facebook says:

        Lizzie Judge I’ve used ACI for the last 17 years and have never had a problem with waiting on calls like that. Maybe 5 -8 minutes tops.

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        • Norm both ACI and alamode were fine software platforms. I used both for over 25 years. The issue for me is their policies under the new overlords.

          CoreLogic has already proven itself to be abusive to appraiser since the AMC arena. ACI previously tried to foist the old PACE PRO inducement to fraud garbage off. THAT product was so bad the ASC and different members of the FFIEC got involved. All they’ve done is to repackage it.

          I will not sharpen the knife or lift my head up to give someone trying to cut my throat  better access.

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      • Mariateresa Canosa says:

        I have used ACI for many years & have not had a problem with the tech support. That said, I don’t want to sound like a commercial for them, as I am not crazy about the product, but I don’t really like the others either. They all have their positive & negative features.

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    • John B. Cox on Facebook John B. Cox on Facebook says:

      Lizzie Judge – I agree totally!

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    • Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

      Lizzie Judge Having used Corelogic MLS and Flex MLS, I would say Corelogic isn’t even in the same league, playing it safe is killing the appraisal profession. The less money I give Corelogic the better.

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    • John B. Cox on Facebook John B. Cox on Facebook says:

      Ross Grannan – what problems are you having with Core Logic? I don’t have any problems with them.

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    • Lizzie Judge on Facebook Lizzie Judge on Facebook says:

      I use Flex, CoreLogic, and Navica and I would personally say the technology of CL is quite superior.

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    • John B. Cox on Facebook John B. Cox on Facebook says:

      AppraisersBlogs would you share your copyright statement?

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      • Hi John, absolutely! We include the following in our reports:

        “Ownership of Intellectual Property and/or Data
        YOUR COMPANY’S NAME expressly retains all right, title, and interest in all patents, trademarks, trade names, trade secrets, software, data, conclusions, opinions, valuations, or other information included in, arising out of, or in any way related to this appraisal or the provision of appraisal services to the named client and/or Intended User. The report and information supplied by the staff and/or agents of YOUR COMPANY’S NAME is a culmination of intellectual education, professional experience, personal investigation, and know-how, which shall at all times remain the property of YOUR COMPANY’S NAME. No person shall be entitled to break down, strip out, mine, or disseminate any component or part of this report, including, but not limited to, any conclusions, valuations, opinions, or other data compilations herein. Notwithstanding, the Intended User as defined above may use this appraisal report and the contents herein for the limited purpose and use identified above.”

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  11. Mark J Skapinetz says:

    Ok.  So here is an update for all of ya.

    I finished a demo this morning of a new appraiser software product that will be released in the beginning of summer or around then.  It’s FANTASTIC and does everything and more than what total does.  I was blown away and I’m sold.  I’ve made up my mind that I am switching to this product when it’s ready to go.  While I can’t say anything more about who it’s from I will say that it is powerful and I’ll be beta testing it shortly before it’s about to roll out.  It’s cloud based and has all the capabilities to convert files,, cloud storage, comp database and much much more and when I say more I mean MORE!

    With that said if you can’t wait awhile and are very much wanting to switch to a new software by all means do as you wish.  Me however, I’m going to wait and I’m excited as hell to be a part of this and a user of it.

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    • Mike says:

      Hey Mark, can you share this information with Brandon at Spark?  I will more than likely be changing from Alamode, but can’t imagine using a new form-filler without it. Thank you.

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    • Josh says:

      Any more info on this new software company?

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    • LaydeeTee says:

      @Mark J Skapinetz – any more updates? Can you share what this product is? My Alamode renewal is fast approaching & I’d like to join the “ditch-a-la-mode” crowd.  🙂

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  12. B says:

    Total bullshit about waiting a couple weeks they got some answers that will solve everything oh my God we were just told that they would never sell out Dave Biggers is the biggest sell out that’s what his name stands for the bigger the sell out the biggers he is I am done with alamode I am not giving my data the core logic.

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  13. Jack Of All Trades says:

    Bad news after bad news, other than some minor victories on some state levels, the bad news keeps on coming

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Ten years of rolling hit after hit. Ten years of failure of regulatory oversight. Ten years of regulation z violations of customary and reasonable payments and other notable pressures. Ten years worth of 10k/20k rolling daily fines per instance which penalties were not pressed. This could be the largest lawsuit of all time based on reg z and management companies. What lawyer will step up for the record setting payday?

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  14. EJ says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been with SFREP since the beginning, almost 30 years and have never had any problems. They have PDF, XML/MISMO and AI READY. Tech support is unrivaled.

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    • E J B says:

      I only hope they don’t self destruct with the new re-write in terms of cost. As we all know, every facet of this business has been able to raise their fees other than the appraisers, we are expected to go backwards.

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      • No worries. We won’t. We plan to pretty much keep the price the same. Might go up by 3 or 4 dollars per month on subscription.

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        • Jack Of All Trades says:

          How much if you pay in full for the year ? Same as monthly ?

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          • No. No discount if you buy the year. We decided to go all in on monthly. However, we run lots of sales on things like flood maps throughout the year and we have that 6 months free promo running right now.

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            • I will NOT buy any software that only has monthly subscriptions. Im glad you offer another option.

              I will NOT consider residential software that requires uploading and or storage to the cloud of any of my separate report elements such as work file; photos etc..I may have no choice with commercial (Narrative1) but there is lots of choice in residential side.

              Time for software writers to start thinking in terms of competition again now that ACI and alamode both stepped on their own privates.

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              • Brian says:

                Mike,  i don’t understand.  Which software requires uploading and storing to the cloud?

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                • Brain, as noted on cmml side Narrative1 does. You CAN work around it but not without defeating the entire purpose of the software. CorelaModes ‘Vault’  is cloud or subscription based. From what I have been told the new program mark is talking about is also a cloud based system.

                  Again, not 100% of these are cloud required – but nearly all the special features, bells and whistles advertised require cloud contracting. Others may disagree. Im simply agaisnt ALL cloud contracting.

                  It is nothing more than a scam to make us rent software that we used to buy outright. I choose NOT to make software writers MY appraisal business partners.

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  15. realrose says:

    I wrote this punk a nasty letter yesterday for selling our data and our methods for corelogic to fake appraisals. It is the trend now, for unqualified yahoos to claim a software program can produce a reliable valuation. We won’t be around for the next bailout, if there is one; this time, the rats are hell bent on blowing up all our institutions until there are a few plutocrats, so this is just another kleptocracy under trump, the most horrendous occupant of the white house!  Now they are changing the subject, trying to take our social security, so you guess where we will be without any jobs and realtors doing inspections so we can complete their hybrid product. Nothing but crap. Since we have no voice, or competent lobbyists, we are screwed. Just the final nail in the coffin for residential appraisers. The appraisal profession having been watered down for years, it is finally in its last dying days.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Oh stop it with your Trump bashing. Weaponized media is real, it does awful things to the mind. Corelogic is not Trump. Get a clue. Downvoted, hopefully enough people will do that so this comment is invisible, because it deserves to be invisible.

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    • Brian says:

      This has nothing to do with Trump. Most of CoreLogics acqusitions took place during Obama’s terms. I don’t get the correlation

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        According to realrose, if a tree falls in the forest, even if nobody was there to observe it, it’s trumps fault. Everything is trumps fault and she never misses a chance to behave like a parrot in a cage shouting blue blue blue. I’ve given her political crackers to calm her down, but it never helps.

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    • John B. Cox on Facebook John B. Cox on Facebook says:

      You absolutely lost me there dude… you just made everything you have ever said or posted irrelevant and meaningless. Will be unfollowing this blog and following someone without a tin foil hat on…and someone that actually understands economics and free markets.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        The old threaten to not support and claiming godlike powers to discredit all other opinions if the political views are not shared? The three D’s of trolling. Distract, discredit, redirect. Save it for the peanut gallery. We watch the Liberty Report nightly and it’s very educational, you would not know, programmed to sheeple trigger on a moments notice.

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        • Brian says:

          Wait. That’s only 2 D’s  is that like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Immediately insulting those whom engage with independent thinking is so weak. Liberalism, find a cure. I’ll post a paul, a dice, and an iw vid, a veritas, a rand speech, and then potus speech, all at the same time. Hell, I watch one of those nightly. The point of trolling is NO, a person does not get to discredit everything and drive traffic just because they said so, what a riot. They are not special snowflakes and their feelings about my political beliefs are irrelevant. Like an elementary school kid saying you can’t be this other persons friend, some people never grew up. “Patriot Trading Group, where the tinfoil hat nation meets every weekday at 5”.

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            • ALL – the issue of the meme today is CoreLogic and their practices. Alamode and such. I respect your heartfelt views on the political sides but just once can we keep focused on the critically important issue being discussed in the blog?

              I’m already schizophrenic enough as it is. YOU try being a Republican Union Organizer today in a profession that generally hates unions as a matter of principle!

              We have bigger fish to fry today. Imho.

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              • Baggins Baggins says:

                Then tell admin to permanently block real rose and her scandalous hate speech against conservatives.

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                • Baggs, you know that isn’t going to happen – nor should it. I’m not fond of anti Trump rhetoric either. No more than pro Obama posters were about hearing negative about anything he did. Neither yours nor my philosophy support censorship. We know AB makes a point to avoid stifling free (respectful) speech.

                  We already have a seriously divided nation (philosophically). Let’s try hard not to create the same divisions in here. If we fragment as appraisers we will never achieve meaningful results.

                  Frankly I thought Rose’s post was right on the money up until the Trumpsters comment. A good post neutered by injection of gratuitous partisan rhetoric.

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  16. #DELETEALAMODE says:

    Benedict Arnold err Dave Biggers Email Address = dave@b2equity.com

    The OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE has started a Vulture Capital Fund.

    WE CANNOT ALLOW THE COREL LOGIC MONOPOLY TO CONTINUE

    THE MADNESS HAS TO STOP

    WRITE TO THE FTC TODAY

    QUESTION
    How can I report an antitrust violation?

    ANSWER

    If you have a question or comment about an antitrust issue, submit it to the Bureau of Competition by one of the methods below. Please consult the FTC’s Guide to the Antitrust Laws, which may answer general questions about the antitrust laws and contains Frequently Asked Questions on a number of topics, or Inside BC to learn more about the work of the Bureau of Competition.  To fully describe your concern, please provide answers to the following questions:

    What company, entity or organization is engaging in conduct you believe violates the antitrust laws?
    How do you believe this entity may have harmed competition?
    What is your role in the situation? For instance, are you a customer, competitor or supplier?

    To help us serve you better, please include a day-time telephone number in your communication.

    E-Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov (link sends e-mail)
    Regular Mail: Office of Policy and CoordinationRoom CC-5422
    Bureau of Competition Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20580
    Telephone: (202) 326-3300

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  17. Diana N. says:

    I have been using  Homeputer ever since you could prepare your reports on a computer. Andy has always kept up with the latest and has always there to help if I had a problem. Homeputer is one of the best deals around.

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    • Jack Of All Trades says:

      How’s there sketch and mapping programs ? Thanks for info Diane

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        • Brian says:

          Short of waiting for the new software coming which of the others would you recommend? I’ve been with ACI before so they are all out. The new offering sounds promising just likely to be bumps in the road

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      • Diana n says:

        Jack, its Excellent, never had a problem.

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        • Hi Diana – Once I got the download figured out it took all of three minutes to install and launch the program. Seems straightforward enough but initial template has a learning curve.

          I like Andy’s responsiveness. I ALSO like dealing with the guy who holds himself accountable for his product. I’m not dealing with a corporate monolith. Good or bad, it is Andy that will get his ears scorched when I’m unhappy and in fairness will also get the sincere kudos and accolades for great service.

          Right now he’s on the very positive side of my imaginary rating scale. Can you offer any suggestions or table of content – ordering suggestions that could be helpful. Its set up is ‘different’ and Id hate to have to actually read the users’ manual. (Andy’s going to love having me as a client! – I can’t even figure out FB Messenger)

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          • Diana N. says:

            Mike, actually I think his manual is the easiest to read, I also like the fact that he has software set up as both old and new versions, I have older reports that I have to update sometimes, and it’s easy to switch between old & new.  Andy also keeps up on the latest forms. I have to admit, I have sent him some of the ACI commercial forms to check out.

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  18. B says:

    Total bullshit about waiting a couple weeks they got some answers that will solve everything oh my God we were just told that they would never sell out Dave Biggers is the biggest sell out that’s what his name stands for Biggers the bigger the sell out the bigger he is I am done with alamode I am not giving my data the core logic they suck

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  19. Baggins Baggins says:

    Look, you don’t get rid of anything if you don’t want to. And you can run down to the minimum alamode purchase silver for the final year, and start with something new. The regrettable requirement for most of us is we can’t outright switch, some old work may need revisited. So it’s just like EO, you have to maintain it even if you don’t necessarily need it.

    My sub was in january so I’ll run it out all this year but will transition well before the resub time so all new work which may need revisited will be on new software. Hopefully they’ll stop this monopolistic anti trust example, but if they don’t, going to be making a lot of calls to the new guys, requesting similar tools as alamode offers.

    They were the absolute best, I never though I’d have to change. Betrayal of trust is not something you can just skate by though. Being in a corelogic Matrix MLS area this is especially concerning, the most ruthless irresponsible appraisers whom outsource and automate everything will have an even greater advantage in Matrix territories. Corelogic lost my trust when they acted as an amc and took over quantrix amc. Suddenly instead of being on the phone with the ladies in one of the Northern states, I was on the phone with an offshore call center person, mid stream into orders. I asked to speak to an American and was promptly removed from the panel and accused of being racist.

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    • E J B says:

      Ha Ha Ha.

      If you do or say anything anymore your racist.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        People got hurt, borrowers had to get repeat appraisal visits. Although willing, I was penalized and cut off for daring to ask, what happened to the nice American ladies I was on the phone with just literally a few days before. It happened overnight with no warning. Looks like this companies calling card, immediate acquisitions and total process alterations overnight.

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  20. Scott R. says:

    but wait….the new improved a la mode software will allow the appraiser to complete a hybrid appraisal report in only 6 hours and our Mercury Network will pay you $75 per report.

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    • Yeeaahh but the folks over in Hyderabad and India have already said they’ll do them for from $10 to $35 and some indicate it can be done in Philippines for as little as $8 per report. (I get you were using tongue in cheek sarcasm – thumbs up on post).

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    • Tim says:

      $12.50 an hour are you kidding? I can go to McDonald’s and work for $13.00 an hour and NO ONE CAN SUE ME IF I FORGET TO PUT A PICKLE ON THEIR SANDWICH

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  21. Brian S says:

    Why aren’t our MLS’s commenting on the use of their copyright material? Seems to me they should be the ones worried about the use of their data. I mean I get it, I don’t want them using any of my analysis but can’t they just join all the MLS systems and get the data? I am more worried about the software being left go, alamode has always been a leader in new bells and whistles. And while I pay a premium for these services I think they offer a premium product and they seemed to control the costs as my subscription has, for the most part, stayed the same. But I will say that if I see increases and no innovation of the software I will be looking at other options.

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    • Brian C/L OWNS the systems most regional MLS use. (Matrix). Even then they have proven themselves to be incapable of accurately reporting factual data. Realist (Corelogic product) may report sf as 1,200; MLS Matrix (CoreLogic product) may report it as 1,600 sf ‘per owner’ or without source where agent included a basement or attic in GLA and RealQuest (another CoreLogic product that used to be DataQuick) may show 1,200 sf while taped appraiser totals show 1,196 with a 4 sf entry cut out properly deducted. Lot size discrepancies are far worse. None of the sources pick up on or accurately report multi parcel sizes. They will report the discrepancy between mls and realist…so that an appraiser is now forced to deal with explaining someone else’s misinformation rather than just providing their own correct information.

      C/L has been so busy with self promotion of their ‘pig in a poke’ RealAVM product(s) they don’t even properly train their data aggregators anymore.

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      • Brian S says:

        My MLS is controlled by a local board and I don’t think that CL has anything to do with county record. That said our systems still have the issues which you discussed, Realtors don’t measure around here, they use the county record and I find errors with it a lot. A report doesn’t go by that I am not explaining the errors.

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  22. Rick Nielson on Facebook Rick Nielson on Facebook says:

    It’s not our data. We take it from one CL platform (MLS), analyze it and put it back into another CL platform. We MAY own the analysis, but at no point did we ever own the data. Reminds me of all the people ready to leave the USA when one president or another gets elected. Never happens and would be foolish anyway.

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    • Dale Bailey on Facebook Dale Bailey on Facebook says:

      Is condition and quality data that is available through other means? That’s great! Trying not to be snarky, but the whole point is Corelogic grabbing at ALL areas of our profession. At some point if it is not abated, they will be the holders of our future. And not that we don’t have enough problems as it is.

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    • Rick nor did CL ever own the data. THEY repackaged it but the data ‘package’ itself was purchased from county recorders and was PUBLIC record data, except where CL “enhanced it” (sometimes accurately but as often as not inaccurately.)

      What IS and WAS “MY” data were the amounts of adjustments that MY professional experience and MY interpretive research determined was a market perception for certain differences in property characteristics. THAT is data that CoreLogic admits they took. I contend their “taking” was outright theft…and its odd they NEVER REFUTED that when it was previously published here and elsewhere.

      The ONLY data that they produce that I “rely” on is the document recording number. The rest is convenience related but its also data that I need to separately verify before it can be trusted. CoreLogic simply makes far too many interpretive or posting mistakes to be blindly trusted to have correctly reported all sale data.

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  23. Dave Biggers MAy have given us ALL support for not only future theft of our work product, but PAST theft of work product claims as well. “Let me be clear however: Any database we build for sharing comps will not be a database for us to use for our own purposes. The data is yours. It isn’t ours. We don’t want to sell it, use it, move it, share it, or do anything else with it other than manage it for you. (We’ll also put in place full controls to prevent others from misappropriating it.)…”

    Somewhere in past articles AB has articles regarding when CoreLogic ADMITTED they analyzed millions or over a million appraisals. I know that because I wrote one of the articles. Its time to raise the question of how Mr. Biggers can know it is wrong to steal an appraisers work product, but CoreLogic did not. Additionally there are at least a million borrowers that are either owed a refund of their appraisal fee OR partial reimbursement for its unauthorized use for purposes OTHER than what the homeowner was told they were paying for.

    Lets read ALL the posts here and come up with a plan of action (FAST!) I already paid for new software. Homeputer was my choice though I’m encountering a teensy bit of difficulty doing the download – which may be MY ignorance. The software owner has been very responsive so far.

    Of the above suggestions I’d wait for Marks (if not already committed – though I have a 30 day refund guarantee) . I will NOT accept the 6 month ‘free’ $49 a month hold-my-data-hostage service at all, nor ANY OTHER CLOUD based storage ‘data management’ systems. That’s the same hurdle alamode put in to discourage others from leaving (which shouldn’t stop them since they are NOT REQUIRED to have the zap file. Only a hard copy of true copy pdf of their report. Print a copy of your online work files AND NEVER AGAIN rely on only online data storage!

    Loved the letter top DOJ – we need MANY more. DOJ AND FTC for the current pending CL violation of past orders. We should urge FTC to broaden their CL / past First American investigations since those are REAL systemic monopolies.

    It is so good to see so many new posts and such helpful suggestions from fellow appraisers. Well done ALL!.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Backing up zaps has always been as easy as temporarily stopping the SQL and following the move to new pc instructions, but rather, then simply dropping to an external drive. It’s like one temporary on off of the SQL utility, than copying a few alamode data files, it could not be easier. That’s why I stayed on Aurora, it’s so simple and easy. Ran a pure silver subscription the entire decade without a problem. Nobody ever needed the vault, it was never a necessary tool for a professional appraiser who understood how to use his own computer.

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  24. Don Clark says:

    I have been with Alamode since 1991. I will continue with my membership with them. I am about 1-2 years from retirement. But, even if I were not, I would still stick with Alamode. All this running around shouting “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” is based on nothing but pure speculation.

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    • Greg Wilkinson says:

      It’s a shame that you haven’t been paying attention. Have you missed that there are systems being put together using your data to reduce the very need for your appraisals? Fannie and Freddie are both using them and this is public knowledge. They are currently using them for 5% of all transactions with an intent to increase that. CoreLogic, whom you are now feeding with your data, is getting ready to do the same. This isn’t some sky if falling issue from 25 years ago. This is real and hard factual information. With all due respect, I would hope that someone with so many years of experience in this business would take a better stock of understanding what exactly is going on to the future of it.

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  25. Nothing but pure speculation? Hardly, but then a lot of us have been following events going on in our profession much more closely than others. I respect your product loyalty and having your own independent opinion but for appraisers – Yes. The sky is and has been falling for some time. From 250,000+- down to around 80,000. I’d say its cause(s) is/are more than pure speculation.

    Two HUGE behind the scenes players (for years) have been First American and CoreLogic. The owners of alamode and ACI respectively. One even has representation as a recently appointed Board of Trustees member with TAF. Don the support is there for those that are ‘very concerned’ to share that concern. Also it may be more a concern for those of us that intend to stay in the business for more than a couple years. CL is also among the most abusive and coercive AMCs in the country that AGA has ever run across aside from RELS (which they also bought out).

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  26. TruthBTold says:

    It’s time for my ALaMode renewal. Instead of the phone call I used to get a few weeks before the actual expiration date, I got an email on the expiration date saying they tried to auto-renew by trying to charge one of my credit cards, which I didn’t request, and it didn’t go thru. I decided to review my products and noticed more corelogic-like shenanigans. My subscription for flood maps is set for 500, I didn’t ask for this. I typically only need to pull flood maps no more than 10 times a year! During this past year, somehow, the settings in my software got changed to automatically add flood maps for each report. None of the properties were in flood zones! I didn’t realize this was happening until I got a call from Alamode saying I exceeded my limit (i think it was around 10-20). Once I realized what was happening, I explained the situation to the rep. and he said he was going to credit me back five or six maps. For the remainder of the year, I have used about three. Today I go into my account and they’re charging me for 500!

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    • You need to send a letter to the FTC about that. AND CFPB. Even though the FTC hearing on CoreLogic/Realtytrac comment period is over (reference the case) and send your info in as a new complaint. Let CoreLogic explain to the feds why they are trying to charge you for services you didn’t order. This is wrong on so many levels its almost hard to see where to begin. PLEASE don’t just accept it blindly as a  “What can I do about it.” hopeless situation. FIGHT BACK!

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        The constant struggle; Please do not keep my information on file. Do not auto renew me! On a related note, you don’t have to pay the sketch integration fee if you’re still using old software, just don’t pay that, let the software run stand alone, then print and import the pdf sketch generated by your software. It’s actually better when it’s not integrated. Still using original Medina and do not pay the integration fee, never have.

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  27. New add in WorkingRE

    http://www.workingre.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/bradford4-19-18-1.html

    Clickforms allows assistants or remote licensees at no additional charge. I dont think thats unlimited, but even so being able to have two signers on one license is better than Corlamode isn’t it?

    Also in same ad-article they offer new users a $250 discount…as opposed to the one the other day from corlamode for what…$49? If I didn’t already have it and had not already downloaded homeputer I’d probably give it serious thought.

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  28. Charlie says:

    I’m totally impressed with CLICKFORMS and their ability to keep their software and services …..the best I’ve ever experienced.

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  29. Isnt it interesting how your appraisal engagement form indicates not to speak with the homeowner about the appraisal costs, when the homeowner is upset about paying $500 this year when they paid $350 or so just a couple years ago, they thinking inflation, when in reality, its the AMC fee the lenders tell their agents to collect. Then the AMC bids the work for lowest fee & fastest turn time, comprimising the borrower to the lowest on the appraiser food chain. Instead of the Homeowner thinking they are getting a better appraiser for the higher fee, they are getting the worst of the worst who could not get an assignment under normal circustances due to their uneducated & unethical incompetent practices yet are getting now lions share of the work by undercutting the seasoned appraisers fees. The AMC benefits by retaining more of the fee, the homeowner is in the dark, no one is allowed to talk about the fee they are collecting vs the fee paid by the borrower. Its the biggest scam perpetuated on the American Public that no one is talking about. If you speak up, your removed from the panel, if you turn in a report hours or a day late, twice and your removed from the panel. Who cares you were stuck in traffic, the borrower wanted a 7pm appraisal, it got dark, had to return to the neighborhood, who cares your car, computer, whatever, broke down, could not access or whatever the excuse that is real, does not matter, the AMC has to look good to their client to continue to receive work, while the Appraiser does one thing derogatory, the AMC looks at others on their panel in the same area and chooses them to replace you. No loyalty, no reasons. All you get is, Order Cancelled, no reasons will not return calls when contacted. Why is the scam AMC the Fox in the Hen House, anyway. It does not have to be this way. Look closer, AMC’s are not mandated for lenders, all they have to do is have a non commissioned person controlling the Appraisals & Appraisers workload, but it is easier to use an AMC is what we are told. This is because they dont have to hire as many underwriters, reviewers, etc, the bank wins. Borrower pays for appraisal, pays inflated price to have a middle man do the banks work, bank saves, middle man thrives, the one doing the most work is the most adversely affected. Is this not a Bank Scam on the American Consumers, or What?? The bank always wins, you put a down payment on a property, if you get behind on payments, they take the house back, but dont give you your down payment back. They resell the hous, make money again & again, and the cycle perpetuates. The bank really, never loses anything, always gains and no wonder they are housed in big tall buildings no one else could afford! Brokers, Ask your lenders if you could use an in house, non commissioned, salary based employee to dole out the appraisals. You now what, you can!! Good bye AMC!! and there are AMC’s that allow agents to select their appraiser because the LO trusts or has a history with one that produces quality work, diligent services that close loans faster without all the errors & mistakes, revisions and time lost by incompetent appraisers coming from hours away because they charge lower fees, can turn the report in a day because no one else will hire them, their one or two reports a week are completed faster. Probably live with Mom & Dad, borrower their car, have no real expenses and cheat or take short cuts to do report in a couple hours when in reality, might take hours to develop and conclude a reliable value supported by comments and research. This industry has gone downhill since the recession. I lost everything, home, wife, retirement savings, my office and 5 appraisers, 2 staff members and a great working environment, to now, work alone(cant afford to hire anyone getting paid 30-45 days after the assignment turned in), work in a girlfriends garage(lost my house, got behind on a rental due to 4 slow months, was evicted) and now rely on someone else to help me. This after my whole life of perfect credit, alway on time with obligations, the recesssion caused by the Financial Industry loan stoppage and when coming back, changed all the rules of engagement, who you can work with now has no loyalty, only fast cheap as they can go to others on their panel in an area), waiting a month or more to get paid a lowly fee that was charged 10-15 yrs ago, not being able to increase the fee on inflation costs. From driving a newer vehicle to now a 12 yr old car, having to borrower when always paid up front, having multiple overdraft charges($3000+ last year), because bills(obligations) need to be paid regardless if pay for work is forthcoming. Being told checks in the mail & wondering 1-2 weeks later where it is, wasted phone calls, frustration, trying to meet 48 hr deadlines, staying up all night, comprimising health and good judgement, decision making, critical reasoning because your tired of making the AMC’s look good to their clients. God for bid you do that, they might lose their income sources, but cutting you off from your income sources, well, thats your problem. The Fox running the Hen house model is so bad, so unjust, so unamerican. This industry is about to implode, the best appraisers are running away so fast, the industry is wondering why the brain drain and now offering no appraisal waivers because there are not enough appraisers. The industry is now offering variable rate loans, again, without considering the consequences of the last recession and what happened with so many home that were given back to the banks. This is a way for the banks to grow richer, the people to grow poorer and Govt wins!! As a 25 yr appraiser in So Calif, the AMC model, the traffic, the high costs of getting around, time & cost to produce a report, time to research, develop and verify with too fast turn times and too low fees stuck in 2000 mode regardless of inflation, has got to meet a detrimental ending and the final days of the industry are presenting themselves. This is not what I signed up for in 1993 & im less independent then I was prior to HVCC & Dodd-Frank regulations. There is more pressure to perform, less fee to survive and turn times are recipe for heart attack. Industry changed, but not in a better way. As to forms, ala mode is out the door and while they answer calls at night faster, if you dont pay their highest fees, you wait till 9-5 when you cant get through. Im switching forms or getting out of the industry, working on other areas to make a living, not be a puppet to the puppet masters who control you, and then want you to shut up and be independent while they pull your strings in the direction they want.

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    • Kathy Hubbard Bright on Facebook Kathy Hubbard Bright on Facebook says:

      Your story spells out all appraisers’ worst fears. Wishing you all the best in your search.

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    • Steven, all you say is spot on (except automatic assumption all AMC appraisers are bad – most are not).

      Steven  give me a call sometime whether you are an AGA member or not. I had to rebuild my business in 2011 and draw Social Security early to keep it all together in the interim. Maybe I can share some ideas or experiences that could be helpful. (714) 366 9404. mike

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    • Diana n says:

      Almost sounds like my story after 47 years in the business.

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    • Jack says:

      Steven, very well said. The changes we have endured (or at least try to endure) are horrific. Horrific is a strong word, but I use that word because it never should have happened or even have been able to progress this far. We were promised oversight as well as consequences for the greedy players willing to break the rules at the expense of our industry and at the expense of the public. Legislators didn’t learn the lesson the first time around yet these people are being allowed to roll the dice again with even worse odds? Wake me when I can work again.

      In the meantime Steven, I hear what you’re saying. It’s really hard but I hope you can find a way to ride this out. I’m not giving up.

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    • Barry Noble says:

      WOW !! Tell it like it is!! I is disgusting. And where are the States Appraisal regulatory offices on this? They are too busy trying, and fining appraisers, for petty mistakes, to offer ANY help the Appraisers who pay the licensing fees to keep them in jobs in their very offices.

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    • lisa says:

      you took the words RIGHT out of my mouth!! I’ve been doing this for 16 years and have NEVER been paid so little! You are DEAD on my friend!

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  30. Bill Hattaway on Facebook Bill Hattaway on Facebook says:

    FYI; if you are employed as staff appraiser with CoreLogic or were previously employed as staff appraiser (myself included), yes, there is a class-action lawsuit against CoreLogic for not paying proper compensation for overtime. Representation is by the same law firm that won against Bank of America for a similar complaint. Also if you’re facing layoff as a staff appraiser by CoreLogic, make sure you don’t sign away your rights to be part of the lawsuit in your severance package. You can find out more at this web site.
    http://www.BryanSchwartzLaw.com

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  31. Jeff says:

    Is anyone else that is still using alamode seeing reports being opened by what is stated as other users on your network. This is very concerning and my report appears to be altered

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  32. TruthBTold says:

    Jeff; yes I have experienced this!

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    • Jeff says:

      Do  you use another appraisal software. Im thinking of trying out Bradford

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      • Matt says:

        SFREP.com is offering Appraise-It for free for six months right now.

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      • Diana N. CREA,CRA,GRI says:

        Jeff I use Homeputer. Small company that’s been in business over 25+ years.  They have all the forms you need and not expensive compared to ACI and Alamode. Check them out.

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        • Vincent says:

          Diana, I just wonder if Andy is starting to surround himself with a younger person that can take the reigns whenever he gets ill or has to retire.  Homeputer is a much simpler much less robust program with little automation.  But  I guess familiarity will help to improve the time it takes to process a report.  I took it for a test drive the other day.  Limited to 40 forms, and I include a lot of photos.  Hope he creates a 6 photo page soon.  But Andy is IT.  I do not know if there is a backstop for him.

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          • Diana N. CREA,CRA,GRI says:

            I sure hope so, I have been using them since automation started, Tried the other “big names” and always went back to Andy. I keep sending him info so he can update his forms as need be.

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            • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

              I still haven’t set my templates up in Homeputer Diana, but I agree Andy is THE most responsive appraisal software provider I ever ran across. Narrative1 was also pretty good but Andy is right on top and he is the man that writes it, so he’s able to offer guidance quickly. Im very impressed with him.

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  33. Jeff says:

    Anyone get a notification from CoreLogic asking to register with the Single Appraiser Experience.

    Looks like a sales gimmick to me

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  34. Philip Meidell says:

    Total keeps crashing. I get banners advertising I buy more Vault and it causes my system to crash. I have called, sent tech requests, all words only responses. I am looking for another software provider. Who likes what and why?

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    • EDD HABEGGER says:

      My choice, after leaving them once (or twice) is SFREP (Software For the Real Estate Professional).  Simplicity is the key.  Works great and easily and tech support is always good….and fortunately is rarely needed.  Been with them since 1992.

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  35. Will Ward says:

    We can complain all day, but without one strong trade union similar to Realtor…. we are just a bunch of grumpy and stubborn appraisers as the external stereotypes suggest.  We need a real union!

    I would sacrifice a few bucks at this point to save a career that I have only been in for 2 years.

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    • Diana N. CREA,CRA,GRI says:

      Will, we do have a union, contact Mike Ford, he’s on this blog. American Guild of Appraisers.

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    • Jeff says:

      The American Guild of Appraisers is our voice and we all need to become members. They are the voice of appraisers. They have helped me tremendously and are truly the one organization that is the appraisers voice.

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    • Will Ward says:

      My apologies, excuse this rook. I will look into it.

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      • Mark J Skapinetz says:

        you can always hit me up too. I’m the head GA rep for the AGA.

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      • Hello Will, I was in the same boat back in 2014. I realized that an appraisers union was needed to deal with the national issues I (then) only suspected existed.

        There was only ONE known appraisers union I was aware of. I won’t dignify them by mentioning their name but they had a lock on government appraiser jobs for one California County (Ventura). Even though I detested this union for its reputation and then current political views and other non professional efforts I still tried to contact them. They never responded. Not at the County level; state level or national level. Truth is they are only interested in members whose paychecks can be directly debited for dues payments. I always figured if a union can’t convince me of their worthiness I am NOT giving them direct access to my paycheck! BTW – despite looking for a union my past union experiences did not leave me favorably disposed to them.

        Until I found the American Guild of Appraisers of #44, OPEIU AFL-CIO. Jan Bellas and our President convinced me AGA is the only viable national solution.

        If you or anyone else ever have any appraiser union questions you can call me direct (after 10AM PST) at (714) 366 9404. It’s my direct number. Feel free to call up to 10 or 11 and in an emergency even later if need be. Seven days a week.

        Mike Ford,
        Chairman, National Appraiser Peer Review Committee
        Vice President, Special Projects
        American Guild of Appraisers
        #44 OPEIU, AFL-CIO

        OR email Jan at JanBellas@appraisersguild.org

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  36. Will – a “PS”

    If you are also the Berkshire Hathaway agent Will Ward over on Redondo Ave in Long Beach we are in the same city. (or one of them).

    My home and home-office is in Long Beach. My physical office is in Beverly Hills. I can meet you for coffee any time you’d like, and am also willing to conduct appraisal familiarization sessions at no charge for your brokerage.

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  37. Philip Meidell says:

    working on Total, updates waiting to be installed later, banner advertising more space for Vault caused a total freeze and crash. Force a closure using task manager, desktop reboot, Total required updates be done in re-start, second desktop reboot, attempting to open Total after updates and reboot took 3 attempts before Total would open. Total lost time, 55 min. Sales banner for Vault started this series of unfortunate events. Multiple requests to Total requesting a call from a manager gone unanswered.

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  38. Josh says:

    Does anyone know what company Mark Skapinetz was referring to and if the company ever went live or if it’s still in beta.  Need to choose a new provider here in the next few months when my alamode subscription runs out.

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  39. Beth says:

    I have had CF for 15 years. Tried ACI a few times with collaborative large projects. I have been with Total for 3 years.

    CF – simple and few bells and whistles. Cannot separate screens. No look at the comps in one page

    ACI – annoying. partial views.

    Total – few software issues like CF. Most bells and whistles. They do charge extra for my Apex which is stupid. Price is okay. Search feature superior.

    My job is all about quickness. I like Total bc I am quick.

    The scammers are not software it is the low life AMC who will make my blood boil in 1 second. I am a relaxed person by the thought of these is makes a body function response.

    Other Scammers=encompass (paid them  a ton last year to upload reports) and appraisalport and all those stupid appraisal upload fees….why not work on fixing these two things….

    CoreLogic is looking for more profit. Could be worse….it is a company full of lawyers. I like the disclosure to retain my data rights. I am sure they have their own…..

    Lets create a universal AMC……that is run by appraisers and has no upload fees and flat 50 for the order to the appraisal run AMC company.

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  40. Ex appraiser says:

    I got an email from corelogic, saying they are going to bill me despite my cancelling ala mode appraisal software. Here is the email I sent them:

    FNC Billing
    8:58 AM (0 minutes ago)
    to fncsupport

    Dear Appraisal Port:

    I used your product once or twice. I found it to be inadequate as a business tool, and stopped using it; I refuse to use it to deliver appraisal reports after finding it was insecure and could be manipulated by your personnel; these people are not a party to my appraisal reports, and I want you to take me off your mailing list, and never contact me again.

    You and your ilk have degraded our profession and I will have nothing to do with you or your product, so don’t threaten me with billing.

    I will notify my bank to not honor any renewal of your product. Don’t try to debit my account or bill me again.

    I despise you and your company, and your company has done nothing to assist appraisers in delivering reports.

    We are the owners of our reports, not you; you have no right to have any role in the delivery of our work.

    If you don’t cease and desist from contacting me I will consider this harassment and will continue to spread the word to other appraisers that they refuse to use your product.

    We don’t need your input into our appraisal reports.

    Go away.

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    • Barry Noble says:

      If this is true it is disgusting. NUF sed!

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    • The context of the billing is important. Was it Corelamode Appraisalport trying to bill you or is it alamode? IF it is the former, then I’d write a letter to ASC and complain that the GSE’s vendor (appraisalport) is acting unethically and possibly illegally.

      I’ve never heard of separate licensing or regulation of the services REQUIRED to be used by FNMA and GSEs in order to deliver reports to UCDP. Seems to me that the GSEs regulators should have something to say about that.

      Could this be construed as some form of banking wire fraud?

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Appraisers Ditch a la mode

by AppraisersBlogs time to read: 6 min