PS – Never Quit!
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Here we are over 3 and a half years after the article titled “I Do Not Quit, Not Ever!“. No one has quit yet.
AGA™ is now a tax-exempt 501(c)(6). We have successfully renegotiated our affiliation agreement with OPEIU and AFL-CIO. The articles of incorporation revised our previous articles of association. In the past two years Jan Bellas and the National Appraiser Peer Review Committee have helped in excess of 185 appraisers get off blacklists; be reinstated with lenders and assisted those wrongfully accused in defending themselves before state regulatory agencies. Anyone that’s dealt with Jan Bellas KNOWS she doesn’t quit!
AGA was also active behind the scenes in my own case against the California BREA. There is no other way to put it except to state they were humiliated on a daily basis for five days. The judge noted our side testimony was credible. She did not say that about the other side. BREA Director attempted (actually did reject) the Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation; an almost unheard-of event and tried to continue coercion to get us to sign a consent agreement all the while knowing we had won – definitively. We declined and let it be known the next step would be a superior court and a repeated humiliation of the state there. We did not quit.
BREA, on the other hand, changed their policy (and law) from “California employees that are appraisers shall not do any appraisal or appraisal review work except in conjunction with their official duties” to “California employees that are appraisers shall not do any appraisal or appraisal review work” Changed 12/31/2018 effective January 1, 2019.
I suspect the State Legislators never saw that change. BREA came right out and finally admitted what we knew all along. That they do not perform USPAP SR3 / SR4 compliant appraisal reviews of work they are seeking enforcement action over. In fact, they do NO appraisal review work at all. None. Despite retaining the titles and pay grades of “Senior Real Property Appraiser / Investigators.” When time permits the State Auditor will be asked to look into this one.
Early on AGA wrote numerous articles and letters to various federal regulatory agencies about PACE PRO, the blatant fraud inducing forerunner of the currently hyped bifurcated appraisal fraud & bad appraisal practice inducing products. ASC was also involved. Pace Pro as it was originally designed disappeared.
Before last April, CoreLogic announced to all panel appraisers for Bank of America that they were not to inquire about, photograph or investigate or opine about legality of marijuana grow operations observed in residential housing they inspect. AGA wrote ASC who in turn referred the issue to OCC. OCC contacted CoreLogic and B of A. Shortly after OCC notified AGA the matter had been resolved, and a week later CoreLogic posted a new message to appraisers admonishing them to follow USPAP; and FEDERAL, state and local laws.
IN 2015 AGA joined with TAF and ASA; along with the California Coalition of Appraisal Professionals in opposing AB 624 that would have created alternative standards in appraisals for evaluations. We lost. That’s right. Despite all our efforts we lost. AI won the day and AB 624 was passed. We did not quit.
Within a few days of learning this, OPEIU (our ‘parent’ union) reached out to California Labor and the Bill was buried in Appropriations where it expired.
From 2015 to the present we have engaged at many levels from federal to state; and via professional peer associations to promote the interests of our members, and other appraisers at large.
Our current AGA™ National Guild President; Mr. Mark Skapinetz of Georgia essentially single-handedly took down the self-proclaimed originator of national one size fits all AMC/Lender price-fixing. Several articles have been written in AB over the intervening years from 2015 to the present about that company.
Primarily because of Mark’s efforts, Coester VMS no longer exists except as a bad memory. At great personal expense and despite extreme pressure against him to give up, Mark didn’t. Ultimately he prevailed in a long drawn out series of court battles. Friends and foes alike tried to get Mark to quit. He’s not built that way. He does not quit either.
Mark was also instrumental in creating and co-organizing the never had one before event or “Appraiser Happening” in San Antonio called Appraiserfest; along with two other nationally renowned appraisers Phil Crawford (Voice of Appraisal) and Lori Noble of The Network. Despite hardships, none of them quit either. They put on one of the most remarkable appraisal educational and peer networking events in appraisal history.
When AGA™ President Leo Regensburger resigned, we wanted someone able to face personal pressure and adversity & who understood first hand what issues regular appraisers face every day.
After all, we are a union, and executive leadership generally have targets painted on their backs from AMCs, possibly REVAA, some lenders and a host of self-serving interests that include designated appraiser owned national puppy mill type appraiser shops. We wanted someone who does not quit in the face of adversity. Someone willing to work very long hours, for free. Someone willing to accept very few “thank you’s”.
To the Executive Leadership Panel which included the outgoing President, Mark was the logical choice. Mark reenergized us all. He’s relentless in pursuit of improving the appraiser’s professional lives. He doesn’t quit.
I am proud to call Mark “friend” as well as a colleague.
I could go on for many, many more paragraphs citing large and small AGA™achievements, but it’s not necessary. I ran across this old article that asked a valid question going back to my earliest days as a Guild Member. An update seemed most appropriate.
Retired Appraiser is still around goading us to greater efforts (though he believes his goads are in a different direction altogether); Desiree is still the best podium appraisers can have for getting their issues before other appraisers; the public, many government agencies and a host of other ‘stakeholders’. Baggs and Bubba Jay have become online friends and never-ending sources of information.
AGA™ regularly works with other groups from around the country, including others that have never quit. Such as Pat Turner of VaCAP, Marion Rhodes a quiet, behind the scenes researcher and information magnet; several employees of a few State regulatory agencies, and many hundreds of others that cannot be named due to space and respect for their privacy.
Only the anonymous ‘appraiser morons’ has disappeared. I think he quit.
Which seems wholly appropriate to me. Appraisers are fighting back. All over the country. Through professional associations; through state coalitions, through NAR, through consumer outreach and yes, through the American Guild of Appraisers, #44, OPEIU, AFL-CIO. (Did I mention we never quit?) contact Jan Bellas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to all those that were open minded enough to hear us out. Who were not afraid of the word ‘union’. We said we were a new kind of union. I believe our actions demonstrate it.
Chairman, National Appraiser Peer Review Committee
V.P. Special Projects
American Guild of Appraisers, #44, AGA™
PS – Never quit!