Slow Pay AMCs

Dave Towne

Dave Towne

Certified Residential RE Appraiser at Towne Appraisals
AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003.
Dave Towne on e-AppraisersDirectory.com
Dave Towne

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Slow Pay AMCs and Ponzi Scheme Payment Process

Slow pay reputation AMCs and Ponzi scheme payment process…

Folks,

Through several of the ‘media sources’ I read recently, I’ve learned that “a particular AMC” based on the west coast has a slow pay reputation.

As so often happens with low echelon AMCs with few clients, when business slows down, their payment process becomes a Ponzi scheme. Ultimately they go out of business.

I currently have an outstanding report with that AMC, but the payment due date to me is March 7. So I’m respectfully withholding their name publicly from others, until and unless they don’t pay me on time.

Over past years I’ve written about how appraisers MUST keep close track of their submitted reports and payments due for them. Too many appraisers get busy and neglect to monitor their Accounts Payable for their business.

Even more sickening is appraisers who continue to accept assignments from slow pay (or no pay) AMCs, only to realize months and thousands of unpaid dollars later that getting paid may be problematic – or impossible in a worst-case situation where the AMC goes out of business with no notice.

Since seeing the various notices about “a particular AMC”, I sent the following notice to THREE of their company email addresses.

Our state has an AMC licensing law which facilitates this process easier than for those of you in states without such laws. But the type of message I wrote is something you can use to ‘knock ’em upside the head’ with your clipboard (or tablet if you are mobile!). ”Borrow” it if you like:

To whom it may concern at XYZ AMC – accounts payable:

I carefully monitor what’s happening in ‘appraisal world’ and I’m learning from many appraisers in various sources in the US that your company has delayed payments to appraisers after reports have been submitted.

WA State has a 45 day payment requirement “after completion of the assignment.” I have a report initially submitted to XYZ AMC on Jan. 13, with a subsequent correction done and re-submittal on 1/20. (Weekend days count.)

Due to the ambiguity of our law, I give XYZ AMC the benefit of the doubt to use 1/20/17 as the ‘completion date.’ That means we are now at 30 days, as of today, Feb. 20.

Therefore you are hereby instructed that the payment is DUE TO ME on/before March 7, 2017…not mailed that day.

You are hereby put on notice that if the payment does not arrive in my mailbox on/before 3/07/17, I will then take steps to submit a formal complaint with the AMC licensing/registration agency within our Department of Licensing. The intent will be to file a formal request with your bonding company to pay for the report fee. This message is copied to that DoL agency as a BCC.

Furthermore, if payment is not received properly, steps will be taken to warn other appraisers, both here in WA State, and around the US that XYZ AMC should not be trusted as a client.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and to comply with our AMC licensing law.

Image credit flickr - Daniel Oines
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on e-AppraisersDirectory.com

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102 Responses

  1. Tom C says:

    I’m guessing it’s Coester. Appraisers through social media are reporting that they are 4 to 5 months late. Several appraisers have filed complaints with their real estate appraisal boards.

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    • JC says:

      GOT Appraisals is another slow pay AMC. Some appraisers are still waiting to get paid for work going back to October!

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      • Bob says:

        I finally received my $100 for a final inspection. Effective date of 9/12/2016; paid 2/23/2017!! They just sent me another appraisal request!! LOL. I told them to go pound sand!!

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        • Diana N. says:

          Hey Bob, good for you, at least you got your $100, I never got paid for a final inspection I did last year. Worst part, you can’t write off these losses on your taxes. My Acct. told me, tough s–t if you went out of pocket plus time, etc. You still can’t write it off if you get stiffed.

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        • D23 says:

          Bob, did they pay that on their own or was it a result of you continuing to call/email them about the payment? I have a full and a final for them that are over 90 days old now and I haven’t been able to get any responses or reach anyone when I call/email. It’s a reminder of why I’m very hesitant to ever accept orders from a new AMC. Glad you finally got paid!

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          • Bob says:

            I finally got paid when they needed me to accept an order! They still send me orders, but I quote high and tell them I must be paid in advance! LOL. You might need to file a complaint with your state and then cc them on it. Good luck!!

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    • Jason says:

      After everything we now know, why would anyone work with Brian Coester and his “House of Lies” company? I feel sorry for those appraisers that are owed money and still working for this crook.

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  2. James says:

    The article states West Coast so I’m guessing it’s GOT

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  3. Steve says:

    If an AMC waits to receive payment from their customer before paying you, stay away.  They will eventually and surely run out of money.

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  4. Boonie A, MD says:

    We can be sure the appraisal industry loves to bring up Brian Coester in every single article. Not sure why everyone is given this guy so much relevance. I have done appraisals for them and never had an issue with payment or fee’s. They call me for status an annoying amount of times but not any better or any worse then the other AMC trolls. Not defending them just seems that everyone has a crush on the man.

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    • John - Maryland says:

      Bonnie, Coester pays $350 max in Maryland. That’s not C&R fees. It should be $450. You say you’ve never had an issue with Coester fees. How much are you getting from them? I fired them after I learned how messed up of an AMC they are.

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      Boonie, have you ever read his website? he claims to (and may well have) championed the national one size fits all Bank to AMC appraisal fee.

      His reputation is not considered by most posters here to be very good. Accusations abound about him. Everything from writing bad checks, to improper blacklisting and operating without a license, to low fees and even allegedly tampering with an appraisers email account.

      Just as I would have nothing to do with Wells Fargo in any capacity after their recent publicized fraud, I would tend to be pretty selective about working for any AMC.

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    • Bubba Sparxx says:

      Dear ‘Boonie’ aka Brian Coeseter, It is no just the blogs , media sites etc. It is also the regulators, govt agencies, etc. Taking over 1/2 year to pay & relentlessly contacting vendors for updates & offering less that R & C ($350-$450) for a ‘full” URAR is exactly the reasons for the extended & well deserved “crush’ that many wish to exert on the C VMS model whcih several other firms have implemented. Our MLS, Software, & Insurance carriers surely will not accept anything less than timely payments. It’s all we ask. Best Wishes B C aka “Boonie’

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    • Annie Carroll says:

      Coester is a horrible AMC – their accounting department has been saying the check is in the mail since March on an FHA appraisal we completed for them.  I personally think this is ridiculous. Brian himself sent me a response that this would be taken care of immediately that was over 2 weeks ago. If you are getting paid good for you. OTHERS BEWARE.

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      • Kim Jones says:

        Amen to that.  We were paid over $1,500.00 from CoesterVMS only to have them decline the checks and we had to pay the bank fee.  To date they won’t pay on these checks.

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        • I’d send copies of all the bum checks to the state AND to the lending client letting them know that you are holding them accountable for payment of the services ordered by their agent.

          Then I’d send a copy or separate complaint to ASC and ask that they forward to the appropriate lender regulatory agency on the basis that there is clearly a problem with the LENDERS paying their agent timely, OR in the lender’s judgment in who they select to assure USPAP compliance and professional appraisal reports.

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    • Mike says:

      They know  how to play the game on not paying. I finally got paid using a collection agency and paying 25% of the fee. Something is better than nothing! Will never do business with them again.

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  5. Diana N. says:

    Lets never forget ES Appraisal Services and the hundreds of appraisers across the country that they left hanging.  I won’t, and I am very cautious about who I do business with.

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  6. I’ve been warning appraisers for many years to simply decline work from AMC’s, and, transactional assignments, with some exceptions, if possible. There is no upside benefit. Only a fight to the bottom. In the past, appraisers have been left holding the bag, lucky to receive 10 cents per dollar owed, once the AMC’s go bankrupt. And, it is important to not have more than 5-10% of your billings with any one client in order to minimize the severity of the financial loss when this happens. Telling an AMC to pay by March 7 means nothing to them or to bankruptcy court. You will get leftovers after the secured creditors are paid-off, which will be many months or years down the road. An appraiser is simply an unsecured creditor with no leverage whatsoever. There is no agency or organization coming to our rescue. Unfortunately, it is probably time to write off the loss and move-on. And, name the AMC’s who don’t pay. A blacklist is necessary, just as the lenders, AMC’s and GSE’s maintain a list of appraisers not to use.

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    • Diana N. says:

      Leftovers if you are lucky. ES had nothing, or so it seems, probably all $$ in the Cayman Islands and the lions share of the work was for Chase who refused to make good for it, even after being sued. I agree with Craig, think appraisers should have their own blacklist and share it.

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      • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

        That is precisely what these AMCs are doing: Hiding the money, taking bankruptcy, and moving on to the next big con scheme.  Let’s not forget that many AMCs were once shady mortgage companies that morphed into AMCs when the money dried up in mortgage work.  Novastar comes to mind as one of the first to pull this morph to AMC then declare bankruptcy scheme.

        Ah…to have a whistle blower exposing the money trail of these guys.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        The son of the Alamode company creator had created just that, a master list and website where appraisers could publicly and anonymously communicate about amc’s and their dirty deeds, even rating them. It was called Appraisal Advisor and it saved many appraisers thousands of dollars in real time updates as amc’s went under. Daddy Bigguns put a stop to that and sold us all down the river, and then sold Mercury down the line.

        Most appraisers are unaware that the same companies that send orders through to amc’s otherwise would assign the orders direct if only appraisers presented, solicited, and were aligned with varied distribution platforms. So it’s not time to throw Mercury in the trash can just yet, and after a mere decade of waiting they finally have a sparse few appraiser orientated tools available for somewhat effective individualized client management.

        How to gain direct clients: Assimilate names and contacts; Solicit directly, rinse, repeat. It’s so easy a caveman could do it. I remain mystified that appraisers don’t understand such basic concepts of created and supported market demand.

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  7. Wayne says:

    Honestly…this is just too funny for words! An AMC is a parasite company sucking their profits from appraisers willing to work with them. Is it really possible that these leaches do not know the licensing laws in the states they operate in? Are we supposed to hit our knees and beg this scum to pay their contracted fees? Our company has not prepared an appraisal for an AMC in years! However we get at least 4 – 5 email requests each week from these crap companies. It is a personal decision for each of us as to whether or not we will work for them. I choose NOT….and wish all of you the best in trying to collect! “if payment is not received properly, steps will be taken to warn other appraisers,” GEE….Wally I bet that will scare the poo out of them! No Beaver, these AMCs think appraisers are a joke and I suppose we really are! This is the type of advice we are offered from “educators” in our industry! Really? (education that sucks a watermelon thru a garden hose!) These educators should learn a bit before they “attempt to train others” They should be ashamed!

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  8. Wayne Courtney says:

    We have these “gurus” in our group that want to “teach” us! They call themselves educators! Some call themselves a coach! Somehow these folks seem to know it all! First, lets check to see if they have a general certification? Do they have any recognized designation? I think some of these are snake oil salesmen! Most are as full as a Christmas Turkey! Really, we as a group should put a stop to these duds playing as if they have a clue as to what is happening. Makes me want to puke! I could name many of them…wanting to coach us, wanting to put on an Expo, etc, etc…just too much crap for one sop! Some call themselves “educators” what a crock!

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  9. Baggins Baggins says:

    At least 9 out of 10 amc’s either outright ignore fee studies or blatantly violate law by disregarding them. An amc lady told me the other day that because they were not approved with the VA, they had no information and no access to information regarding VA standard fees in any areas. Almost no amc penalties ever came forth and nobody every tackled the junk fee rule with truthful information about the constantly variable fee rakes which have been going on for over a decade.

    This just in! Breaking news! FNMA looted to pay for obamacare. Brought to you by the same investigators whom solidified the HSBC fraud penalties. This is real. So I guess this means; Appraisers also shouldered the bill for obamacare, genius!

    Obama Robbed Private Investors to Fund Obamacare

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  10. Apologies for posting here-Webinar is tomorrow – I just learned of it. FREE HousingWire Webinar — Wednesday, March 1

    I was originally mildly annoyed with my favorite National Membership Coordinator for sending me a link without telling me what it’s about.

    This is for a webinar registration that features a cast of characters that alone makes it worth attending or watching.

    It’s titled “What’s Going to Happen to Appraisers in 2017”. It’s to be moderated by Jacob Gaffney, editor of Housing Wire.

    Usually I’m pretty careful about who I give an opportunity to pollute my mind but this cast of characters includes a truly noteworthy Rogues Gallery. Their bios are interesting.

    “Brian Coester, CEO, Coester VMS “For nearly a decade, Coester has immersed himself not only in the appraisal industry but in the mortgage industry as a whole. As a certified appraiser, he has a firm understanding of what is important in a valuation and how it affects the industry.”

    Alan Hummel, Chief Appraiser First American Mortgage Solutions (Anyone remember the folks that bought ACI or developed PACE PRO?) Now for the good part:

    “Alan is a past national president of the Appraisal Institute and is also a representative member on the Appraisal Subcommittee Advisory Committee (ASCAC).

    Zachary Dawson, Director Collateral Strategy & Policy. FannieMae “Responsible for Fannie Mae’s Single Family collateral strategy as a whole, covering both Selling Guide policy and use of collateral technology tools including Collateral Underwriter®. He also oversees the Appraiser Quality Monitoring initiative, collateral analytics & reporting, and other strategic appraisal initiatives”

    I’m deliberately leaving the fourth off because I have no knowledge of them other than info that speaker is a reported partner in a multi county Florida appraisal firm owned by MAIs, and that he is a former Florida State Regulator.

    Seeing who the featured speakers are helps us to better understand why the state of our profession is what it is today.

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  11. jack connor says:

    Guys pay attention. AMCs are putting appraisers on staff working for AMC. Clear violation of separation

    Don’t tell me amc can’t pressure salaried people.

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  12. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    Jack, Virginia (last I heard) was taking specific steps to prohibit this. Having said that, I’ve never heard of any restriction on AMC using staff appraisers. You and I see an obvious conflict of interest and independence, but Im sure AMCs defend practice by saying it is no different than a lender using their staff appraisers with a firewall in place between commission loan origination and administrative production. It may well depend on what state you are in.

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  13. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    Hey Dave! Did they pay you yet?

    Time to name and shame.

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  14. Dave Towne says:

    I have been ‘promised’ the check is in the mail. Technically today the 7th is my cut-off date before formal complaints and public shaming will occur. But I might let it go until mail comes tomorrow – only because they said they were mailing $$ on Monday.

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  15. Dave Towne says:

    By the way folks following this post:  I keep very close tabs on my Accounts Receivable.  This one late payment from an AMC is the ONLY one I have now (for 1 report), or have had in the past.

    All appraisers need to monitor their AR status at least weekly, and refuse any new assignments from any client with outstanding fee payments.

    Don’t get caught with knickers around your ankles like some appraisers who worked for WCCI last year and got burned to the tune of thousands of dollars when they closed up shop with very short notice.

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    • Wayne Courtney says:

      Gee Dave…are you new at this? Just a note: all one-time clients pay in advance. All attornies pay a retainer in advance. Large, Regional and local banks pay in 30 days. NO AMCs accepted. Really…no AMCs accepted at all!  Teach US please!!!

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    • DianaN says:

      And lets not forget ES, hate to keep bringing them up, but they were the baddest of the bad and appraisers should have learned a lesson from them, I sure as hell did.

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  16. Diana N. says:

    I am waiting for payment now from an AMC, it’s over 60 days. CT has a 45 day policy for AMC’s. I’ll keep you posted. But the courts and attorneys are worse, I have waited over 6 mos to be paid for foreclosure work.

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  17. Mike Ford, AGA CA AG GAA RAA Realtor(r) Mike Ford, AGA CA AG GAA RAA Realtor(r) says:

    Hi Diana, while I espouse a zero tolerance policy on payments, IF you want to keep that client its probably best to send them a polite reminder. “Is there a reason you are withholding payment on such and such invoice?” If so then please let me know what it is. If not, please comply with the state payment requirement of 45 days. (Insert regulation reference or copy here).

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    • DianaN says:

      Hi Mike, I did and reminded them that CT has a 45 day pay. The response and apology that I got was that they were behind on their payments and “the check would be forthcoming in a few days”. Shades of ES. This company has been pretty good with payments and I don’t get a lot of work from them but I hope I don’t get burned again like I did with ES. I’m getting to old for this BS. 🙂

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  18. Michael says:

    BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!

    AMC PAYS ITS APPRAISERS BEFORE THEY GET PAID FROM THEIR VENDORS!

    As the Accounts Payables person and Compliance Officer for our AMC (Core Valuation Management, Inc.), I can tell you that the only reason an appraiser does not get paid is because they have not submitted their W-9 to us. We pride ourselves on paying our appraisers within 10 days or less after report submission. Our company was founded by seasoned appraisers who understand all this profession entails. We have two Certified Appraisers on staff conducting reviews prior to lender submission and this should be a requirement for other AMC’s as well . We have even gone out and obtained a large line of credit in case of emergency so we can continue to pay our obligations to our appraisers. We have had NO claims in our 6+ years for non or late payment to appraisers. These other AMC’s that continue to slow or no pay people for services provided is shameful. I know you loathe the idea of us (AMC’s) but some companies actually manage their finances correctly, treat appraisers with respect and are in this for the long haul.

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  19. BenT says:

    I would like to advise all appraisers out in Southern CA, not to do business or accept any orders from Got Appraisals. I am owed fees for 5 reports total since Feb and April 2017. At least 2-3 people at this company has always said, “you are setup for payment on so and so date”; after 30-45 days later I have yet to see any payments for the 5 reports that I am owed. Now I am still waiting and it’s Sept 2017. People from this company will continue to lie to you. I am hoping they order another appraisal from me soon so I can hold that report hostage until all invoices are paid in full before I will submit that report to them. Apparently I am not a lone victim of Got Appraisals since reading theses blogs.

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    • Bob says:

      Yes, run like hell from GOT Appraisals!!! It took me 4 months to get $75! When they finally sent it to me they ordered a full appraisal the next day. My reply, “For you guys? Send me $2,000 for a retainer and I will work off of that. I schedule once payment is received.” Crickets.

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  20. The only question I have is WHY these people are not getting turned in to BREA for non payment or a claim against their bond.

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  21. Unfortunately, this issue could be a precursor and a dire warning of what lies ahead.
    Why do I say this?
    PIW primarily.
    Reduced loan volume secondarily.
    All or most AMC’s will likely become marginalized at some point in near future if not already;
    One-by-one various AMC’s will fail as the GSE’s PIW’s increase, combined with an overall decline in mortgage originations.
    Appraisers will be left holding the bag. Don’t be one of them. Watch receivables closely.
    Automation of this process and the elimination of labor is considered progress due to a reduction of costs and turn-times, without adding a statistically measurable risk factor.
    For some reason appraisers have been under the mistaken belief for years that they can’t be replaced. The time has come.
    The first clue will be “slow pay” by AMC’s.
    The next clue will be “no pay” by AMC’s, followed by a letter describing the bankruptcy proceedings and your rights as an unsecured creditor. If lucky, may get 10-25 cents per dollar owed.
    Knowing this, one can’t rely on any one client or AMC for more than maybe 10% of one’s “on-credit” business, or, be willing to suffer the consequences. COD’s may be in order.
    This has happened before but for different reasons. This time will be more permanent in nature. Like what happened to Travel Agents, for example. Here one day, gone the next.
    Help is not coming.
    The BREA or other licensing agencies won’t step in to be your bill collector. Maybe rescind an AMC’s license.
    Craig Gilbert, SRA, CRP, SCREA

    CRAIG GILBERT APPRAISALS
    Certified General Appraiser/State Lic. #AG004777

    Professional Appraiser for 42 years (1975)
    Court Appointed 730 Expert – California Superior Court
    Litigation Support and Forensic Consultant
    Designated Expert Witness in State and Federal Courts
    Testified as Expert Witness in California, Nevada and Texas
    Estates, Trusts, Divorce, Tax Basis, Bankruptcy, Partition Sale, Price to Sell, Date of Death, Property Tax Appeal, Relocation, Fractional Minority Interests, Partition Sale, Buyout
    Fraud Investigation, Retrospective, Review, Loss Mitigation, Finance, Eminent Domain
    Apartments, Industrial, Office, Retail, Land, Subdivisions, Mobile Home Parks, Special Purpose, Proposed Construction
    Residential – SFR’s, Condos, PUD’s – From Simple to Complex and Luxury to $20 million
    Full and Partial Interests – Leasehold & Leased Fee Interests, Partnership Interests
    Clientele include Law Firms, Attorneys, Trusts, Estates, Financial Planners, GSE’s, Financial Institutions, Private Individuals, Fortune 500 Companies
    Member of the Appraisal Institute – SRA Designation since 1980
    Member of Worldwide Employee Relocation Council – CRP Designation; Relocation Trained
    Founding Member – Relocation Appraisers and Consultants (RAC) 1990
    Member – Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA) – Secretary Orange County Chapter 2017
    Member – Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
    Broker/Realtor member – National Association of Realtors (NAR) –  California Association of Realtors (CAR) – Orange County Association of Realtors (OCAR)
    MLS Committee Member 2017, 2016, 2015 (OCAR)
    2016 – Winner of National Report Writing Contest sponsored by Worldwide ERC and RAC
    Meritorious Service Award 2015 – Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (WERC)
    President’s Award 2011 – Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (WERC)
    Former President – Society of Real Estate Appraisers – Orange County CA Chapter
    Former Chief Appraiser – Keystone Savings, Household Bank and San Marino Savings
    R.E. Broker since 1984 (State Lic. #00912439)
    B.A. Business Administration – Finance & Marketing – CSUF 1976
    Office: 714-847-8087  Mobile: 714-356-0000

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    • Good advice Craig. I’m seeing similar hand writing on wall. Special Report by ValuationReport ezine quoted FNMA rep as saying loss of appraisal work should only be about 4 appraisals per year per appraiser, but they didn’t say what that number was based on. Was it calculated on 80,000 appraisers? 76,000? Either way its still a lot of work (304k to 320k assignments a year).

      Since about half of appraisers are commercial, then the numbers could be twice the per capita I ask about above. Again, still not a huge dent  but it could be a few thousand dollars a year per affected appraiser.

      Some firms are also setting themselves up to be national desk top or hybrid broker BPO/appraiser type firms.

      Lastly, I can see a scenario where FNMA could go to all big data hybrids. My GSE loan work is near zero by choice right now. I’ll stay on the HUD list and may join a VA panel if there are openings but frankly I just don’t want anything to do with FNMA or Freddie anymore…or anyone that thinks their processes are reasonable.

      SFR work is more of a filler to cover overhead or augment cash flow while commercial jobs are pending. So far I get enough of that for estate or forensic work to not need GSE work now.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Somewhere I heard that less than half of the licensed appraisers participate in mortgage lending origination.  Double the figure.  Any way you slice it, the appraiser takes another substantial hit.  It’s not just the reduction, it’s the loss of simple bread and butter work which comprises an important portion of the over all work load.  If everything coming through is high risk, high dollar, the fees just went up.  As usual with government intervention, they ‘fix’ one problem, and create two more.  The future generation of appraisers, if they do not have simple work to cut their teeth on, will be more challenged than ever.  These changes are likely to result in a much higher cost to consumers over all than they may save the select few who take waivers.  Our prices are low because of volume.  Cut the volume, double the price.  They could have saved consumers more money and improved the standing of the appraiser populace but instead they chose to do the opposite.  Typical big government, one hand can not see what the other is doing.  I’m anticipating a straight 20% or more volume drop.

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  22. Thomas Giraldin says:

    PCA Appraisal Manager

    1547 Palos Verdes Mall, # 116
    Walnut Creek, CA 94597
    925.944.4848 office
    925.407.2766 facsimile
    855.897.4808 toll free

    I did an appraisal for this company on 6-5-2017, they agreed to my fee of $450. Thew have only paid $350, (In Aug) and told me I’m at the bottom of the list and he has more important things to do and it is my tough luck.. I have repeatably called and to not get a call back. Their State Registration # is 1265, for CA

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    • Thomas, file a WRITTEN complaint with BREA. They don’t normally get involved in payment disputes BUT if an AMC agreed to a specific fee and then did not pay it, they may. They also aren’t fond of arrogance on the part of vendors or AMCs and it may just catch their eye.

      They have written complaint forms accessible on their website. Download and fill out. Good luck! At a minimum inquire about procedure for filing claim against AMCs state bond…and actually do it (file claim).

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    • livo torlai says:

      I believe they have owed us over 1K for quite some time. Now the website is down. Yikes

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  23. Gregory L Matson says:

    I’m Certified, 38 years in the business. I’m now down to two AMC’s who actually pay. I’m filing small claims against “GOT APPRAISAL” (should be “GOT APPRAISERS”) today. I’m out $1700 in invoices from last year. They always paid slow so let it go too long. Now their nowhere to be found. To me its just plain stealing! This is likely to be my last year. No more payments for E&O, Appraisal software+, MLS fees, Assoc. member fees, sloughing through mud and dog crap, No shows, low fees and my government that really made this mess and let the big boys clean out the cupboard while bailing them out at our expense. Shame on all of them! LITERALLY “UP A CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE” photo below

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  24. This trend can only worsen going forward. There is no logical economic reason for a reversal that I am aware of. Mortgage assignments will continue to decline. AMCs like appraisers are becoming marginalized by the GSEs PIWs /automation. There is excess capacity / labor. No one AMC should represent more than 10% of one’s business. Drop slow-pays immediately. Many will eventually go bankrupt or out of business, leaving appraisers holding the bag. Better yet, drop all AMCS or at least most AMCs as client. My prognosis it that one-by-one they will be disappearing. The really big ones may have staying power. The ones who can really put the screws to the appraisers (low fees).

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  25. Justin Douglas Sellers says:

    Any one ever heard of “VESTA VALUATION” ? They ordered around 6 reports from me with the guise that they were working for FNMA and they left me stiff with $2250 worth of fees and when I called they wouldn’t answer and when they did answer some lady said they had accounting problems and they would give me a “number” and deal with me in the future. I found out within that week that VESTA VALUATION went bankrupt and left some appraisers high and dry. I felt HORRIBLE until I received court records that my fees were nothing compared to some guys who were stiffed for over 20 grand….I think that’s their fault for letting it get to that point…BUT…why do we concede to these shysters? I don’t get it. The AMC is a FAILED MODEL!!!!

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  26. Edith says:

    Appraisers, do not work with Valuation Concepts, LLC. Supposedly operating out of Woodland Hills, CA. Office address is a front. They have an answering “service” and never return calls to the appraisers that they owe money to. The “owner” of this AMC takes money from the borrower upfront and does not pay appraisers for their appraisals. There are about 7 or 8 of us that are out thousands of dollars at this point. They have been reported to BREA.

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    • James O'Brien says:

      Trying to collect from them also. Their phone number has been disconnected. I reported to BREA but think I am screwed.

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      • Matthew Lyon says:

        Same, owed for 3 reports. luckily I declined another 2-3 around the time I did those ones due to being to busy to accept them or else would be out 6 reports. Filed complaint with BREA also.

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      • Edith says:

        I was told by BREA that the AMC’s “acts as an agent for the lender and mortgage companies” and that ultimately it is the lender’s responsibility to see that the appraiser is paid. I’ve been contacting the lenders the past few weeks. This is whether or not the borrower paid Valuation Concepts up front. Also, I was told that the lenders that worked with Ken knowing that he was not paying us is doing something called “fraud and dishonest dealing” and that we should report them as well. Ken still owes me $3000.

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        • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

          What BREA tells people over the phone and what they choose to accept are two different things. File a formal complaint IN WRITING about the AMC ordering, taking and using your report without paying for it. Simultaneously write the lender client and let them know THEIR agent has not payed for the appraisal. Send copy of the complaint to jim@asc.gov and request it be forwarded to appropriate regulator for that specific lender. Make sure you mark him as a cc in your letter to the lender.

          Personally Id contact the borrower(s) and ask if they ever paid or were charged for for appraisal fees, since the appraisals  were never paid for.”

          IF you are an AGA member, janbellas@appraisersguild.org can help you with this.

          You do NOT have to put up with bad AGENTS of the lenders!

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          • Edith says:

            Mike,

            Thanks so much. I am on it. Thanks for the info on ASC, too. Also, I was told by all of the lenders that this particular AMC collects the money via credit card directly from the borrower, and up front.

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          • Diana N. CREA,CRA,GRI says:

            Mike, remember when ES filed bankruptcy and the appraisers got together and filed suit against  JP Morgan Chase because all of the work was done for Chase. Florida courts threw it out even though Chase was legally the client. I wonder if this is going to happen with Valuation Concepts.

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        • dalida sanfrancisco says:

          I have not been paid by Ken. Trying to file a lawsuit against him. What a scum. He should be reported to the district attorney general. just trying to find out if you got paid

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    • The Google maps default picture is incorrect. 21031 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills CA is actually about a ten story building with a frontage sign on the lower first floor saying “Rodeo Realty.”…not the parking building that default pictures show.

      SOMERSET WEST WHCC LLC

      Mailing Address:
      205 LEXINGTON AVE #900, NEW YORK NY 10016-6022 C073

      Sorry about the post formatting (copy & paste) in case you are not a California appraiser, Woodland Hills is in the incorporated City of Los Angeles. It is Incorporated City of Los Angeles jurisdiction and presumably City Attorney who may handle any fraud complaints -assuming BREA sidesteps their obligations. They actually have a pretty broad internet presence.

      They are next door (east side) of Trader Joes at the NE corner of Alhama Dr and Ventura Blvd. immediately south of the ventura Freeway (101/134)

      They also advertise themselves as a Property Management company which means the CA Department of Real Estate could also have separate jurisdiction over them IF they are running the AMC under the same business umbrella. There is some question as to whether Kendrick is the owner, or Tracy Griffith (https://appraiserusa.com/listing/form-1277934684.htm).

      If MS Griffith is the owner then it begs the question as to how a licensed level only appraiser can assure (review) USPAP compliance of work performed by Certified level appraisers? Is she doing the appraisal QC reviews or has she hired a competent higher level certified appraiser to do them? Do they even do reviews to assure USPAP compliance and required under state law?

      You may not get your money back, but there is so much online information available about these guys that you could certainly make life interesting for them. Good luck to you!

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    • dalida sanfrancisco says:

      please contact me regarding valuation concepts. We can file a case against him as he has not paid us. My name is dalida Sanfrancisco and I have not been paid. My Phone # 714-231-4067 Please contact me

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  27. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    Diane and Edith hard to say what courts will do today but back in the Florida Chase deal, USPAP was ambiguous about who the clients were. Now the USPAP and FNMA and HUD guidelines are all VERY specific. The AMC is AN AGENT of the lender. ASC considers them to be so as well. If the lender allows their agent to collect fees, thats fine, but it doesn’t mean YOU have to go chase THEIR agent down when THEY were your only client in the deal. ALL GSE reports say the client is the lender. Period.

    The AMC doesn’t prepare the HUD1s or Turds (TRID) – the escrow or bank do that.

    They may try the old arguments but we have much more to refute them on now. IF you contacted the state, then contact ASC Jim Park (Jim@asc.gov) and ask how or who you file a formal claim against the lender client with.

    I’m nastier than that. I’d write the property owner and tell them THEIR lender has failed to pay for the appraisal so you are forced to look into possibly filing a mechanics lien against their property but wanted to give them an opportunity first to inquire directly about where the money they paid for an appraisal went and why the appraiser wasn’t paid.

    BTW – in my state we ‘can’t file’ mechanics liens as appraisers for nonpayments…but I saw written proof that one HAD been filed successfully AND that the lender or AMC paid it as soon as property owner contacted them!

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    • Diana N. CREA,CRA,GRI says:

      Mike, do you think the same rule applies to foreclosures? Even though the court appoints the appraiser and the committee, we are still doing the job on behalf of the bank or individual who is foreclosing. Just wondering what recourse I have for work I’ve not been paid for.

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  28. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    The issue is jurisdictional Diane. Right or wrong the discussion so far assumes it’s an appraisal for an FRT. If it is NOT for use in a federally regulated transaction, then different rules apply,

    You raised a fantastic question – is the foreclosure a federally regulated transaction too? Either way, the BANK that is foreclosing is still a regulated institution so I’d still go to their regulators and say “First Bank of Such and Such” is ordering services through agents and then not paying for them.

    No bank can help their agent not paying someone if they don’t know about it. I give them a pass up to that point. Once I’m at the point of refusing to hound the agent/amc any longer, I’m only giving the bank ONE chance to either pay the debt or not pay it. Then I’m going to THEIR regulatory agency.

    Why should I (figuratively I – since I don’t give banks or AMCs credit at all) wait through 2 or 3 months of the agent-AMCs lies to then repeat the process with THEIR client? They should already have a policy in place to assure their deadbeat AMCs debts are paid promptly when it involves services on their behalf.

    How much patience would a bank have if YOUR bill paying service ran off with two months car payments or house payments? Guarantee you’d get ONE notice and terrible threats after an initial delinquency notice.

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  29. mike says:

    Coester VMS does not pay their fee appraisers. I have been waiting for (3) months to get paid??? Do not work for them. There are other better AMC’s to work for. I have filed a complaint with my State board and I encourage anyone else who is in my position to file so hopefully they with not be able to do business in my state and quit stealing from fee appraisers.

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    • Mike, Coester VMS has been the subject of so many detailed negative articles in so many publications over the past three plus years I’m amazed that they were able to lure you in to accepting work from them in the first place. You ARE aware of how many court cases they are or have been involved in aren’t you?

      You didn’t mention what state you are in. Most states do NOTHING about them, even when they were operating without a valid license (Virginia). Sue them in small claims court and get your judgement. I’d also send a copy of your complaint to the CLIENT that hired them along with a demand for payment.

      IF your state permits it, you may want to consider filing a mechanics lien on the property involved.

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  30. Wayne Courtney says:

    Just a silly question….What if ZERO appraisers accepted an assignment from Coester VMS? What if absolutely NO appraiser would work for Coester? Let’s say they had a MILLION assignments and NO ONE would work for them!  Do you suppose they would have a problem? Just saying! Is there someone, somewhere making you work for them? Why not grow a pair and simply say no! We create these problems for ourselves!

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    • Diana N says:

      Great idea, but you and I know it will never happen, to many bottom feeders out there.

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      • Justin says:

        I understand what you guys are saying, but there was a time when thats all the work i had and i had to work for jokers like Coester. I am not a bottom feeder, i was a family feeder. It was more about paying bills and feeding my kids and buying them shoes then trying to put our industry on a pedestal. This blog is great and i love all the comments but lets keep things in perspective. If you aren’t getting any work from banks or your not established enough to NOT work for amcs and your young, have a new family and bills to pay then its ok that you take that work for the time being. Your not a bad person or a “bottom feeder”…but ALWAYS try to work for the ones who pay you within a reasonable time. I was in my early 30s when i got stiffed for 3K by Vesta Valuation from Minnesota. That hurt and taught me quite a lesson so i really checked into the companies i worked for. Keep sharing please!

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        • Diana N. says:

          I also got stiffed, $4,800 by an AMC that filed bankruptcy doing all of the work for J.P. Morgan Chase, who never made good for it either, to me or any of the other 100’s of appraisers who got stiffed by ES Appraisal services. Do you think that left a bad taste in my mouth, it sure as hell did. I have been appraising 48 years and have worked with some excellent banks, unfortunately they now work through AMC’s  who want blood from a stone. I too have bills to pay but refuse to lower my standards.

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          • Wayne Courtney says:

            Really Diana???  You seriously extended $4,800. credit to an AMC? I do not want to be ugly but that is just retarded! Please forgive me for being so blunt!

            There seems to be too many appraisers riding on the short bus these days!

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            • Diana N says:

              Wayne, they were paying on a weekly basis with no problems, and sending me a lot of work. When payments were getting slower and slower I stopped taking orders. There was an appraiser in CA that got stuck for over $100,000. so I consider myself lucky, some appraisers lost a hell of a lot more than I did.

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          • Justin Douglas Sellers says:

            Diane, I’m sure no one will “like” my comment but that’s ok. I guess my point was for the young folks who may read this and think they are doing wrong by working for an AMC. I hate them, I cannot stand them and I see a day when they will be obsolete, BUT…for the time being they are a legit source of work for those who are not established in their community. I know of 2 or 3 that are decent, of course there are hundreds that aren’t, but I did manage to keep myself above water working for a few that paid decently. I really love this post and the responses are great. My only issue was dont think your a bad appraiser if you do an appraisal for an AMC. To the guy in CA who got nailed for over 100 grand……DUDE “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING”!!! I would never let things get to that point. I was like you and got stiffed and was pissed to high heaven but when I saw the court docs for some appraisers who were out several thousand to almost 100 grand I felt a lot better and I learned a valuable lesson about AMCs, they are shysters except for a small handful like CSS, AMCSS and GSG Appraisal Mgmt. That’s the 3 I work for. They pay in 2 weeks and there are no stupid revisions and their QC squad are actual appraisers, not box check monkeys!! I urge you all to keep this going and If I can help anyone with knowledge of an AMC or anything, pls let me know. Ciao!!

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  31. Dave Towne says:

    My response to this unfortunate situation is very simple: after 48 years, why weren’t you paying close attention to your Accounts Receivable in your business? At $400 a pop, $4,800 reflects 12 reports. Did all of those appear in your in-box at one time, or were they spaced out over months?

    There are worse stories than yours about this very topic. They always relate to not paying attention to who owes what, and for how long are they in arrears.

    Appraisers as a group (generally speaking) are very poor business people. Continuing to do appraisals for deadbeat clients culminates in financial ruin.

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  32. Wayne Courtney says:

    Really…..An AMC is a middle man getting between the appraiser and the client. In the majority of situations they do not and cannot do an appraisal. In other words their ENTIRE EXISTANCE  depends on some silly, pitiful appraiser doing their assignment for them. GEE….what in the hell do you suppose the AMC would do if they had absolutely ZERO fool to do this work for them. I think they could flush their toilet as they would be gone. Why can appraisers not ever get a brain?  Even a dog does not crap in its own cage! Grow a pair!

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  33. Wayne Courtney says:

    Let’s just use Coester VMS as an example. If I do not accept any appraisal assignment from them….and YOU do not accept any appraisal assignment from them….where do you suppose that leaves them? Did Jesus come down and tell you that you MUST provide an income for Coester VMS? I sorta doubt it!

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  34. Justin says:

    I’m sure Diane isn’t ret@#$%d, she just built some trust with a management company that took advantage of her. The very same thing happened to me. And your right Wayne, we could all do better managing our affairs when it comes to accounts. When i got stiffed it made me start a very detailed spreadsheet with days i got an assignment, when i inspected the property, loan#, etc, etc….every 2 weeks i check it and call whoever is late and make sure my checks are in the mail. I’d like to hear some of your methods….without being made fun of or called a retard of course. I’m the first to admit….as a sole proprietor i don’t have all the answers. I sure as hell didn’t ask for the AMC model…that’s for certain, but here we all are. I’d love it if we boycotted AMCs nationwide. I use 2, and the rest of my biz is local banks, attys, homeowners, etc. Never again will i go in deep with streetlinks, coester or any other “schiester AMC.com”

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    • Wayne Courtney says:

      Justin, Dave and Diana…I am sorry for my curt remarks in previous posts. Sometimes I get so mad at the way appraisers are treated that my mouth makes comments that should not be made. First let me say that I retired a few months ago. I still have a general certification and a real estate broker license. I just have no desire to work in this occupation any longer. When I was at my peak, we were turning down at least twice as many assignments as we were accepting. TRUST ME their is absolutely much more appraisal business out there than you know about! First we started years ago turning down EVERY AMC assignment, then every mortgage broker, later we stopped taking any FHA because I was not going to crawl under any house. STILL we were busy. I liked the VA work but it seemed that every assignment came from a deadbeat and I did not want that. Now, I am just bored and looking at the four walls, waiting on the next cruise. If  I can ever help you, let me know. Justin, and Diana…if you will get in touch with me, I will give you some tips that should help…I will be very happy to give you some suggestions that worked wonderful for me. There is appraisal work out there that you may have zero idea about. I am not trying to be an appraisal coach, or sell a newsletter…(I do not think that we should feed off of each other, not necessary)..just a friend that will help my fellow appraiser anytime that I can, no charge! LOL

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      • Justin says:

        Oh and id also like to know about that work that i have no idea about..lol

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        • Wayne Courtney says:

          I few years ago I met a retired army colonel who worked with a university. They had a program where they signed up folks to be vendors for procurement contracts for all type of government assignments. It took a lot of BS paperwork to get signed up, including Dunn and Bradstreet ratings, etc. but they will bury you with work. We took two national guard armory assignments at $5,000. each. We were just too busy to keep working with them!

          Each day your email would give you offers to bid on work for government contracts. There was appraisal work on navy ship yards in San Diego, airport property and desert property in Nevada….you name it! I do not think most appraisers know about this source, you may have!

          Just curious..how much work have you done for the court system? Has a judge ever appointed you to be a commissioner in a condemnation hearing Ever worked for the City, County, State, Water district, School district, College district, etc. on and on and on?

          Did you ever get to work on flood plain, flood way, drainage easement, slope easement, contaminated properties for court settlement, fire damages, street abandoment, water line and sewer line easement, oil and gas pipeline easements, damages from oil overflow onto private property, etc. on and on? Yep…there are a few appraisal sources that you may not have thought of! Do you know much about timber? How about oil and gas? How about lignite? How about cattle per acre or goats? Know much about poultry farms? Gravel, sand, hunting and fishing leases? There are more…we can chat about them anytime!

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      • DianaN says:

        Wayne, apology accepted. Like you, I have just about had it with this business and real estate in general. I have been a broker since 1967 and started my own business in 1970 and added appraising at the same time. Over the years I have received awards from  the Realtors Assoc. was voted one of top 3 appraisers in CT twice and and last year received a gold award as Best Provider of Goods & Services to the banking industry from the Commercial Record. Very nice, that and $6.00 buys me coffee at Starbucks. I was also blacklisted by an AMC because I didn’t physically measure a huge contemporary and used the plans instead. At one time I had 7 associates working for me, now it’s just me. Each year has gotten more depressing. So I think next year will finally be my last. Maybe I’ll go back to teaching ballroom dancing to seniors. LOL.

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        • Wayne Courtney says:

          Diana, I always wanted to learn ballroom dancing. I can do the two-step and a few others. I have this buddy who was a dance teacher. We would go to the clubs and he would have the women lined up! LOL There was a small group of single folks and we would meet, dance, party, etc. THEN I GOT OLD! lol……….do not get old, it sucks!

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      • Bob says:

        Wayne, I appreciate your comments. We all make mistakes so don’t punish yourself. I can relate to your frustration. I currently have more AMC’s than I would like to deal with and would like to increase my private market. I would love to tap into your knowledge and get advice on steps I can take to make that happen. If you wouldn’t mind please email me at theappraisalsolution@gmail.com Thanks.

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  35. JUSTIN says:

    Wayne, no worries man. I think I know where your coming from. Since 2009 the govt has turned on us and left monkeys in charge of dealing with appraisers in the hopes that we will see the light. The monkeys failed!! The AMC model has ruined a once prestigious profession. I dont judge brother and i appreciate your humble response. Most appraiser blogs are full of know-it-all prideful idiots that just insult each other…hence my response.. .but im not perfect either. I wish you could download your experience into my feeble 43 yrs old mind and help me out in this profession. I went to work full time as an appraiser for PennDot bcuz they have a retirement and health insurance, i could NOT say no to the opportunity. I still work on the side to supplement my income but i have to cherry pick which is cool, but i wish i could get more work from attys and locals. I appreciate your reaching out, that’s classy and cool all at the same time. My dad is a general and a broker and at 69 i wish he did what you’re doing but he’s still chasing listings and doing restricted reports bcuz he hates….and cant operate the software haha. Do me a favor, take all your knowledge, put it on a stick drive and send it to me and i’ll create a usb port in my head and maybe it’ll change the way i do business. If not you can reach out to me at jdsappraiser@gmail.com

    Thanks for your post.

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  36. Wayne Courtney says:

    Justin….your dad sounds very cool. I just returned from a cruise on Saturday and booked for another to Belize on February. 3rd. from Galveston, TX. (Carnival Vista, Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay) …Tell him to come join us as we will have fun! Retirement is much more fun than work, but it does become a bit dull. You should join us too! LOL I will send you an email later! Thanks for your post!

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    • Diana N. says:

      Wayne, I’m a certified diver and the scuba diving in Cozumel is great.  Enjoy your trip.

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      • Wayne Courtney says:

        Diana, thanks for your comment. I took the scuba class a few years ago. That was the closest I had ever come to drowning! I had the weight belt and tanks on and sank to the bottom…..I will just snorkel from now on and watch the pretty ladies on the beach! Cancun and Cozumel are great. If you have not tried Belize, I think you will enjoy it. It has the second largest barrier reef in the world. It also is rated as the second best salt water fishing spot in the world. They speak English, accept U.S. dollars with one US dollar = 2 Belize dollars. The population of the whole country is like 300,000. I will be there again in February….lobster, conch, sandy beaches, etc. However you are correct, Cozumel is a fun spot!

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        • Diana N. says:

          I got certified in Bonaire, beautiful reefs. Little Cayman and Cayman Brac also fantastic diving, spent many wonderful Christmas’s there. People also speak English and very friendly.

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          • Wayne Courtney says:

            I agree, they are very friendly. I was in Grand Cayman, Wednesday of last week. It rained and there was this dude standing on the sidewalk blocking our path.Not sure what his problem was but this truck came abound the corner and hit a water puddle and splashed him from armpit to foot! The look on his face was priceless! I have told folks that the closest I have ever come to freezing to death was on an excursion to swim with sting rays in Cayman Islands.

            I have never been to the islands outside of Grand Cayman. Just so many places that I want to see before I go belly up! LOL

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  37. Wayne Courtney says:

    For those who are chasing AMC work be aware the the VA has a job opening (TODAY) in Houston that pays $117,700+/_ and the Forestry Service has job openings at $73,375… these are open today…would you rather work for an AMC for chump change?

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  38. Justin says:

    So im reading all these comments, especially Diane’s and im thinking “are they thinking what I’ve been thinking?” Shes right, since about 2008 the real estate appraisal industry has become a flop! Too many chiefs, no Indians!! And we’re all considering other avenues of life. Im 43…today….and I am in love with ministry…it is my passion. I minister to the addicts down in North Philly. the “badlands” they call it. I would sooner live on faith and meager rations than answer to a QC monkey the rest of my life. (please forgive the animal reference, no respectable monkey would EVER be a QC person). Anyway, listening to you folks just drives that point in my heart even deeper. The only issue i have is bills. What im saying is i wish i had the means to just drop the clipboard and go help the world with something they need….hope, love and grace. Instead,  i am stuck appraising fractions of land for the state of PA with the promise of a pension someday. “Sigh!” Smh….maybe someday!

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    • Wayne Courtney says:

      Justin, thank you for your comments. I also have a passion to work with people. I worked for two different correction facilities with TDCJ. So many people, so many problems! My degree was in police science…not sure what made me go into the real estate field I do know for a fact that there are only about 82,000+/- total appraiser in the entire US and possessions. (about one hundred counties in the State of Texas does not have one single appraiser) I mean REALLY it like trying to sell ice water in the desert to rich people! WHY in the world would any appraiser work for an AMC?  They should stop with the USPAP crap for a year or so and require a marketing class for appraisers. There is more appraisal work out there than our 82,000+/- group can handle. Not our job to teach those who cannot figure it out!

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    • Diana N. says:

      Justin, follow your heart.

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  39. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    OK, we ALL deserve a good laugh today. I’m usually the one saying how I’ve eliminated most slow or no pays by cash up front or at least a cash at door policy. It doesn’t happen often but…

    *G* I went to a deposition yesterday and got stiffed by the attorney! Typically they pay at the end of the depo when we know the exact number of hours involved. In this case he wanted to ‘play games’.

    [Him] “How much?” [me] $3.5 hours at $500 per = $1,750. [him] “Send me an invoice because your engagement letter says you only charge $150 an hour.” [me} Silently WTF! “No Howard, here is a copy of my engagement letter and it says EW fees and depositions are charged at the same rate of $500 per hour. TRAVEL is at $150 an hour, which I waived” “Fee is due now, I don’t have arrangements to invoice and that was confirmed to you in advance by separate email”.

    JUST for fun-thoughts? (None that involve NOT providing the rest of the services for our sides attorney or putting a collection burden on them. MY reputation is important to me even if the Depo attorney for the other side doesn’t think that much of his own). Remember, this is just for fun. I actually know what I’ll be doing about it.

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  40. Mike: Next time – your engagement letter should include a provision that your attorney-client is responsible to you for all charges, including depositions, in the event that you are stiffed by the opposing attorney or others. Don’t forget to file a complaint with the State BAR against the deposing attorney. You were owed $$ immediately upon completion of the Deposition.

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    • It’s one of those live and learn deals. Never had deliberate evasion before. My client-attorney MAY have failed to designate me in which case even though I sent a confirmation email to depo attorney, a technical loophole may have existed. Other side may have been using it to get me too angry to testify. It ALMOST worked. My first comment to my attorney was ‘there won’t be any depo corrections or appearances anywhere until I’m paid.

      I then thought about it for ten minutes and called my client atty back and advised my reputation is worth more to me than the fee is. I’d do everything expected of me without complaint til after the case. He acknowledged he was counting on professional courtesy of other side and never received a demand to produce EW list. Other side trying to embarrass him before his client. I’m still due the fee, but opted not to highlight retaining attorney oversight. Good advise re LOE. Words to that effect will be in the next one. Tks

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Slow Pay AMCs

by Dave Towne time to read: 2 min