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

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

You may also like...

27 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.

    10

    0
    • JC says:

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

      10

      0
      • 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!!

        1

        0
        • 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.

          1

          0
    • 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.

      11

      0
  2. James says:

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

    9

    0
  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.

    8

    0
  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.

    1

    7
    • 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.

      13

      0
    • 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.

      4

      0
  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.

    10

    0
  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.

    12

    0
    • 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.

      10

      0
      • 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.

        5

        0
      • 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.

        5

        0
  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!

    10

    0
  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!

    7

    0
  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

    6

    1
  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.

    7

    0
  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.

    7

    0
  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.

    2

    0
  13. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    Hey Dave! Did they pay you yet?

    Time to name and shame.

    3

    0
  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.

    1

    1
  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.

    1

    1
    • 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!!!

      1

      0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  | xml sitemap