Posts tagged Appraisal Management Companies
Relationships are important. The bonds we form with a spouse, children, friends, or business associates can be powerful and a strength. When trust is broken, however, deep challenges emerge. Divorce, separation, or permanent dissolution can be the end result when someone’s integrity is on the line. The trust factor between an appraiser and the client is essential if professionalism and continued business is to be amicable.
Last month, I wrote an article about taking drive-by and comp pictures. The comment boards lit up. Most appraisers agreed with me (for a change), but many did not. I read every comment and have spent some time thinking about the insights and opinions of so many appraisers. The question that keeps haunting me is, “why?” Why are pictures required in the first place? I think there are two, equal answers. One has to do with clarity, and the other has to do with trust. (more…)
Today I received a notice telling me my best customer was changing over to an AMC for all their appraisal ordering. I have worked for this company for many years and have always enjoyed a great relationship. Today that ended. I can longer talk to any person at the bank.
In my application to continue working for this company I have worked with for so long, I have to provide sample reports, a resume, three business references, license info, info about CE classes I have taken. I have to sign to agree to new terms which completely change the way I get paid, how much I get paid, how long it takes to get paid, the amount of comps within my reports, agree to provide them pretty much anything they ask for within 24 hours, give them permission to make deposits and withdrawals from my checking account (in case they make a mistake or I don’t do something they ask), and basically give them more power (more…)
BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 7, 2014 – Virginia Tech researchers and students conducted a survey of Virginia residential real estate appraisers to analyze the patterns of fees earned in 2013. Prior to the release of this report, no data existed that defined “customary and reasonable” residential real estate appraisal fees in Virginia.
This report is the third report of its type to be conducted in the United States, and the first in Virginia.
The research was conducted in response to recent amendments to the Truth in Lending Act modified by the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd-Frank. This legislation requires lenders to pay appraisers a “customary and reasonable fee” for residential real estate appraisal services in their geographic market. (more…)
Regulations state that appraisal adjustments cannot be based upon an appraiser’s opinion. According to federal and state law, adjustments must be based on support and evidence- proof if you will, and an appraiser’s opinion is not considered to be “support.” Many appraisers have failed to support their adjustments and as a result have had their licenses revoked, penalties assessed and lawsuits lost, all because the they failed to understand a single but important requirement.
Think about your appraisals. Are the adjustments based on your opinion or do you have proof of the adjustment in your workfile? If your workfiles are reviewed by the state or as part of an investigation or lawsuit, would you have “the right stuff” or fail the test?
When I first got into the appraisal business, the person training me handed me a sheet of paper that listed all of the adjustments I was going to need to complete an appraisal. I bet this sounds familiar to many appraisers. I was also a real estate agent specializing in selling new homes, so I knew what builders were charging for add-ons like a kitchen upgrade, extra bathroom or garage. So between what I was told to use and what I knew builders were charging: “Of course I know what the adjustment should be- $2,500 for a bedroom, $2,500 for a bathroom, $3,500 for a garage and $500 for a fireplace. We are all in agreement…..right!?!” (more…)
Real Estate Appraisers of America: Declare appraiser independence by prohibiting lenders from having any ownership or stake in the real estate appraisal process.
This declaration of the real estate appraisal workers of the United States of America and those who stand together with the appraisal industry is made subject to the understanding that commercial and financial events guide growth and development of society, and that financial products and services are integral to the necessary and successful health of our citizens. It is further understood and recognized that the fair and independent valuation of underlying assets backing financial products are critical to investors, borrowers and all others who rely upon the safety and soundness of these financial products.
United we hold truths and beliefs, that all men and woman in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, must preserve their unalienable rights to buy a home, borrow money, invest in financial instruments, and plan for retirement without fear that their life savings are being exposed to unnecessary and preventable risk.
To secure these rights, it is necessary (more…)
An online survey of both Utah mortgage lenders and Utah licensed and certified residential real estate appraisers was conducted to discover customary and reasonable fees for residential appraisals throughout Utah for 2013. Federal regulation pertaining to customary and reasonable fee studies specifically “excludes compensation paid to fee appraisers for appraisals ordered by appraisal management companies.” Therefore, this study does not include appraisal fees paid by appraisal management companies to Utah appraisers.
Two surveys, one for lenders and one for appraisers, were prepared to capture the unique demographic and background information of each group; however, the questions pertaining to appraisal fees (more…)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Aug. 12 that it fined mortgage lender Amerisave Mortgage Corp., its affiliate, Novo Appraisal Management Company, and the organizations’ collective owner, Patrick Markert, $19.3 million for allegedly luring prospective borrowers with misleading interest rates and trapping them with inflated appraisal fees.
The CFPB claimed that the lender and its affiliated AMC violated the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act by enticing tens of thousands of borrowers with deceptive advertising and then illegally overcharging them for third-party services. (more…)
Some appraisers are now being targeted in lawsuits by an entity named “Mutual First, LLC.” It has filed at least 35 lawsuits since May. Mutual First is not a bank, credit union or any kind of regular financial institution. It’s an entity aiming to make money for investors by suing appraisers. Based in Texas, it acquires foreclosed loans for small fractions of the original principal amounts. It then files lawsuits against the appraisers who performed appraisals years ago for the original lenders who made the loans. In its lawsuits, Mutual First claims that the appraisers are liable to Mutual First for damages as the result of negligent overvaluation in the appraisals. The damages demanded include the full unpaid balance of the long-ago foreclosed loan (some were foreclosed 4-5 years ago or more), even though Mutual First itself only paid a very small amount to buy the loan after it was already foreclosed and after the appraised property no longer served as security.
Savant Claims Management appears to manage the litigation against the appraisers (more…)
We all got gut punched by Andrew Cuomo’s HVCC, the most of which were the appraisers. Well now the shady truth about it’s conception is here.
HVCC. We all remember it. Basically is was a total drag. Unless you owned a huge AMC that is. Which by the way virtual all the banks did. It was totally counter productive to the industry and real nuclear bomb to our collective equity as a nation. Well as it turns out, one of Cuomo’s buddies actually got the ball rolling on it as long has he and his company got total immunity, which they did, then he helped Cuomo structure it all so the bank clients he represented made out like champs by forming their massive AMC’s. Yeah, that’s basically it. So the whole thing was a big good-ol-boy love fest that continues to create problems with appraisals today. So tune in (more…)
Even today there is undue pressure being put on appraisers to make loans work. All the new regulations in the appraisal industry did nothing for the bullies who work for AMC’s now. It’s sad to hear veteran appraisers talk about the way they were disrespected and treated unprofessionally, and how they are making plans to leave the industry. It happens every day in appraisal forms and blogs all across the country. The bullying and intimidation is as bad now as it ever was before.
This would never happen in any other industry and there is obviously a huge discrepancy between how appraisers are trained and what the mortgage industry expects from them. Appraisers are taught from day one; protect the buyer, lender, and mortgage investor. Make sure the value is fair to the best of your ability. 100% imbedded in every appraiser’s brain; be ethical and fair, you are there to protect the public and are influencing large financial investments. Then they discover this is NOT what lenders want. They might say they do in public, but their day to day business operations tell another story. The lenders and AMC’s (who pay the appraisers) often could care less if the loan is secure, not their problem. Make the loan, get paid, and let the next guy worry about it. Sound familiar? (more…)
If you were an appraiser looking for more work, this year’s Valuation Expo at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, June 23-25, was a good place to find it. Attenders included many product vendors, AMCs seeking appraisers, and representatives from agencies such as HUD and the VA.
Four sessions were offered for CE credit: “Keynote – panel of government and GSE representatives,” “Alternative Valuations,” “Valuation Visionaries,” and “Regulatory Compliance.”
In this month’s newsletter, I’d like to share some of the information covered by the Keynote panel: David Bunton of the Appraisal Foundation; Robert Murphy of Fannie Mae; Robert Frazier of the FHA; and Gerald Kifer of the VA.
Up first, Bunton shared information from the Appraisal Foundation, under which are all of the following: (more…)
- Most AMCs are small companies. 86% have annual gross revenue less than $10 million. Conversely, 13% have annual gross revenues of over $50 million.
- AMCs are more frequently adopting a “cost plus” pricing model for their services. This means they charge a separate fee for their service and are transparent about their fees paid to an appraiser. (Note: Arizona Appraisal Statute requires appraisers to disclose the fees they have been paid by an AMC in the Scope of Work section of the appraisal).
- 35% of the AMCs surveyed (more…)
Citigroup will pay $7 billion to resolve claims it misled investors who purchased shoddy mortgage-backed securities that helped lead to the financial crisis six years ago, Reuters reported July 14. The deal includes the largest civil fraud penalty ever levied by the U.S. Department of Justice. The multibillion-dollar settlement is more than twice what many analysts expected but less than the $12 billion the government sought in negotiations with Citigroup.
All those who argue about the causes of the real estate crisis cannot discount yet another billion dollar settlement. Over and over again we see large settlements for mortgage securities fraud, where the problem was not with the appraisals, but (more…)
At least one appraisal management company (AMC) put a new accent on appraising by having the point of contact be in another country—specifically, a call-center in India. According appraiser Bill Streep, this is how the conversation went:
Bill Streep: “Hi, this is Bill.”
AMC Staff: “HELLO! Bill. Could I please speak to Villiam?”
Bill Streep: “This is Bill.”
AMC Staff: “Yes, Bill. I need to speak to Villiam.”
Bill Streep: “My name is Bill, it’s short for William.”
AMC Staff: “Yes… (insert long pause) Could I please speak to Villiam?”
Bill Streep: “This IS William.”
AMC Staff: “No, this is Bill. I need to speak to Villiam.”
Bill Streep: “Hang on…” I set the phone down and shuffle some papers around.
Bill Streep: “Hello, this is William.”
AMC Staff: “VILLIAM! HELLO!”
Bill Streep: CLICK.
While the above story is funny, wasting time and money are not. Ever since AMCs gained prominence, appraisers have lamented having to deal with inexperienced AMC staff who have little or no (more…)
One of the requirements of your job as an appraiser is getting to the property to appraise it. Unless you are appraising a property within a few blocks of your own house or office, chances are that you will be driving there. Today, the costs of driving — higher gas prices, higher insurance premiums and higher maintenance costs — have gone through the roof.
This got me thinking: the cost of almost everything that we, as appraisers, need to do to successfully perform our job has increased substantially. Higher insurance premiums, higher costs for the tools required by USPAP guidelines, higher vehicle costs, and higher costs associated with working for an AMC means we forfeit a large portion of our fee. What we’re left with does not give us much purchasing power.
Let’s rewind 20 years
Two decades ago, gas cost about a dollar per gallon. Let’s face it – almost everything (milk, eggs, etc.) was cheaper, including obtaining and maintaining your appraisal license (more…)