Posts tagged Appraisal Management Companies

Fees for complex appraisals

Utah Study on Customary & Reasonable Fees for Residential Appraisals


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…)

CFPB fines lender AMC

CFPB Fines Lender, AMC for Inflated Appraisal Fees


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…)

Suing Appraisers ~ copyright AppraisersBlogs

Who are Mutual First, LLC and Savant Claims Management? Why is Mutual First Suing Appraisers?


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…)

Truth about HVCC

The Shady Truth About HVCC Comes Out

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…)

Appraisal Bullying

Appraisal Bullying, Still Going Strong!


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…)

Rating appraisers

VA Hiring Appraisers and Fannie Mae Re-Evaluating You Based on Your Adjustments


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…)

AMC Info

Information on Appraisal Management Companies

  1. Most AMCs are small companies. 86% have annual gross revenue less than $10 million. Conversely, 13% have annual gross revenues of over $50 million.
  2. 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).
  3. 35% of the AMCs surveyed (more…)

Bye to AMCs - Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles /

Goodbye to AMCs


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…)

Outsourcing AMC Staff

Overseas AMC Staff: Could I Speak to “Villiam?”


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.”
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…)

Appraisal fees gas price - Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn /

Appraisal Fee vs. the Cost of Gas


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…)

House measured by appraiser

Are Realtors and AMC’s Killing the Home Valuation System? In a word, YES!


Many Appraisal Management Companies are now demanding that appraisers change the square footage details listed within their reports. Why? Because they saw a different number on Zillow® or in public records. How have we gone this far wrong?

Appraisers generally turn first to their own files for square footage details. Next, they turn to the MLS, which is touted as “the most trusted source of real estate information in the world.” Then, if there are no other options (like in the many areas where the MLS does not report any square footage details), appraisers are forced to turn to local tax departments to get their square footage details. And often, those details change home values, dramatically. In many states the governing real estate authority clearly states that agents should NOT rely on the information in tax records. Anyone who has ever worked around the real estate industry knows just how unreliable tax numbers can be.  Those square footage numbers were created by and for the tax department, NOT to be used in the real estate industry.

Companies like Zillow® and Trulia®, etc, most often get their square footage details from those same public records, that everybody else seems to know are unreliable. Then, along comes these appraisal management companies (more…)

Join Appraiser Prosperity Coalition - Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles /

You Are Being Robbed Blind (24 Hour Membership Deadline)


You Are Being Robbed Blind (24 Hour Membership Deadline)

AMCs are concealing their profits within YOUR appraisal fee, and using coercion to drive down YOUR income as far as they can. This government-permitted process allows them to rob you blind while building their appraiser-squeezing power even stronger.

NOW is the time to take a stand to fix this broken industry and the career you have spent a lifetime building. The Appraiser Prosperity Coalition was formed to fight for the legislative and regulatory changes needed to save this devastated industry. If you are willing to join us today, we can defeat the bullies and reclaim your career! (

Attention! Our funding deadline is 24 hours away. We need your help to save the profession, and we need it fast. Please read the rest of this email, review our web site, and strongly consider confidentially joining this noble cause today! (more…)

AMC Minimum Requirements

ASA, NAIFA Tell Banking Agencies that Proposed AMC Rules Fall Short on Guidance, are Inconsistent with Congressional Intent


In comments filed June 6 with several federal banking agencies, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers expressed our concerns that rules proposed to regulate appraisal management company (AMC) conduct lack sufficient detail to allow for effective implementation. Additionally, the organizations expressed concern that some provisions of the proposed rule depart from Congress’s intent when the enabling law was included in the Dodd-Frank Act, and could negatively affect the overall public policy goals.

In the comment letter, ASA and NAIFA cover numerous concerns with the proposed rule, including:

  • The lack of detail regarding the treatment of appraisers by AMCs is insufficient to allow for consistent application by the numerous federal and state agencies who will be required to enforce  these rules;
  • The absence of a specific, enumerated process in the rule under which appraisers and others can  level complaints against AMCs who fall short of their responsibilities under both these rules and the existing Appraisal Independence rules;
  • The letter strongly objects to the decision to (more…)

Comments on proposed AMC rules

The Appraisal Profession & Appraiser’s Business Decimated by the Increasing Dominance of AMCs


For the past two months, VaCAP has participated in a networked council consisting of 13 professional state appraisal organizations in responding to the Agencies request for comments of the Proposed Rules on Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies:

Dear Agencies;

This letter is in response to the Agencies’ request for comments on the Proposed Rules on Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies. The undersigned represent a networked council of professional state appraisal organizations. We appreciate this opportunity to comment and thank the Agencies for their work and interest in creating and implementing appraisal management company (AMC) regulation.

The proliferation of AMCs is a relatively recent phenomenon, resulting from the May 2009 Fannie Mae implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)/Appraiser Independence guidelines.

By their design, AMCs’ operations cover an extremely large amount of geographic and lending territory. As a result, they handle a tremendous amount of monies and interests associated with the various services they attempt to offer to lenders and consumers. Many AMCs not only supply appraisal services, but also title and other real estate related services. The potential for a single AMC to affect an enormous number of transactions should not be underestimated. Our members have already witnessed several large AMCs closing their doors without notice and filing for bankruptcy.

The professional appraiser’s business, as well as the appraisal profession, have been decimated by the increasing market dominance of AMCs. Trust and credibility (more…)

Good old days appraising

The Good Old Days?


Does anybody miss the good old days of having to deal with the mortgage broker? After spending about 53 minutes on the phone with an appraisal management company, who will remain nameless, I am almost missing the good old days myself.

I originally called, because the appraisal management company called to see if I would take a forensic retrospective review for a new client they just acquired. This of course is a Fannie Mae client, and any of us who have dealt with Fannie we know there is a specific format, guideline and style in which they want their reviews worded.

Despite my better judgment I agreed to take the assignment. Having working in the fraud investigation department for Fannie Mae for the better part of eighteen months, and having had more than twenty years in experience in residential review I felt adequately up to the challenge.

The problem I encountered was that the property was a hypothetical appraisal. That is to say the report was conducted on 5 acres (more…)

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