Posts tagged Appraisal Management Companies

Sealed Files on Appraisal Scheme

Court Won’t Unseal Files on Washington Mutual Appraisal Scheme

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A federal judge said he will not unseal files related to an alleged appraisal rigging scheme that Washington Mutual launched in an effort to favor mortgage lenders just before the 2008 market crash, Courthouse News Service reported Dec. 3.

The case involves a federal class action suit launched in 2008 in San Jose, California, by Felton Spears Jr. and Sidney Sholl who claimed that Washington Mutual, Lender’s Service Inc. and appraisal management firm First American eAppraiseIT colluded in 2006 to create inflated mortgage-loan appraisals that allowed the bank to sell aggregated security interests in the properties at inflated prices.

At Washington Mutual’s direction, eAppraiseIT and Lender’s Service hired former bank employees as appraisal business managers (more…)

Industry update FNMA CU

Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter – Industry Update White Paper

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Folks…

I just found this document (PDF attached) written primarily from a ‘lender’ perspective about the upcoming Collateral Underwriter, which applies only to 1004 and 1073 form reports effective Jan. 26, 2015…but probably will be carried over to the 2055 and 1075 form reports after the initial shake out cruise.

13 pages – will help you understand what FNMA will be looking for in terms of appraisal report QC functions performed by AMC’s, and the lender’s appraisal review departments.  Knowing what they will be checking will help you avoid those errors.

Your first level of defense is to (more…)

Some Good News for Appraisers

Some Good News….For a Change? – 2nd Annual List (A Work-In-Progress)

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Last year, around Thanksgiving, I had put together a list of some positive things going on for appraisers.  It was/is all-too-rare that we hear positive news regarding the appraisal profession. There is an awful lot of complaining that goes on, most of it justifiable, but little good news that gets shared.  Part of the problem is that there is no central source for information regarding our profession which appraisers might utilize in order to find out what is going on across the country and affecting our profession, and could be used to enhance our industry and the citizens in each of our own states.

From what I have seen, most of any good news is being generated on a state basis.  Every small victory in one state can be viewed as a seedling for development and further improvement in 49 other states and other territories.

What you see here is a draft, as I am hoping that those reading (more…)

Beware of these new AMC reviews

Beware: Don’t Get Trapped Into Doing These Reviews!

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Beware The New Reviews!!!

Several appraisers have sent review forms to AAREA that were sent to them to complete for $50 to $150.  These forms are quicky reviews so that the lender/AMC can meet the federal guidelines which are now requiring that all reports be reviewed.

Remember, the appraiser must be USPAP compliant, not the forms.  If you are asked to do a review on any report where you do not have geographic competency and do not have access to the MLS and County records you are violating USPAP and exposing yourself to many problems.  You cannot answer the question, “Are the analyses, opinion and conclusions of (insert any section) credible?” if you (more…)

a la mode NDC partnership

a la mode and National Data Collective Form Partnership to Offer Real Estate Data Services to Appraisers

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November 10, 2014 Naples, FL — a la mode announced today that NDC (National Data Collective), a leading national provider of property data for real estate professionals, has agreed to integrate its data products with a la mode’s full range of appraisal formfilling systems.

NDC offers a subscription-based data service to appraisers covering more than 130 million properties in all 50 states, with full property profiles, assessor records, deed history and comparables data.  Its products are available on desktop and mobile platforms, with an advanced user interface designed around appraiser efficiency.  Foreclosure activity is also available, along with flood information, linked deed histories, and more.  Customizable packages are available in monthly or annual subscriptions. (more…)

HOA not equal to PUD

HOA Does Not Necessarily Equal PUD

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It happened again this week. An appraisal was done, the report was turned into the AMC, and this was the revision request: “A preliminary review of your appraisal indicates that the HOA fee was filled out, but the PUD box and PUD section was left blank. Please fill out the PUD information and resend the report at your earliest convenience.” Ugh! I opened up the report and wrote a quick sentence or two in the Additional Comments section explaining that the subject has HOA fees for the private road maintenance, but it was not located in a Planned Unit Development. An hour later, the following revision request was received: “A secondary review of your appraisal indicates that the HOA fee was filled out, but the PUD box and PUD section was left blank. Please fill out the PUD information and resend the report at your earliest convenience. This is the second request!” Double Ugh!

At this point, I emailed the AMC directly and did my best to explain to them that the presence of Home Owner Association fees does not always mean that the house is in a Planned Unit Development. After a very long, cumbersome back and forth, I was finally transferred to a ‘senior appraiser’ who was able to speak English and (more…)

AMC Sued Class Action

Appraisal Management Company Sued in Consumer Class Action Complaint

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A consumer class action complaint has been filed against a lender and its AMC relating to the subject matter of a prior CFPB investigation and settlement.

Loughlin v. NovoLast August, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had taken action against Amerisave Mortgage Corporation, its affiliated AMC Novo Appraisal Management Company, and one of the owners of both companies Patrick Markert. Part of the CFPB’s action concerned alleged overcharging for appraisal services by the AMC and failure to disclose the AMC’s affiliation with the lender. Under a consent order, Amerisave and Novo agreed to pay $14.8 million in refunds to consumers and a $4.5 million penalty. Mr. Markert individually agreed to pay an additional $1.5 million penalty. 

On September 10, 2014 (more…)

Appraisers and Trust ~copyright AppraisersBlogs

Appraiser and Client Trust Factor

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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…)

Excited about working for an Appraisal Management Company

Can You Tell I’m Excited About Working for an Appraisal Management Company?

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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…)

Customary & Reasonable Appraisal Fee Study ~ copyright AppraisersBlogs.com

Virginia Study on Customary & Reasonable Fees for Residential Appraisals

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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…)

Can you prove your adjustments ~copyright AppraisersBlogs.com

Adjustments- Your Opinion Doesn’t Count

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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…)

Declaration of Appraisal Independence

Declaration of Appraisal Independence

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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…)

Fees for complex appraisals

Utah Study on Customary & Reasonable Fees for Residential Appraisals

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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

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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?

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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…)

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