Tagged: Errors & Omissions

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Mortgage Takings: The Next Appraisal Frontier or Liability?

According to the Appraisal Institute’s recently published 2013 Real Estate Appraisal Outlook, U.S. appraisers anticipate that litigation valuation/forensic appraisals will be one of the top five areas of growth in the next one to two years in both commercial and residential appraisal.  Indeed, approximately 33% of surveyed commercial appraisers anticipate more demand from law firms and lawyers in the near future, with 24% of those surveyed expecting an increase in valuation consultation and studies in support of litigation.  The appraisers’ prediction may be spot on the money as at least one U.S. municipality has begun to implement a plan to...

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The Risk of Using One Data Source

With appraisers being asked to do more work for the same amount of money and with lawsuits against appraisers being more prevalent today than ever before, it is increasingly important for real estate appraisers to check and double check the data they use when preparing a report. Since many appraisers are still feeling the economic impact of the real estate downturn on their bottom line, more and more are looking to reduce the cost of the data they use. While this may seem to be a simple and sound economic decision, it can lead to some serious negative consequences. USPAP...

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Tax-Related Appraiser Liability Claims

In the last several years, we have seen more negligence claims relating to appraisals performed for tax purposes, especially appraisals for conservation easements, charitable deductions, and estate or gift tax.  The IRS is particularly focused at this time on scrutinizing appraisals of conservation and preservation easements submitted for the purpose of substantiating a charitable deduction by the property owner/tax payer.  Here, the property owner is generally proposing to record an easement over his property to protect a natural aspect or preserve historic features like a building facade.  The easement typically will be donated to and held by a charitable organization,...

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Appraiser Confidentiality: USPAP Absurdity

Appraiser Confidentiality: Loose Lips, Big Claims, USPAP Absurdity, and Subpoenas Allegedly “Loose Lips” Cause a Big Claim. A recent and relatively big appraiser liability claim involved a commercial appraiser’s alleged breach of confidentiality.  The damages paid to the plaintiff were significant.  According to the plaintiff’s complaint (my recounting of the facts here is simplified), a lender had engaged the appraiser to perform an appraisal for a construction loan to the developer of a shopping center.  Some of the information received by the appraiser included lease commitments from prospective tenants. The anchor tenant was a well-known retailer.  The appraiser completed the assignment, but...

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Suggestions for Real Appraisal Reform

As a risk management firm which has been serving real estate appraisers for over 20 years, we are in a relatively unique position in terms of offering suggestions how to improve the current residential real estate appraisal process. To offer some perspective, during our history we have had close to 20,000 appraisers as members of our risk management family and we have been actively involved in the resolution of close to 2000 claims brought against appraisers, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Furthermore, our management team has been around long enough to witness not only the most recent collapse...

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When the FDIC Comes A’ Knockin’

The implosion of the real estate bubble reverberated across the American landscape.  Neither residential nor commercial markets were spared.  This implosion not only had a very palpable effect on the economy, but on the political debate of this nation as well.  That political debate—as it seems is often the case—has turned to finger-pointing.  Those fingers have now curled up into a fist, and that fist is now knocking on the doors of appraisers across the country. In the aftermath of the economic downturn, many banks were taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) after their balance sheets dived...

ESA Bankruptcy, Is Chase To Blame Or A Victim? 3

ESA Bankruptcy, Chase Culprit or Victim?

ESA Bankruptcy, Is Chase to Blame or a Victim? I find myself offering thoughts about many strange and unusual situations involving appraiser E&O and risk management in general, but today may be the strangest subject of all – why it appears Chase did nothing wrong in the ESA bankruptcy case. Don’t misunderstand this as meaning I like Chase in the slightest. I strongly disapprove of what Chase has done and continues to do to appraisers using blacklisting, strong-arming, and filing state licensing complaints to force its will on the appraisal profession. I find much of what Chase has done as...

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Overtime Lawsuits Continue to Spread

Overtime Lawsuits Continue to Spread Among Valuation-Related Companies — Interthinx Becomes the Latest Defendant First it was Integrated Asset Services.  In February, I wrote here about three employee overtime class actions affecting the Colorado AMC filed on behalf of “timeline managers,” “valuation managers” and “quality reviewers.”  Then it was LandSafe Appraisal.  In April, I wrote an article about a newly filed overtime lawsuit by staff appraisers against that company. There is definitely now a small wave of overtime litigation unde the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) affecting businesses in valuation-related fields.  The industry has become an easy target for...

New tactic by NAHB and NAR 2

NAHB & NAR Tactic – If They Said It, It Must Be True

New tactic by the NAR and NAHB to get appraisers to “play ball” CNN Money recently published a piece (located here) titled “Home appraisals no longer derailing sales”, a quote generically attributed to members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). What struck me as a bit odd was the fact that just about a year ago, the NAR in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) stated in another article on home sales and appraisals that roughly 1/3 of the deals placed into contract by its realtor members were failing to close due to problems getting appraisers...

FNMA 2075 a ticking time bomb 1

2075 FNMA Form a Ticking Time Bomb?

Is Fannie Mae Form 2075 a ticking time bomb for Appraiser? Fannie Mae Form 2075 (aka the “Desktop Underwriter Property Inspection Report”) seems innocuous enough when you pick it up and look at it. After all, it’s only a single page with just one-half page of instructions. It allegedly applies only to low risk loans and the form has been around and in use for a long time. The instructions even clearly state it “is not an appraisal report”. The instructions go on to say this report may be used without an estimate of fair market value of the property...

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