Tagged: lawsuit

Liability Risks of Hybrids to Appraisers and Others 10

Liability Risks of Hybrid Appraisals

“Hybrid Appraisals” – Speaking about the Liability Risks to Appraisers and Others at The Appraisal Foundation’s Joint Council Meeting “Hybrid appraisal” liability? I am looking forward to speaking about the subject at a joint meeting of The Appraisal Foundation’s two advisory councils — The Appraisal Foundation Advisory Council (composed of 60 non-profits and government agencies) and the Industry Advisory Council (composed of 35 business entities with interests in valuation). “Hybrid appraisals” (which provide a desktop value opinion from a licensed/certified appraiser relying on a physical inspection of the property by a third party) are being marketed by AMCs and technology companies...

Trade Secrets Battles of AMCs & Lenders Relating to Valuation Technology 16

AMCs & Lenders Fighting…

…Battles over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to residential valuation technology and services… AMCs and Lenders Fighting Over Next Generation Valuation Products and Technology The residential valuation business for mortgage lenders has been taking big steps lately toward wide scale replacement of the historical Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR or 1004) form used in mortgage lending. As this movement happens, some would-be providers of replacement valuation products (such as “hybrid” appraisals) and automated valuation models (AVMs) are fighting over technology turf and trade secrets. There are currently three big legal battles over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to...

Amrock aka TSI Appraisal Guilty of Fraud; Update on FTC vs. LREAB 19

TSI Fraud & FTC vs. LREAB

Amrock, Inc, formerly Title Source (TSI Appraisal) was ordered to pay House Canary $706 MILLION in damages for theft of intellectual property and fraud.  Bottom line, there was a 7 week trial with a 12 person jury. Amrock (Title Source) was found guilty of theft and fraud unanimously! Amrock (Title Source) plans on appealing the verdict. Housing Wire has an in-depth article with lots of details. See it here. Things to ponder on: Should Amrock’s amc license be revoked due to this guilty verdict? Should appraisers and the public trust a company guilty of fraud and theft? Could appraisers win a law...

Fraudulent Appraisals Class Action Lawsuit, LREAB Oral Argument... 7

Better Than Your Favorite Band’s Concert!

This will be better than your favorite band’s concert! Watch the oral arguments in the FTC vs LREAB case live in Washington DC on Thursday February 22, 2018! “The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or "Commission") will meet on Thursday, February 22, 2018, in Room 532 of the FTC Building for an Oral Argument In the Matter of Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. The public is invited to attend and observe the open portion of the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. The remainder of the meeting will be closed to the public ” VaCAP will be there...

Appraisal Management Companies AMCs Have Failed 61

AMCs Have Failed

…it will be the appraisal management companies that are going to be held to the fire, not the appraiser… In the spring of 2002 my wife and I bought our third house; an older cape cod in a great school system where our son would start kindergarten in the fall and his sister the year after. This house literally was 1970 inside. It had deep red shag carpet in the family room and sculptured avocado green carpet upstairs. Not to worry, it blended well with the sunshine yellow stove, bright orange counter top and turquoise and pink bathrooms. After 3...

Staff Appraiser Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Against Corelogic AMC 25

Class Action Against Corelogic

A residential staff appraiser has filed an overtime class action lawsuit against appraisal management company CoreLogic Valuation Solutions. The appraiser is a current employee and works as a staff appraiser in Southern California. On behalf of herself and a putative class of similar CoreLogic staff appraisers, she alleges that CoreLogic’s compensation practices violate the overtime pay requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California state labor laws. The case will be legally interesting to watch because CoreLogic allegedly pays its employee appraisers on a “piece work” per appraisal basis with additional compensation for based on production and other...

Appraisers Classified as Independent Contractors Treated as Employees 13

Reclassifying Appraisers as Employees

Classifying Appraisers as Independent Contractors – an Issue for Appraisal Firms and Maybe AMCs Too A hot legal issue that is beginning to more often affect appraisal firms and similar businesses, such as inspection and field service management firms, is the classification of workers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. In some lawsuits, plaintiff workers argue that they were improperly classified by firms as independent contractors and then claim that, if they had been treated properly as employees, they would have been entitled to compensation for overtime, as well as reimbursement for expenses. In other situations, the issue is a...

Pressure Can Never Be Removed From Appraisers 7

Gaining Perspective On Our Profession

Pressure that used to be overt has now become covert… I hold no particular pedigree or credential to speak for everyone in the real estate appraisal profession. All I can do is draw from nearly 26 years of being a part of it. In that time, I have heard almost every opinion on every issue that promises to be the next big challenge for our industry. It’s true that like everything, change is inevitable. We adapt to new technologies and practices as well as learn new skill sets. From FIRREA to Dodd-Frank, appraisers have continued to evolve when swift moving...

Zillow Gone Wild 21

Zillow Gone Wild

Some very interesting news is surrounding Zillow… A lawsuit over Zestimates has now gone to a class action status. This will have rippling effects on each and every state and expand the liability to not only licensing, but privacy and consumer fraud. Read about this change here. Excerpt from the article titled “Class-action suit aims to halt Zestimates in Illinois”: “The Zestimates that Zillow posts are misleading and pose as accurate appraisals in violation of Illinois’ legal description of an appraisal, according to the complaint filed by three members of the Patel family and Schaumburg-based CastleBldrs.com. They claim homebuyers read...

Wells Fargo & Inflated Appraisal Fees: The End of AMCs? 5

The End of AMCs?

Wells Fargo has agreed to a $50 million settlement over inflated appraisal fees. Think about this for a minute….. The people bringing the lawsuit (the “Plaintiffs”) claim that Wells Fargo violated Federal law by charging homeowners more than the amount Wells Fargo paid for Broker’s Price Opinions (“BPOs”) and improperly concealing these “marked-up” charges. So, Wells Fargo was charging customers more for BPO fees on defaulted loans than the actual fees charged by the vendor. Is this any different than the use of an AMC? From the case: “Wells Fargo does not identify any provision in any of the numerous...

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