TCValuations Ceasing Operations!

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VaCAP Board

Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
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TCValuations ceasing operations & paying appraisers $0.25 on the dollar!

TCValuations Paying Appraisers $0.25 on the Dollar!

VaCAP has just learned TCValuations is ceasing operations.

They are paying appraisers $0.25 on the dollar!

Some good advice: AMCs ceasing operation may be the beginning of a trend as more lenders stop using AMC’s. Stay on top of your receivables and be careful when granting credit.

Dear Appraiser,

It is with much regret, that I write this letter to inform you that TCV has commenced an orderly wind up and liquidation of operations. Unfortunately a significant downturn in revenue and the loss of part of our volume with two key clients in the second quarter of 2017, has forced the company to wind up its operations.

As soon as we recognized the downturn in revenue was more than a temporary decrease, we took immediate steps to wind up the business and salvage as much of our outstanding receivables as possible for the benefit of our appraisers.

We immediately took the following steps:

  • Reduced expenses
  • Reduced payroll
  • Focused on collecting our outstanding receivables

Unfortunately, we were not able to collect all of our receivables and with significant operating losses over the course of the second quarter, we are only able to pay our appraisers twenty five ($0.25) cents on the dollar owed to each of the appraisers.

We thank you for your loyal support and commitment to TCV over the past 9 years.

With much appreciation,

Gregg Baier
President

Excerpt from HuffingtonPost article:

AMC executives like Vancellette and his colleagues spend decades cultivating relationships with appraisers, who get paid by companies like TCV as independent contractors. It could easily be argued that appraisers who work with appraisal management companies like Transcontinental or one of its competitors have the best of both worlds,—working independently…being their own bosses. At the same time, they leave the sales, invoicing and other administrative tasks to their appraisal management company.

“They can work as much as they want, or part-time if they have other things going on,” says Vancellette. “We work with a lot of parents and semi-retired seniors who want to work part-time.”

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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58 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Simply follow the money to their overseas account or recent freaky investments. Ask the IRS to audit them.

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  2. Gary says:

    Why not go after the officers with a “Theft of Services” charge. Seems to me there is a trending of AMCs shooting the rapids. They will most likely open up under another AMC name later on. The less work you do for an AMC the quicker they will all go out of business…Hang in there. I now hear Fannie and Freddie are looking for another 100 bil. to bail there butts out.

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      • gary says:

        Is that all you have to contribute?

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Nope, try again. Hang in there bro. Hey dude, their lights are on. Yo, they’re having a party. There being place. Their being possessive. they’re being plural. Don’t make me upload a spelling police meme, I’ve got lots of those. There’s nm64 in them thar chips!

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        • Gary says:

          Couple of spelling errors below. Better get on it.

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Firefox is my personal spelling assistant.  Without that I’d be in big trouble and spelling cat would be after me instead.  Good thing there is not a comma cat, for improper use of parsing sentences or whatever.  I’m faking it, but don’t tell anyone.

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  3. Diana N. says:

    At least maybe they are paying that, ES never paid a cent and owed millions to appraisers when they folded up their tents and crawled into the night.

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  4. Steven says:

    I’m sure the president of the company received his bonus at the end of the first quarter, and is still being paid a full salary as well.

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  5. Baggins Baggins says:

    “reduced payroll” eh?  What legal precedence is there for them to prioritize their amc payroll over that of the appraisers?  The amc was in fact, there to manage the appraisers payroll.  We are not creditors to the amc.  The amc is the steward of our monies.  It’s auditing time! More heartwarming stories from the crypt.

    I have an email here.  They did take losses in CO in order to retain national lending clients, they told me so in an email.  This is the long ago predicted story of imbalance when the amc engages in flat rate.

    And that’s why I have an ethical challenge when driving fees to C&R with amc’s.  Someone else gets hurt because they operate like a bitcoin mixer service, co-mingling what is supposed to be distinctly separate monetary streams.  Appraisers actually do work for free months at a time to pay overhead costs, keeping very little for pocket money.  Amc management is there to relieve the lender of a limited scope of process and payment responsibility, nothing more, nothing less. All they were supposed to do was shuttle orders and process payments to assure the mb’s could not influence the appraisers.  Most amc’s never actually understood their purpose was to protect appraisers.  Most did the opposite and caused irreparable harm while functioning as an outsourcing agency.

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      If the TRID says that a certain amount was paid for “appraisal fees” I think they have a serious problem if NO money was in fact paid for the appraisals.

      1. The property owners that may have deducted the costs on their taxes could have unanticipated liabilities They may now be subject to penalties and interest on disallowed deductions.Particularly investors.

      2. The LENDER may have some explaining to do to CFPB or at least their own specific regulators for the FALSE TRID statements.

      3. Its not the appraisers responsibility (or right) to notify borrowers but I’d be willing to bet the lenders have an obligation when they have notification that the TRID is not accurate. Be sure to raise this question with the suggestion they verify the TRID data when you write to demand payment in full from them.

      Im not qualified to offer any kind of legal opinion. I assume they will argue THEY paid the AMC therefore the “appraiser fee” TRID disclosures are accurate. My contention would be “That’s nice, but no appraisal fee was ever received from YOUR agent by the appraiser therefore no ‘appraisal fee’ has ever been paid.” Only an AMC management fee which they have miscategorized as having been paid to appraisers when it was not.

      Let the games begin!!!

       

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  6. Baggins Baggins says:

    I don’t think they should even be allowed to quit.  They should wear the same shoes as the appraisers and work for steep discounts until the bills are paid in full. 

    Think about the proper process of monetary supply as it relates to this event. The amc credited themselves operational funds from a regulated monies pool. Normal people like you and me have to ask for a loan from a lending institution if we want capitol funds to expand or satisfy payroll expenses if the operational funds are deficient. It’s called being in the red. I don’t know, let’s call in that guy from bar rescue or something. Time to open the books.

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  7. JM2C says:

    Another reason not to work with AMCs. I just saw someone post the following in another forum so be careful about giving your bank account info to AMCs for ACH payments:

    “The secured creditors take everything. I had a payment clawed back by the courts in a bankruptcy for an AMC years ago and it was made two months prior to the bankruptcy proceedings. Looked at my bank account one day and over $1500 had been withdrawn. I got a certified letter two days later from the court stating it had been taken to satisfy secured creditor debt. They can go back several months if they choose.”

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      LOL, a Patriot Trading Group reference?  “most consumers are unaware they are now defined as unsecured creditors to the bank, and that means if the bank goes under, you get paid less.” 
      How about rethinking bond requirements for amc’s?

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    • Chris Hawley says:

      Holy crap…!? I’ve never heard of this before and never experienced this. I hope I never do because I do work with a lot of AMCs and Direct Lenders that I’ve set-up ACH PMTs

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  8. Abdur says:

    I agree that funds to the appraiser should be mandated by law to be in an escrow account.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      The purpose of the government is not supposed to be to expand in an infinite manner and regulate all personal risk away.  That just brings new and worse burdens of taxation without representation and a run away governance where the people are not properly represented.  The purpose of the government is to protect liberties ‘by the consent of the governed’.  I do not consent to expanding government.  The decision of appraisers to work with amc’s is a personal one rooted in free market behaviors.  We can’t change the past but our current consumer decisions can and will influence the future.

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  9. John Pratt says:

    Elizabeth  –  Most appraisers have no understanding of the Bankruptcy proceedings, no group of appraisers are going to change the Bankruptcy regulations.  Secured credits are entitled to be paid 100% of what they are owed before any unsecured creditors are paid anything. Accounts payable by the company that goes bankrupt are unsecured creditors, this includes the appraisers in this case. The bankruptcy Judge has the right  to back at least up to 6 months and demand refund of any payments made by the bankrupt (in anticipation of going bankrupt), the judge has lots of power in his judgement as to who he attempts to “claw back” prior payments from.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Thank you John, you seem to know quite a bit about bankruptcy, which is right on topic here.  Would you please take a moment to chime in on my speculative comment;  The amc credited themselves operational funds from regulated monies.  /  For RCR, see above, isn’t this the exact thing the bond was supposed to cover?

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      Dont assume they are in bankruptcy – I saw no reference to it. Orderly liquidation could mean “I need to set aside enough to retire or start a new business and after that, there is only $0.25 on the dollar for you. Do NOT allow these guys to sidestep bankruptcy and whatever stigma it may have. In meantime file claims with state regualtors. Im pretty sure they have surety bonds.

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  10. RCR says:

    There should be a legal course of action to receive the full payment agreed upon by the AMC and the appraiser.

    I received a partial payment of 25 cents on the dollar. What an obsolete insult. I would be more than happy to join a “class action lawsuit” to obtain the remaining funds.

    What are your thoughts?

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  11. Diana N. says:

    RCR unfortunately a class action does no good, we tried that with ES and lost. J.P. Morgan Chase won, again.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      I’m thankful for the great advisement of senior appraisers here, through workingRE, and the appraisers forum.  Glad to not be burdened by these events.

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  12. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    I never got suckered in by them, but if I had my response would be:

    “Dear TCV. I didn’t agree to work for 1/4 fees. You collected 100% of the fee for my work. I didn’t agree to let you use MY fee to pay other appraisers for other prior appraisals; that in turn were paid for by THEIR borrowers. I didn’t consent to be a part of your ponzi scheme.

    I expect it to be paid immediately.

    Otherwise, forget your so called “orderly liquidation. I will file suit to force you into bankruptcy and we will let a court appointed Receiver distribute any assets. If you used fees intended for the appraisal for any other purpose than as indicated on the TRID or closing documents, I believe that is commingling or conversion.

    Additionally, client agent relationships have had extensive clarification in recent years. YOUR firm is an agent for the lender who by definition is the client of my work product and service. I’m forwarding your communication to them immediately along with the notice that I will hold them responsible for payment of fees for services ordered by THEIR agent on their behalf.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Ford moves in with a deft foot step maneuver, he looks like he’s floating on air without touching the ground! He ducks right, he swings left, it’s an uppercut! TCV is out cold! OMG, it’s an incredible upset you had to see it in person to believe it could be true! Camera’s won’t do this justice, a tooth just hit the bell, did you hear that! OMG it’s one for the history books folks, possibly the greatest one-two sequence of all time!

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  13. John Pratt says:

    I have had a lot of experience with bankruptcy, you are wasting your time trying to rationalize why or how the appraiser should be paid. Once the business has filed for Bankruptcy all creditors (appraisers are creditors ) are for bidden to contact the company or individual that filed in an attempt to collect any debts. There is an automatic restraining order, you can only contact the Bankruptcy Court. There is an exact pecking order who get paid and when and unsecured creditors (that  includes appraiser) is last on the pecking order.

    Mike  I am sure you are a lot smarter than I  when it comes to Appraisals and USPAP however I think you misspoke when you said that the AMC was not your client. I have argued with USPAP to change the definition of “Client” for several years however it is my understanding that under the current definition in USPAP, the AMC is your client.

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      John where in the article does it mention they filed bankruptcy? No one has reported receiving a Notice to Creditors. TCVs wording re reduced staff and collection of AR items tends to reaffirm there was no filing of bankruptcy.

      PS I worked for NFCU 1974-1980 as their Budgetary Counselor where we dealt with Receivership’s (set up and administered) and Bankruptcies everyday; and as a credit manager for a CA Toy Co. in 1983 I represented their  interests in creditors meetings when our vendors or customers filed BK. Im no expert these days, but I do have considerable prior first hand experience.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Do you think clear as day statement from tavma regarding amc’s being properly identified as agents of the lenders in a letter to the federal reserve just might perhaps clear that up?  Right there on page 2, clear as day.  Your challenge to agency Mr Pratt, is hereby denied.  I’m just messing around, but hey which came first, the bankrupt chicken or the federal oversight rules for appraisal net egg payments?

      https://www.federalreserve.gov/SECRS/2010/November/20101110/R-1394/R-1394_110210_54213_570341919322_1.pdf

      And then there was the interim final rule, pretty straight forward.  I’m not sure the precedent for paying 25c on the dollar for federally regulated transaction fees had been established or substantiated for free market participators whom are not in bankruptcy.  Especially not for agents of the lender whom are likewise under the same regulatory umbrella and ultimately are offloading this risk and penalty back to the lender.  But hey, give the amc’s credit. They’re good at offloading, that’s what they do.  If the lender did not see that one coming a mile down the track, they were blind.

      https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20101018a.htm

      Just yesterday norman hubbard, fee quote request and nope can’t provide consistent numbers for future or even regular expectations.  “We work with many different lenders, whom pay may different fees, we always place orders through competitive quotes.”  Oh man, that’s what I get for answering blind while on the other line.  They really have awful sales people if that’s how they’re structuring multiple client engagements, just on the fly and all.  One might struggle to explain fair billing practices for appraisers per ethics guidance, and the need for stable and consistent engagements for business stability.  But then one would be asking for too much specialty understanding from an unlicensed and under qualified telecom worker who simply can not relate.  They’re 9-5 and when the weekend comes they party.  If they’re not dressing up as pizza slices, santa clause, and witches and goblins several times a year while they’re busy fee shopping and managing those orders to appraisers.  That’s all types including big dogs, not just amc’s.  Appraisal distribution is where the party happens.  Many appraisers may be surprised if they were to look into the social network and internal job listing aspects of the amc’s whom ring them.  There is just so many of them though, it’s rather futile to research through all of that just to try and find the ones who at least try and keep it professional.  These guys will literally hang up the phone on you mid conversation if you beat down their rhetoric with logic and facts.  Sadly, the cheeziest remain.  Everyone hating on this one for going under, but at least he returned emails and is honest about the insolvency.  The same could not be said for some other notably infamous amc’s.  I say just keep working TCV, you’ll claw your way out of that debt based operational schedule eventually and hopefully can raise fees to lenders in the future so you might actually earn some positive monies not allotted for operational costs.  Get a smaller office in a less costly less new building, freeze all compensation until you’re in the green, and adopt a more comprehensive marketing approach.  As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.  If the medicine is good, take it first.  If you endorse the product, let me see you try it.

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      • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

        Of course the ‘always quote on an individual basis’ runs contrary to every single amc ad in the country. Ads that claim they have single set fees. Or, the contracts proposals and service level agreements between banks and AMCs (SLAs) that clearly show a ceiling of $650 in most areas.

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  14. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Off shore accounts and bitcoin. That’s where you’ll find your money hidden.

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  15. Tom D says:

    please stop the crying. prior to hvcc, and long, long ago i got stiffed by brokers. it’s part of the nature of not collecting the fee at door. even got some bounced checks, then to, from the home owner.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Slightly different from an organized national racket which pilfers as a standard engagement policy then folds ponzi style. I miss the one on one days, I could call someone who knew something.

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      I average about one bad check a year from a borrower. In almost all cases, my very first stop after a field collection assignment is to run by their bank before I even spend time looking at the comparable. Downside is that it ads a little time to my day in the field. Up side is I KNOW right off if I’ve been truly paid.

      FNMA took that ability away from loans sold to them.

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  16. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    John, I’ve not seen anything where it says they filed for bankruptcy. Either Chapter 7; or Chapter 11. Even if they have, they does not negate claims against other parties. My point is to PUSH them into bankruptcy-to force the issue and let a court decide on the “orderly liquidation” of assets-not the AMC owners. That process can open the books up for examination by the courts appointed Receiver.

    Re Client & USPAP; the Definitions suggest you are right “Client-One who engages the appraiser by contract or employment (USPAP 2016-2017). However the ASC has stated in public (James Park Executive Director ASC; TAF meeting Torrance CA) that “ASC and Federal Regulators see absolutely no daylight between the lender and the AMC.”  That was a specific acknowledgement of the agency relationship.

    No doubt the wording creates an ambiguity at best. If the lender quoted and collected a fee for the appraisal then have they engaged the appraiser? If the AMC requires that lenders policies to be followed is that covered under the ‘by contract’ part? Nearly every page of the report has the Lender/Client specified as the actual lender (unless the AMC has its name inserted there).

    You are correct though, I remembered the wording incorrectly-conflated Mr. parks comments with definition. I would STILL urge appraisers to go after them (lender). It is still the lender that is responsible for assuring the appraiser is paid a customary and reasonable fee under Dodd-Frank.

    At a minimum Id even try a novel approach of writing to FNMA and “withdrawing” or revoking the appraisal on the basis that it was never paid for. Therefore the appraiser is not and will  not be responsible for any future questions, issues or assurances concerning it that may arise in future post purchase audits; and that no such assurances may be made to subsequent purchasers of the loan. (admittedly a stretch)

    The point is NOT to simply roll over and accept being deprived of fees due  by the banks chosen AMC.

     

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  17. James says:

    TCV was one of the worst companies for payments. They said net 60, but even then it was difficult to get paid. I worked small amounts for them for a couple years, an assignment here and there. At least half of the time the payments would be past 90 days and I would have to call over and over to receive payment. They banked on appraisers with poor book keeping skills. I stopped accepting assignments from them anytime they were behind and would never float more than three invoices from them. I also stopped work for them once mortgage applications went down. The companies will thin out as work slows down, If they tried to be sneaky when they needed appraisers how would they be when they were low on work? Poor service all around, no wonder why they went out of business in this appraisal boom. Any company that has more than net 30 I will not complete more than one or two jobs for. Most appraiser do not remember Ace Lending closing its doors. Their AMC closed same day keeping millions. Many appraiser depended on that one client and suffered. We as appraiser can change the rules by our action. We are the reason TCV closed, they treated us poorly and received similar services, that cost them their clients. I accepted lower paying work from companies that paid on time over them. We need to hold these AMC’s accountable. They demand payments up front but pay us 90 days after services? And now the AMC’s that want half the fee and charge upload fee’s? I found one that wants a payroll fee as well for each check cut.  If we do not stand together and refuse the crappy work we will all be at $10 an hour soon.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Although I never took an order from them, I did a lot of research on them.  It is my understanding they took the national flat fee approach.  Surely that puts one in a disadvantageous position in an increasing number of locales where appraisers have forced the return of both recovered fees to previous time periods, then also applied the necessary increase for time.

      Amc’s paid under c&r for so long, many persons in that industry truly honestly believe 450 is a tremendous increase.  Like, good, now we’re back to 2002 with that fee.  Let’s provide full market correction and take this to 850 instead.  It’s sort of corny to trust people who don’t understand basic concepts like inflation, to federally regulated mortgage transaction process duties.  Accounting is not that difficult and neither is responsible stewardship of account monies.  Sadly, the amc’s are more likely to attract appraisers who may be on the verge of insolvency themselves.

      I maintain my long standing request that it’s more important to run a credit check on your state licensed appraiser, than a background check.  If orders were assigned by responsible credit management comparisons, you’d all be working for me.

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  18. MPA Appraiser says:

    I don’t see what the problem is with the AMC only paying appraisers $0.25 on the dollar. All we have to do as appraisers is go to all of the people we owe money to, including our office landlords and tell them that we will be paying them only $0.25 on the dollar as we conduct an orderly windup, whatever an “orderly windup” is all about. First off AMC’s cut our fees by about 50% and now they are only paying us $0.25 on the dollar for fees that were reduced 50%. Ladies and gentlemen, we were screwed when AMC’s came into the picture and we are continuing to be screwed.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Take hope, MPA Appraiser.  You are a free market participator and are a force unto yourself.  Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, your participation and consumer choices carry gravity and matter a lot.  So tell me, have you marketed till you dropped, reverse sold lenders away from amc’s, scoured lists, sent applications, tightened the belt, all of that?  As the old saying goes from before the day’s of amc proliferation;  All it takes is one reliable lending client to make your appraisal business great.  Flash forward to 2017, Great Again that is!

      Great Again, 2017!  All direct, all day, every day.  For a long time now even.  The world is what you make it but more importantly, the appraiser is the dominant free market force in this fish bowl.  Without us, nothing happens.  Checks and balances are a mandate, not an option.

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  19. Scott says:

    JP Morgan Chase got me good but got lucky on these clowns. The GSE’s are just as bogus. I gives me a headache so I try not to think about it to much. Whistle by the graveyard.

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  20. Diana N. says:

    J P Morgan Chase got a lot of us real good. Got me for $4500. I’ll be damned if I let it happen again.

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  21. Northern California Appraiser says:

    The client is the entity listed on the appraisal report, which is not the AMC. The appraisal report says the lender is the client & the report was accepted by them. They should be the ones who are ultimately responsible if their agent (AMC) absconds with the money.

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  22. Ralph says:

    Who are the IDIOTS, who said we cannot do COD, oh wait the same Politburo who make us take USPAP every 2 years!

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  23. Diana N. says:

    How about: Lenders Choice, Mortgage Lenders of America, Nations Valuation, Nationwide Lending, Ofori Assoc, Property Sciences, Protech and Valuation Partners. Anybody getting any more work from them? Are they still in business? Or maybe they just don’t like my fee quotes.

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  24. Scott says:

    Who were TC’s customers anyway? Core Logic is buying all my better paying AMC’s. It is like they are following me around buying them up. Core Logic hates to pay even 75% of what Mercury payed and picks out all the cherries and gives to the $200 guys.

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  25. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    They are digging their own grave. The great thing about the next RE market collapse is that they wont have anyway at all to blame the appraisers

    Picture the future CEO of CoreLogic in front of Congress…”Mr. Lipshitz, isn’t it true that CoreLogic sells analytics analysis services? Isn’t it true that among CL product line are AVMs that you tout as being reliable and accurate because of your extensive data base?

    Isn’t it true that your AMS portal Appraisal Port (or Mercury now) first selected and assigned the appraisal and later processed Mr. Low Fee Appraiser’s report right on through your system where the First American loan officer then uploaded it to the First American Mortgage Lender that in turn obtained the First American policy of title insurance through First American Escrow and that First American’s title insurance actually funded the loan that was serviced by First American Servicing before the loan went into a first payment default 90 days later? (Where it is now handled by First American Asset Management as an REO?

    How is it that not one of these CoreLogic or affiliated firms and services picked up that the property was valued at 150%  of its market value? How is it that an unqualified buyer slipped through all the normal checks and balances? How did the property slip through at such a high value?

    Impossible you say? Really?

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TCValuations Ceasing Operations!

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