Verisite Photo Appraisal

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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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Verisite Photo Appraisal Report... Is the Door Open Wide for Fraud?Appraisal Photo Report for use on loans, pick and choose pictures…

Is the Welcome Mat Down and the Door Opened Wide for Fraud?

“What Appraisers Need to Know about Property Data Collection” is a topic of discussion in the latest Fannie Mae Newsletter. The article describes how property data is being collected and being sent to Fannie Mae to determine the type of valuation that is needed on a property. It discusses Appraisal Modernization, Desktop appraisals, Scope of Work and USPAP. It even references The Appraisal Foundation Video on Inspections & Hybrid Appraisal Assignments.

Well, Fannie Mae is the last entity that should be discussing USPAP. They clearly failed to review the video, as the answer to most of those questions is “It depends”. Not exactly a clear-cut answer or guidance by any standards. See the Fannie Mae Newsletter here.

Now that we are thinking to ourselves how wrong and dangerous this program is and how consumers and the entire housing market will be seriously harmed by this irresponsible and reckless behavior, meet a company called Strategic Information Resources. This company provides the property data and photos. Their product is called “The Verisite Photo Appraisal”. We are not sure how they can use the term appraisal, but that is a discussion for another day.

From their website:

“The Verisite Photo Report allows you to get current interior and exterior site photos with descriptions and maps instantly. The Verisite Photo Report is perfect for use on loans and banking processes that don’t require full appraisals: you can pick and choose which pictures and descriptions you want, order them, then approve and generate the Verisite Photo Report. The result? An instant, current picture of the property.”

Check out the full line of products they offer on their website.

Has Fannie Mae and the lenders informed the borrowers that someone other than the licensed appraiser will be entering their home? Will the borrower have a choice between an appraisal by licensed appraiser who inspects the property and whatever this is Fannie Mae is promoting? Will the 55 states and jurisdictions allow this program within their state?

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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42 Responses

  1. Avatar SB says:

    Funny how Verasite rhymes with Parasite

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  2. Avatar CJK says:

    What is the real reason why FNMA no longer wants an appraiser (licensed / insured / background check) to look at the subject and comparables? Remember this is the same company that has been inundated with corruption. It’s funny how a corrupt company will tell other people how things should be done. Who will pay for these “inspection” the borrower, or the tax payers? When these loans go into default will FNMA still point the finger at the appraisers. Remember when they were in bed with Countywide and said that the appraisers overvalued all the properties. Bla, bla, bla. At what point will the State Regulators grow a set of balls and stand up to this? They have the power to protect the public from FNMA and it’s market manipulations (also include Corelogic). I love how FNMA thinks that they know everything about USPAP, remember item #23 in the limiting conditions, what a bunch of dimwits.

    https://www.coursebb.com/2017/01/04/corruption-fannie-mae-freddie-mac-countrywide-financial-investigated/

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/12923225/ns/business-corporate_scandals/t/report-fannie-mae-manipulated-accounting/#.XJEEHGdYaUk

    http://re-insider.com/2013/06/24/scandal-at-fannie-mae-the-investigation-continues/

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  3. Vincent R Simon on Facebook Vincent R Simon on Facebook says:

    How about this, do one of these hybrids ,then do a 1004 on the same address. I’m curious to see if the results are the same or differ greatly . Let us know. And show us the difference.

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    • Jennie Scott on Facebook Jennie Scott on Facebook says:

      Vincent R Simon I had a hybrid on my own home. Came in at $360,000. The following week had a full appraisal. Came in at $495,000. This hybrid is currently sitting at the ncab. Can’t wait to hear the outcome next week.

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      • Jennie Scott on Facebook Jennie Scott on Facebook says:

        ……come to find out, the guy that did the 3rd party exterior inspection was not the same person that signed the inspection report. It was his brother. Glad we have lots of cameras! I guess I was upgraded to the 4th party inspection hybrid product.

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        • Jennie Scott on Facebook Jennie Scott on Facebook says:

          But apparently, all of this may not matter. I am being told that since he took off his “appraiser hat” to do an appraisal inspection, that he no longer has to conform to any of the requirements and USPAP. He’s just a person with what seems to have no guidelines. We shall see what the board says about it next week, as they will have the final say.

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          • Depends on your state. As much as I dislike California’s BREA, I can’t imagine them allowing an appraiser who is hired because they are a licensed appraiser to go out and perform appraisal functions in FRTs and ‘excuse’ them from doing anything they want. At the very least there is the issue of misleading information about who inspected the property being supplied in a report that I assume you paid for. It’s usually against the law for someone to certify they inspected a property when they had someone else do it.

            On top of that is the issue of the appraiser who relied on that inspection “deeming’ the inspector to be credible now that we know they lied about who did the inspection. If the inspection was no good then perhaps all the other assumptions of the appraiser were also no good.

            No matter the outcome, you have performed a very valuable service to all appraisers on this. AT a minimum you have demonstrated how unregulated these processes are; and how compliance is as non-existent as we all expected before.

            Once the state makes a decision send the background history (and lender information) to Jim Park at ASC and ask if this is the intention of the FFIEC and GSEs re bifurcated hybrids.

            His email is simply jim@asc.gov

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  4. Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

    I worked with SIR for a while, then they dropped my fees $75 an appraisal, bye bye bottom feeders. And I love the line “pick and choose photos”

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  5. Avatar CA Appraiser says:

    I believe that Verisite is a product by Appraisal Firewall also known as Sharper Lending. https://corp.appraisalfirewall.com/verisite/

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    • An appraisal MANAGEMENT company that denies it is an AMC. If they score appraisers; communicate UW issues to appraisers and coordinate completed product delivery as a third party, they are an AMC! They can pretend to be an AMS is not the same all they want, but in the end, they provide ZERO firewalls. The lender directly controls who is on their panel and can easily remove appraisers that don’t play ball without any paper trail. Designed in 1989 to take advantage of HVCC they have not kept pace with their regulatory obligations…merely circumvented and repackaged products to make it look like a legitimate “relation based service.”

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    • Avatar Carl says:

      Lenders get to choose pictures which will meet underwriter needs? What could possibly go wrong?

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  6. Great catch VaCAP!

    1. Hybrid hucksters always argue “Why can’t trained professionals like brokers or insurance inspectors” perform the appraiser’s field inspection.

    The answer is because ‘trained professionals’ like those noted don’t work for $25 an inspection; are unwilling to give up their day jobs for a chance at a single $25 inspection one or two days a week, AND if they are truly trained professionals, to begin with, they are unwilling to work for part-time income of $0 to $25 a day in vain hope of having a periodic 8 or 16 inspection day (assumes all 16 are side by side since there’d be no time left for driving). Assuming three comps each that’s a total of 66 properties observed and reported on per day.

    2. Most appraisers can’t remember specifics for half that many properties a day.

    3. The truth is that hybrid hucksters don’t hire professionals. They advertise for part-time students; low level, inexperienced real estate agents that have failed at listing or selling, and others with nothing more important to do. I am NOT certifying that their work products are ‘deemed credible’. I’m sure as hell not ‘deeming a Mueller Llc’ inspection is credible.

    4. The model doesn’t work for anyone without very high volume. It’s been proven time and again that very high volume in real estate analysis leads to very low quality and unreliable work product. Look no further than CoreLogic’s own data aggregation error rates. ALL appraisers know how unreliable and inconsistent their data is. Barely ‘good ’nuff for government work.’

    5. While FNMA and TAF are pretending a USPAP compliant short form third-party inspection format can be developed; the software designers such as ACI and corelamode are developing forms that figuratively have fraud written all over them – that don’t come close to the model product fnma hypes.

    6. Corporations such as Mueller Reports; and other traditional major players in the AMC vein have developed their own ‘online’ formats which have yet to provide ONE SINGLE COPY of either form; format, or completed report that is remotely USPAP compliant, as claimed.

    7. Even FNMAs much vaunted 1004p (June 2017) is a complete failure. (A) because it is almost as detailed as the current URAR so no hybrid hucksters will use it. It calls for around $500 to $600 worth of professional work to be properly completed. It achieves neither speed nor cost savings. (B) Its simply a very poorly cobbled together mish-mash of a URAR and chopped up limiting conditions and certifications that make no sense.

    My favorite is “Appraiser certifies that he has considered cost income and market approach and only used the market approach.” SAY WHAT?! They think THAT complies with USPAP or accepted appraisal practice? No mention of report credibility determination; or possible/ probable applicability of the other approaches OR an adequate reason for NOT using them.

    PLEASE use those in California! I can see fortunes to be made doing follow up comparative appraisals and reviews for consumers suing loan officers and mortgage companies.

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  7. Avatar CJK says:

    Will the E&O insurance cover the appraisers who complete this type of report?

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  8. Avatar CJK says:

    Mueller Reports just now called me to see if I would do work in another county. Just like every other AMC that calls me, I will not call them back, I will let skippy do the work for them.

    I could be wrong, but I do not see a license for Muller in the State of Colorado.

    https://apps.colorado.gov/dre/licensing/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx

    “I am a Recruiter at Mueller Reports. We are reaching out to see if you would be interested in completing a Field Review for Teller County, CO. It is a W9 and your fee compensation is negotiable. To discuss further, please call me directly at 716-264-5242.”

    It appears that they found me via Linkedin. When did my time become “negotiable.” My name is not Monty Hall and this is not the Price is Right.

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    • Avatar Advocate says:

      If they are not properly licensed to conduct business in Colorado and they are in fact conducting business in Colorado, you need to turn them into the state. Virginia caught them operating without proper licensing and registration a few weeks ago.

      http://appraisersblogs.com/sample-mueller-bifurcated-appraisal-report

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    • PLEASE turn them in! I would happily do so for you but I’m not a first person party to the offer of work there. If these guys won’t even comply with individual states licensing laws, how can they be trusted to provide USPAP Compliant appraisals?

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        I don’t know CJK, you have to call in to know for sure. Have not looked at those lists in a long time but I recall there was only periodical updates to them. Like forwarding them the email would be pretty similar to filing a complaint right?

        https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/appraisal-management-company-program

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          CJK, pg 40. State rules for amc’s, but you’ve probably read them.

          https://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/GenerateRulePdf.do?ruleVersionId=7869&fileName=4%20CCR%20725-2

          Use this tool instead of the license lookup page.
          https://apps.colorado.gov/dre/licensing/Lookup/GenerateRoster.aspx

          Click amc and appraisers, then click amc, then generate with your intended file type. Geesh, what happened to a good old online hosted pdf file? God I don’t have excel so I’m look at this in a text file on notepad, so ridiculous. No SIR on there, but I’m in notepad so don’t hold me to that. CO DORA is driving me nuts lately and last licensing cycle they did not send a printed license anymore, but rather told me to just print it out on regular paper stock. I liked the officially printed license on heavyweight state branded paper. Paperless is for the birds, that officially printed state license meant something important, at least to me. Scanning this at home print just is not the same in terms of professional appearance and such.

          Jennie Scott; “4th party hybrid”. True genius. Yes, this is getting out of control. We’ll start up a 5th party facilitation service to help these outsourcers keep their act together while they’re busy outsourcing to other outsourcers whom may outsource again. They do this to bury complainants in legal fees and obscure the chain of command regard both culpability and regulatory compliance issues. Outsourcing to other outsourcers and using non licensed help when licensed help is readily available is just quite plainly a stupid and short sighted business decision. You know who’s making these business decisions; Middle management people without individual licenses. At this point my vote is for total licensing of all amc persons, and all persons they may utilize in the outsource process. This would not be happening if we were dealing with licensed professionals whom could be held personally accountable. What’s your fee and turn time?

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  9. Avatar CJK says:

    After reading all of the bad reviews about Muller, it appears that many of the property owners think that these $25 inspectors are the actual appraiser. The reviews also talk about all of the things that these $25 inspectors are getting wrong. This should be fun, hold on for the ride boys and girls.

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  10. Avatar CA Appraiser says:

    I saw this at MBA Annual last year. The lender subscribes to it and homeowner has to download an app to allow them to take the pictures of their home. The lender can dictate what pictures they want the homeowner to take (bedrooms, kitchen etc.)

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  11. Avatar certresid says:

    Carl

    ? March 19, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Lenders get to choose pictures which will meet underwriter needs? What could possibly go wrong?

    **************************************

    Hey, for that matter Borrowers can just go to a relative or neighbors house and take pictures if their properties are nicer or in better condition. That scam scenario is sure to happen. When the fox is in charge of the hen house the hens are guaranteed to disappear and the fox will get fatter.

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  12. Avatar CJK says:

    When I started 36 years ago, I was an apprentice for 3 years, at that time my boss would only let me complete a solo inspection after 2 years. This was back in the day when an FHA appraisal was only one page, our reports were 15. I have never completed an appraisal in which someone else did the inspection for me. My friend also told me that the time would come when they would not even need appraisers anymore. FNMAs appraisal waiver, that time has now arrived.

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  13. Baggins Baggins says:

    One hand may not be completely aware of what the other hand is doing. I read their white paper. One page touts amc’s. The other promotes pick your photo hybrid inspection services. The senior appraiser guy claimed C&R is important. I’m getting conflicting data here and am just more confused. Is this the new face of the all in one stop for consumers? “Diversified Appraisal Services Division”…

    https://strategicinfo.com/appraisal-solutions/

    https://strategicinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/SIR-White-Paper-Solving-the-Looming-Appraisal-Problem.pdf

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  14. Baggins Baggins says:

    Related. The related services and other related companies here.

    aka previously known as; Credit Data Services.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4287503

    https://strategicinfo.com/about-us/#contact-us

    Click partners and affiliations. Why do the major players have to put appraisers down? It just does not make sense for an ethical company to eliminate full service human appraiser participation.

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  15. Avatar Ex appraiser says:

    CJK, I can support your contention that FNMA has extremely low standards and has no business talking about USPAP! Just for an interesting experience, I worked for Interthinx, a tech company that FNMA hired to do reviews of the original appraisal when the loans went bad after 2009 – I only stayed two months, but what I learned that was just the tip of the iceberg is that most of the “review” appraisers were formerly employed by Countrywide or Indy Mac. These were the same people blamed for giving value like it was candy. I have no respect for FNMA; they get appraisers to do their dirty work!

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  16. Avatar certresidential says:

    I get the impression that FNMA has held some special, regal reverence in the lending world. And I get where Appraisers have been afeared of them because they’ve been indoctrinated and taught to obey their “rules” or go to a poo poo list.

    They’re like the Queen of England to the Brits or the Pope to Christians. And like all monarchs their goal is longevity and their ambitions are to stay in power and be prosperous. And they were ruthless when it came to expanding their empires rule through colonization. FNMA sends shivers to those who seek their Gold aka Loans.

    The reality IS FNMA is nothing but a corporation whose goals it is to make MORE profits at any and all costs because like the All Monarchs they believe their existence is a matter national economic importance.

    The fact is they are just as crooked and self serving as any OTHER corporation. and I do remember Interthinx – they were head hunters whose own heads should have been impaled on the ramparts.

    Real Estate Agents Are on the next Chopping Block.

    “Outside agents notch a victory over Opendoor. But it may be short-lived.”

    …Wu said that agents would need to accept that their role in transactions will change as the process becomes increasingly automated.

    Over the last decade, agents have been squeezed by the proliferation of online listings portals and automated valuation models. Now, with well-funded “iBuyers” poised to tighten the screws and reduce the agents’ role in the homebuying process, some brokers are fighting back against automation.

    “[It]’s going to take a little bit of time for agents to realize that actually the automation will happen, and their role is to be an adviser to the customer,” Wu said.

    https://therealdeal.com/2019/03/18/outside-agents-notch-a-victory-over-opendoor-but-it-may-be-short-lived/

    Sound familiar?

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    • Overhyped software (snake oil) and undereducated consumers is any hustler’s dream come true. Sadly, many folks with unrelated degrees believe that translates to knowledgeable real estate investors. The rest of us know them as victims, based on lifetimes of experience; and decades of ignored political corruption.

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  17. Avatar certresidential says:

    How Travel Agent Trade Group Fought Its Way Back From Near-Extinction

    https://skift.com/2018/10/08/how-travel-agent-trade-group-fought-its-way-back-from-near-extinction/

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  18. Avatar sharperlending says:

    Verisite Photo Report is not an appraisal report – and not intended to replace appraisal reports. Appraisers are finding opportunity with our products in their evolving market. SharperLending is a technical innovator – throughout our 30 year history – and we’ve always supported all local service providers.

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    • Avatar Milton P says:

      “Appraisers are finding opportunity with our products in their evolving market.” Now that is the funniest thing I have heard all day! This product is an open invitation to fraud. No professional would ever consider this product beneficial. No state regulatory board would either.

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      • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

        I took on 6 orders today ($500 to $650), turned down 4 more, didn’t reply to a bunch of others, and will be booked up all of next week. If the trend continues, I may have to decline dozens of assignments next week because no one gives the appraiser more than 4 to 5 days in my area. By “opportunity”, do they mean I should stop what I’m doing, and pick up work for $50, all while completing work that is not USPAP compliant? What a joke.

        Seek the truth.

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    • Avatar certresidential says:

      Sharperlending. There is only a fractional segment of Appraisers who give any credibility to your product, it’s purpose and intended use. Were it otherwise you would not feel compelled to post in your products defense. And As you can see from reading this blog and others like it, where Appraisers gather to express their views and those of their peers – outright Lies and misrepresentations from AMCs falsely claiming to “represent” Appraisers interests are running amuck these days. You should Stick around a while because the likes of the Sharpie and the Quicken need a reality check.

      Evolving markets, kleenex modernization appraisal papers, innovative, unprecedented and exciting opportunities, technical visionaries..are Buzz words used by those offering minimum wage to trained, experienced professionals

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    • Avatar Carl says:

      Looks like SIR revised their website after this article was published. “Verisite Photo Appraisals” is now being called “Verisite Photo Report”.

      Before and after screenshots below

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    • Horse manure.

      They also appear to lie in their internet links…though they did attempt to scrub their sites.
      https://strategicinfo.com/verisite/
      https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=veristite+appraisal
      https://sirvaluations.com/verisite-photo-appraisals/

      At best, they are performing appraisal review functions and ‘scoring’ results for which appraisals will be held up to for comparison purposes. Carefully parsed truth I think.

      Unfortunately, there are far too many “technical innovators” innovating areas about which they know nothing. How DARE you suggest any of your AVMs is a worthy value verification vehicle! There’s not an AVM in the nation (including yours) that is worth a damn at providing credible approximations of market values. NOT ONE. Certainly, there is no product out there today that is a valid measure of appraisal quality and that goes for FNMAs CU as well.

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    • WE know its not an appraisal report. Does your marketing staff?

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  19. Avatar CJK says:

    2 – 5 more years and I am done, I will have a big smile on my face the next time the market crashes. By that time they will have a new phone app called “It was not my fault app.” The app can be used to receive a fast 1 day bailout from the tax payers. I am thankful that my clients detest AMCs or anything that looks remotely like them. I must do the inspection and take all of the photos, I cannot even have another appraiser in my office do it for me. They do not want other people doing my job for me.

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Verisite Photo Appraisal

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