Why is Only One Side of This Story Being Told?

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Why is Only One Side of the Racism Claim Appraisal Story Being Told?There are always two sides to every story; however, understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth in the middle.

Recently there has been a wave of news stories about racism in the appraisal profession brought on by a couple in Jacksonville, Florida. That couple, Abena Horton, a black woman, and her husband Alex Horton, a white male, made claims that an appraiser who first appraised their home came in low on the appraisal due to her race. You can read one of the numerous stories here.

Before anyone here accuses me of being racist etc., I will state that I appraise homes in a major city made up of all races but primarily African Americans. I don’t appraise race. I appraise real property consisting of homes and land, and yes, I am a white male. I am bound by USPAP and a code of ethics to protect the public trust, which I take seriously. Could some appraisers be racist? I can’t say no to this because anything can happen, and there are always bad apples in every profession, and if that were to be the case, I would be one of the first to condemn that sort of behavior and want them to be removed immediately.

Now I won’t get into the specifics as once again you can read the story from many news outlets, including watching a video done by Good Morning America; however, what I will get into, is that this story is being told by only one side with no actual second side being presented. Why? Why hasn’t anyone done their research to determine the truth on this matter? Why didn’t the news outlets do their due diligence to find out the facts before reporting on something so one-sided? Why hasn’t any of the Appraisal profession organizations demanded that both reports be supplied to be reviewed? Where is the Florida State Board? These are questions that need to be answered, yet instead, it appears that everyone is taking the word of this couple for the experience and reporting just one side of this story. I get it, racism is a significant issue in this country, and it shouldn’t be tolerated period; however, not every issue has to deal with race.

Let’s go even further into this as it appears there are many things missing from the news reports as we once again are only hearing it from one’s side. Per the new stories and Abena Hortons’ initial Facebook post, her husband and herself had a predetermined number in mind that they needed to refinance their house at a specific rate. Where did this number come from? Zillow? Redfin? Or perhaps it came from Abena Horton’s employer Black Knight Inc. Who is her employer? Black Knight, Inc., formerly known as Black Knight Financial Services, is an American corporation that provides integrated technology, services, data, and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries. Black Knight is one of the leaders in AVMs (Automated Valuation Models), which uses algorithms, much like Zillow and others, to estimate a home’s value based on public record data, MLS data, and other online data sites. These algorithms fail to take into account external influences (train tracks, gas stations, cell phone towers, or high tension power lines, to name a few), interior and exterior conditions of the homes ( upgrades or areas of deferred maintenance) as well as neighborhood locations. Could this magical number they needed and well they were given on the second appraisal came from her own company looking to replace the traditional appraiser?

Abena Horton employer Black Night

Now, as of this writing, here are some of the values given to their home via three different AVM sites. Notice who the highest one is? I am just speculating here, but it does seem very odd.

AVM inaccuracies

Next let’s look at the lender. The lender was the Coastline Credit Union. These are the questions I have for the lender: 1) Did this lender use an AMC (Appraisal Management Company) to perform the appraisal? 2) What was their involvement in the second appraisal ordered since they, too, were surprised by the original appraisal value, according to Abena Horton? I have been an appraiser for a very long time, and before the crash, lenders would influence appraisers by telling them details of what value was needed, issues with a particular property, etc.. Could this lender have influenced the second appraiser and informed them of what happened on the first appraisal and the information from the Hortons of possible racism? Did they hire an appraiser that they knew would help them out? Again more unanswered questions due to the one-sided story.

Now we will get into the appraisals themselves… Where are they? Abena Horton has supplied no significant data other than her own story. While the reports were asked to be supplied numerous times, she continued to skirt the issue of supplying them to anyone. Why? What was her reasoning for not supplying them for additional help? On her Facebook post, any and all comments she did not like were deleted even when actual facts were provided to her. Why would she delete them? The only thing she did was contact HUD and make a claim of racism. Why didn’t she file a state complaint with the real estate appraiser board even after many suggested she do so, she didn’t? Why are both reports not being supplied so that they can be reviewed? Why hasn’t anyone investigated the appraisers and the lender? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now along these lines, we had one appraisal come in at $330,000 and another at $465,000. Now, if I recall correctly, the magic number the Hortons had in their minds in order to refinance was $460,000-$465,000. Interesting that they got that exact number on the second appraisal. Now look back at the AVM numbers I shared above. Not that they really mean anything, but they are still well below the second appraisal even months later. This will show you something… The accuracy of these AVMs if nothing else.

Good Morning America one sided appraisal race story

Now the question is… which appraiser was correct? Who were the appraisers? Did they have geographical competency to perform the appraisals? Did they understand the market in these areas? Did the appraisers use the correct comparable sales? According to a local Agent in the area, they believe that the first appraisal was more accurate and that the second one used sales that were not representative of the subject property. The realtor stated that the subject is located near train tracks and across the main road from an extension of the subject’s subdivision where sales are commanding a higher sales price. Were these factors taken into consideration in either report? Again we don’t know because only one side of the story is being told. We know nothing other than one woman’s story.

So here we are today. One woman telling her story; however, the other side has remained hidden. If you are going to make a claim on anything, then I would expect you to have actual facts rather than just your observation. Abena Horton claims to have taken all pictures and more down for the second appraisal.. Well from what I know about appraising, there will be interior pictures of the home within the reports. Let’s see the pictures as well to determine if this is in fact true. If this is an act of racism, I hope the appropriate actions will be taken by the state and other licensing boards as this should never happen. If the second appraisal was influenced and inflated their home’s value, based off hidden info etc., I hope the same actions would be taken. Abena Horton has taken to social media, has been on Good Morning America, and tells her story, devalues the appraiser profession due to her own opinion and thoughts on what happened. It’s time to get to the bottom of this and get the real facts presented. The appraisal profession commands ethical behavior, and it’s now under attack by a story that has not been proven correct.

Here is a recent post below by Abena Horton. However, no comments are allowed unless you follow her. My opinion here is that someone is on a mission and enjoying the spotlight.

Abena Horton Facebook Post making fun of appraisers

There are two sides to every story, with the truth in the middle. Why hasn’t anyone tried to figure out the truth, the facts, and deal with the issue since it came about? Why is it being ignored? Why are appraisal organizations putting a bandaid on an open wound and not trying get to the real issue or cause of it? It’s a shame that anyone can claim whatever they want without providing facts in this day and age. We have no appraisals; we have no facts but rather one person’s opinion and how they perceived things. If you, Abena Horton were a victim of racism, then I applaud you for your actions and will fully support you going forward. If you received a poor appraisal the first time, I would hope you have FACTS to suggest racism rather than just an appraisal that was done poorly. If it turns out you were not a victim of racism, your home was overvalued for your refinance, which you wanted and got the value you needed, then I hope you accept the responsibility of your actions as well as the harm, issues, and more you put others through. Without the facts from the other side of this story, it’s your word against no one and it’s not proven accurate.

There are two sides to every story. We only have one. It’s time to get the full story here before more harm is done to a profession that prides itself on ethics and doing the right thing for the consumer.

By Dean Merriweather, Certified Residential Appraiser

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147 Responses

  1. This is a great point of view. when I first saw this story in an appraiser group on FB I asked many of the same questions. If systemic racism is suspected in the appraisal business, then let’s investigate this “Scientifically” as the left likes to toss that word around.

    Order appraisals in different markets with a homeowner of color one time and a white homeowner the other. Let a couple of independent reviewers review the two appraisals. With a 41% divergence between the two appraisals, someone is way off.

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    • … or both of them are “off”.

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    • Avatar Greg says:

      There is only one constant in this discussion. The discrimination happened! Trying to explain that away is promoting racism. Is the story untrue? NO, so given that, all other arguments as to why, how , its more than one side is invalid.

      To put forth any argument defending this takes a voiding of a known truth. Racism is real and prevailing in our society! Again? This did happen, we all know it did!

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      • Avatar Xpert says:

        No we don’t know. I say that the homeowner is promoting racism! She refuses to file a complaint against the appraiser she says is racist, to the Florida board of appraisers, so that they can investigate, fine and revoke his/her license if indeed the appraiser is racist and did undervalue her property. Instead she goes on social media and gives interviews claiming racism, while “her racist appraiser” continues to appraise!

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      • Avatar Joe says:

        Nope RD, you are wrong

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      • You cite one constant as if a constant is a fact… rather than a repetitive, unproven theme. Repeating a lie (or misunderstood set of events) does not make it, or them true.

        The one true constant throughout the article is that not one shred of independently verifiable data is provided.

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  2. Z Appraiser on Twitter Z Appraiser on Twitter says:

    I absolutely agree. I bet most appraisers don’t even notice photos in a home. I don’t. That’s not what we are looking at during inspection. I don’t remember the people I meet 95% of the time but can tell you all the details about their homes.

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    • Avatar Greg says:

      you are in the denial phase. This did happen…its not fictional. Its happened to me in many walks of life. Saying what you are is denying racism exist, and only a hypocrite would do that!

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      • Avatar BRYAN BOYCE says:

        Actually, I believe it is you who are in denial Greg. Mr Merriweather is absolutely correct, we need to look at facts, and the understand the methodology used in each appraisal report before we can jump to accusations of racism.

        Why has no one discussed the content of the reports, or the analysis performed. Since Mrs. Horton works for a company which provides AVM’s, she should have some familiarity with the appraisal process. By jumping to racism claims, without discussing the comparables or methods employed by both appraisers, it seems to me that she is an unhappy Borrower who had a number in her head. When the reality of the situation came in the form of a low appraisal, she jumped to the easiest attack she could make, racism.

        It’s sad that people eat it up and refuse to look at the facts of the situation objectively.

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      • Greg we aren’t talking about your personal experiences in “many different walks of life”. We are not denying the existence of racism. What we ARE denying is that it is universal, and even remotely demonstrable in OUR profession.

        In case you didn’t notice, this is an appraisers forum…not a focal point for divisive national political issues. Please stop trolling it.

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  3. Ronny on Twitter Ronny on Twitter says:

    propaganda to discredit the human element…

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  4. Avatar JC says:

    Yes where are these appraisals? Where is the proof? Let appraisers review the two appraisals!

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  5. Eric Kessin on Facebook Eric Kessin on Facebook says:

    One sketchy story in The New York Times (a 3rd appraiser did not review the appraisals; the low appraiser could have been right). Story picked up everywhere. Now we have five other examples. Based on that alone, we will all be taking anti-racism education courses if Biden is elected.

    Lesson 1 – That six lane highway that divides neighborhoods? If you have a nearly identical comp across the highway, that is your best comp. Doesn’t matter if it sold for 20% more than the highest comp on your side of the highway. Pretend the highway does not exist.

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  6. Avatar Coach says:

    I contacted the Florida board of appraisers when this story came out. They have not a received a single complaint based on racism, no complaint based on this story and there are well aware of it making rounds in news outlets. No news outlets contacted them.

    Why hasn’t she filed a complaint against the “racist” appraiser with the Florida board of appraisers? Why? Because she knows too well her story is baseless. Journalism is dead!

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  7. Avatar Cotton says:

    Its pathetic that liberals and Democrats want so badly to find instances of racism that they have resorted to making up claims of false racism. Whats evening more pathetic is im sure AMCs are going to cliam their AVMs and bifurcation scam products are not racist and all banks should be required to use them. You gotta be a special kinda stupid to believe these fake racist stories! Liberalism is 100% a mental disorder!

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  8. Avatar dale bailey says:

    I would think that since Racism is a violation in every aspect of modern business, and is dictated so by the government for any FRT, that those reports could be demanded for review. I guess there has to be a FORMAL complaint filed by the harmed party, with the help of legal representation, oh yeah, she is a lawyer.

    Wonder if we can file an ethics complaints with the Bar for falsifying any facts surrounding the event or possibly misleading the public and violating their trust? All in the name of propaganda for influencing decision makers to do away with Appraisers or at least their role in valuation.

    Just wondering for a friend!

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  9. Avatar Advocate says:

    Thank you for posting this. Most appraisers are asking the same questions and it is about time someone voiced it.

    This is a human issue and impacts all races and political parties. The comments about political sides is not accurate, nor is it appropriate in my opinion. I respect and enjoy appraisersblogs and do not want to taint it’s reputation.

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  10. Avatar Shannon says:

    BRAVO, Dean!!!

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  11. Avatar michael jones says:

    Let’s imagine a world where appraisers ignored comps from within the subject neighborhood and selected comps from higher priced neighborhoods on the other side of town. Oh, wait a minute. That already happened. It’s called The Great Recession of 2008. Here we go again!!!!!

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  12. Avatar SB says:

    More fake news, no facts, no investigation. What a terrible person to set up a situation like that with their only intent to claim racism as the reason. That should be a crime if it’s not already. Hopefully some one will publish the real reason why the two appraisals are different.

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  13. Avatar GAPeach says:

    I wanted to invite Abena Horton to discuss her story here and see if she could answer the many questions we have. There is no way to IM her, friend her or post a comment on one of her posts on Facebook. She only allows her friends to comment. It looks like she’s not open for discussion.

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    • Avatar dale bailey says:

      Send to Black Knight, certified. She will have to sign or ignore it. If I was Black Knight legal council, (which I am not), I would be preparing her better than the Presidential Debates cause if there is ever a chance to get to the truth, she will be nailed for the perpetration that is taking place. IMO.

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    • Avatar Seneca says:

      America’s IQ test.
      Wear mask: Pass
      No mask: Fail.
      You are what you are.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Seneca, instead of insulting people whom do not hold to your hardline totalitarian views, why don’t you actually watch the Americas Frontline Doctors Summit 2 video instead of just parroting what you heard on corporate syndicated news media. It is one of the greatest speeches I’ve ever heard in my life, really inspiring. The mask is an IQ test, and it’s sad to see so many people in their arrogance, destroying liberty for a false sense of security. You are a victim of propaganda. Wear a mask if you want to, blindly following the tiny emperor with no clothes. If you are scared of facts from licensed practicing doctors whom do not have conflict of interest issues, you should not watch this video. These distinguished lifetime career practitioners, arguing for ethic and transparency, providing assurance we do not have anything to fear, saving lives with verifiably better treatment results. If you can’t reconcile this information, you can always turn to calling me a racist rather than take the humbling position of realizing you may not have been as well informed as you presumed. Or I might just have an astoundingly low IQ because I promoted listening to the stanford educated attorney doctor lady and the thousands of doctors she represents.

        https://www.bitchute.com/video/mj6MhmVM4wwQ/

        In case there were page complications with the first link, here is a bitchute link for easy viewing.

        In the age of information, to remain ignorant is a choice.

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        • Avatar Seneca says:

          Insult? Why would you bring up a masks in a post that has nothing to do with the topic. Just silly. Destroying Liberty? So requiring shirt & shoes to enter is destroying your liberty? Asking to wear a mask is no different. 1/4 of a million dead in the US. The world is wrong, only Baggins is right.

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            The topic is discrimination. The accusation of racism towards appraisers is of course, false. This emerging discrimination based on what should be independent medical choices, more concerning. A post I pushed out a week or two ago elsewhere for your consideration. Demanding under penalty of law that people wear masks is certainly different. Shoes and shirts are typically not health hazards. Where as per many doctors statements, the masks are doing more harm than good.

            Corporate media news throws around big numbers like 200,000 people have died, as if that is a remarkable number. But that many people always die. For the whole world, there are 385,000 babies born every single day, by estimates. In 2018, 3,788,000 or so babies born in the USA. Roughly 3m people die in the USA yearly, just as a normal routine, which will of course eventually increase with the rise in the yearly birth rate. A conservative estimate of daily death average in the USA from 2018 is 7,708 people dying per each day, according to the CDC. But it’s hopeful, one of the most locked down states, Michigan apparently just beat this and the state supreme court struck down the governors emergency edicts and mandates. Everyone in that state can now take off their masks, open their business doors, and completely ignore all CDC guidelines if they so choose. And that’s how it’s supposed to be, voluntary.
            https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6826a5.htm

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        • Avatar Seneca says:

          OMG. Bit Chute is your source? WOW. Not sure if I should laugh or cry.

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Try actually watching the content. Bitchute is one of many alternative video posting sites. With social media, the publishing platform is not ‘the source’. The source is an organized national group with international ties to other active practicing medical professionals with multiple specialties and indisputable credentials. In other words, some of the most distinguished doctors out there. The location of the event was on the steps of the United States Supreme Court. The medium of transmission is varied and distributed broadly. I just picked a link randomly and you can find and watch the same video elsewhere if you choose. Fortunately you are not in charge of what is and is not a credible source.

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          • Avatar willfulknowledge says:

            Truth is where you find it. Perhaps you should find another penname, Hilary seems appropriate.

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            • Baggins Baggins says:

              Thanks Willful. You know, the racist boogieman does not keep me up at night. It is imperative we turn back to voluntarism right now.

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      • I wear a mask in enclosed public places or in outside lines. It is both a courtesy and reluctant compliance practice. I don’t believe for a second that they are any more effective at blocking coronavirus than holding a tennis racket up as a shield against being splashed by a bucketful of water is.

        The coronavirus molecules are reportedly smaller than the space between the fabric of the most commonly available masks.

        Additionally, we cannot trust one single source re death rates of corona in the USA. Thats because it is listed as the cause of death in so many instances where it had no remote connection to the deaths.

        Like motorcycle accident victims or car crash victims, or gunshot victims being included in covid death counts. Hospitals receive much more money (as much as five times more) for treating indigent or medicare covered corona victims than they do other causes of death.

        Absent ACCURATE death rates, nothing else being reported about corona scientifically that relies upon numerical comparisons can be given credence. Nothing. Not even simplistic four line euphemisms.

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  14. Outstanding article and analysis by the author.

    Two observations:

    1. If and it is a giant ‘if’, there is systemic racism associated with real estate appraisals it is on the lending side and derives from the census tract number that goes along with every single appraisal report. That is the only place in an appraisal where prohibited, old-style redline data can be keyed to. To assure fair housing laws are being obeyed, the federal government in all its wisdom decreed that records of lending by census tract be maintained to make sure no one is being discriminated against.

    Ironic, isn’t it?

    2. Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) incorporate demographic data that no appraiser would be allowed to consider in their own professional valuation. Data such as race; age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, educational levels, crime stats, and other personal data that has no business ever being considered in loan or valuation assignments.

    Several software designers for these AVMs have admitted before (bragged, actually), that their algorithms include an analytic weighting of demographic data. What none disclose is the specific demographic data built into those algorithms OR how exactly it is weighted.

    Regardless, those algorithms take the census tract location into consideration. FNMA’s much vaunted Collateral Underwriter (CU) that I vehemently opposed in this very same blog site long before it was ever launched, now touts it’s so-called “heat maps” of census tract sub-area values as a form of collateral ‘risk rating’. Those are graphic maps showing values by geographic location tied to census numbers. If comparable sales are pulled from one ‘lower’ adjacent heat module then the value will trend lower. If it is pulled from a higher adjacent area then the value will trend higher.

    The only ‘racism’ baked into “appraisal” (though AVMs should NEVER have been permitted to fraudulently call themselves appraisals OR ‘valuation’ indicators) is the census tract-based systemic racism designed into automated valuation systems that are currently being so heavily promoted by AMCs; AVM hucksters, and direct endorsement lenders or correspondent lenders.

    AVMs not unlike the examples that DM posted in his article. The real concern in this article should be the THREE different extreme values allowed to mislead “The Public”: Redfin at $366,131, Black Knight at $421,000 & $393,454 from the monopoly whores that first tried to foist the fraud inducing PACEPRO product off on the lending and appraisal management world some years ago. The former sister corporation of CoreLogic.

    No doubt at least one of the alleged or purported divergent appraisals had a number from an AVM promoted to them. Presumably from the Credit Union. A common practice among small to medium size FCUs. Perhaps it was even from the monopoly’s own former sister company. CoreLogic also provides AVMs with their Realist and RealQuest products. It’s generally about ‘as accurate’ as the three noted above.

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    • Avatar Greg says:

      Do you think racism exist?

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      • Avatar Xpert says:

        It sure does!!

         

         

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      • Yes. Most of the spokespeople representing BLM, Inc in national media have repeatedly expressed racist comments. Of course racism exists.

        It would be truly interesting to use the exact same metric for determining racism, and to then apply it to Black People and White People to see which group has the highest percentage of racists; and or people with racist views. Purely as an intellectual exercise.

        In fact, ALL races could play. Same metrics, applied to Tongans Vs Samoans; Japanese vs any other races, Chinese vs Uighurs, Arabs vs Persians, and so on.

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  15. Avatar Julio E. Sune, Jr says:

    Excellent article and analysis by the author.

    Ladies and Gentlemen; please be advised that another controversial and one sided article has been posted.

    https://ml-implode.com/staticnews/2020-10-19_RacistFloridaHomeAppraiserUndervaluesHomeOfMixedRacedFamily.html

    https://mfi-miami.com/2020/10/racist-florida-home-appraiser/

    My comment: Busted??? Who was busted??? There is NO reference of who was “busted”.

    I emailed a link of the Dean’s article to MFI Miami…..NO response yet……

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      There is a reason that ‘news outlet’ does not attach a journalists signature or date of article… MFI Miami, just reposted stories with a sensational twist for more viewer clicks. ML Implode probably is under fire for being so effective last time around. The cat and mouse game with news hubs over only the past few years has shifted to linking lower quality publications more frequently, because there is less copywrite pushback, content removal requests, and more easily provable fair use permissions. It’s a great place to get a different take on property and lending news, but it takes a lot of additional research and independent fact gathering before you can take anything there on face value. Just like the covid virus, this appraisers are racist story has fizzled out, it’s potential energy is dissipated. With these stories so thoroughly debunked the only way to keep them alive is with sensationalism and clickbait.

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      • Avatar dale bailey says:

        Baggins, I read your responses frequently, but sometimes I am dismayed at the way I read them. You cold mean different things or at times being sarcastic. Regarding Masks, each side promotes their own agenda and each have their own Scientist who say what they may believe. Why is it that we must take a stand that anyone who believes what we don’t is wrong? Religion is the same way. Wish there were more tolerance by all of us.—dpb

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Thank you for the response Dale. Yes, each ‘side’ has their own scientists. Some are more interested in themselves, others follow the hippocratic oath more diligently. As appraisers, we should all be well aware what constitutes a biased opinion stemming from conflicts of interest, and what does not. I do wholeheartedly agree with the position that we should be allowed to have our own opinions, that beliefs and behaviors should not be forced upon us. There is no such thing as new normal. There is life with liberty, and life without. Which world would you prefer?

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          • Avatar willfulknowledge says:

            “There is life with liberty, and life without. Which world would you prefer?” Alas, many would prefer the latter.

            1
  16. Avatar dale bailey says:

    They wouldn’t even let me comment. Said it was closed for comments.

    1
  17. Avatar Julio E. Sune, Jr says:

    Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.
    Where there is error, may we bring truth.
    Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.
    And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

    [St. Francis Of Assisi]

    SEEK THE TRUTH

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    • Avatar don says:

      Francis of Assisi, Wasn’t he the patron of the impossible!

      An appraisers expertise is the recognition of value trends , not personalities!

      Well researched and written appraisal’s should have all the stuff needed to separate it from a report written in support of a personality conflict.

      Maybe impossible with the conflicts of today if we loose our way!

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    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

      Yes, Seek the Truth.

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  18. Avatar B says:

    The answer to all this systemic racism in the valuation profession must be to automate it with a machine. After all the AVM machine can’t be racist, right? It’s just a machine. Wait a minute….an AVM analysis IS the ultimate STEREOTYPING model.

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  19. Avatar JD says:

    Aside from all the questions that have been address and unanswered above. She claims racism. Okay, was it racism against her as a black woman? Or against her husband the white man? Or against them as a blended couple? The burden of proof here is on the accuser not the accused. My appraisal didn’t come in high enough because of racism……. it’s not the results of the appraisal in question here, it’s the heart of the individual’s intentions that needs to be “proven”. Not by this one appraisal, but by the surrounding home values and the body of work by the appraiser who stands accused of racism. Any prior pattern here? You appraised our home low because my husband is white. Or, you low-balled our home because we’re a blended couple. Or you appraised my home low because I’m a black woman. Which is it? If the accused is innocent (I believe the appraiser is. Innocent until proven guilty), has her allegations been detrimental to his/her profession and if so, what are the financial damages here?

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      I’d like to know their credit score, proportional flex cash and ltv positions before I make any personal judgements. Ha! Let’s just call it, the persons with the lowest credit score instantly lose these arguments.

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  20. Avatar rd party observer says:

    Your article is an opinion piece as you don’t have any info to counter the homeowners statements. Racism exists in all aspects of America, period. Please don’t be fooled because you don’t think it is.

    Reality is that subjective assessments are part and parcel of appraising. As a matter of fact, in one article, an appraiser mentioned that the couple had a “funky” addition which was illegal nonconforming. I was taken aback by the language. But this is a perfect example of a subjective assessment.

    Could the 1st appraiser have made a mistake in valuation? Sure. Could the 2nd appraiser be mistaken? Sure. Could the real value be somewhere in the middle? Yes, higher or lower. Appraisers are being reported daily for infractions, real or perceived. Would we all like to see the 2 reports to do our own analyzing? Sure. But we all know the couple is under no obligation to provide them to the general public.

    Why didn’t they make a complaint with the state’s appraisal board? They took the route they felt was best for THEM…but with that question floating repeatedly , they likely will also.

    Racism—the SYSTEMATIC oppression of a group based on color exists. It has been proven to permeate every walk of American life despite the assertions that it doesn’t exist. Unconscious and implicit biases exist. To say they do this a head-in-the-sand approach to reality. Is that the root of the huge differential between appraisals? I’ll just wait to see what the ruling is…

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    • Avatar rd party observer says:

      To say the “don’t “ correction

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    • Avatar Dave says:

      Sounds like any information you don’t like, you dismiss. Any information you do like, you assume to be true.

      Anyone that refuses to be transparent after making an accusation must be doubted. She has the burden of proof here. The fact that she will not release the reports or file a complaint says it all. She already disclosed the values. She had plenty of camera crews at her house…but she won’t release the raw data?

      Then you have the fact that she is a VP of a company that has a financial interest in creating distrust of the appraisal process. You really want people to ignore all of that? Why do you want to ignore all of that?

      I would bet that you are not actually seeking the truth regarding this situation. Seems to me as though you have an agenda of some kind and you want to use this situation to further your cause..be it social or monetary…

      Either way i believe your post and Abena’s claim are very weak and the truth shall preveil. Appraisers do research and create factual support for opinions for a living. To attack us with these weak lies is going to be a big mistake! Hopefully this will be the catalyst of appraisers becoming stronger defenders of our noble industry.

      5
      • Avatar rd party observer says:

        She has the burden of proof to prove it to higher authorities…not the general public. She has not 1 obligation to satisfy our curiosity. We will just have to wait for the ruling. And its unfortunate that the sticking point that she hasn’t filed with the state appraisal board will indeed have that appraiser before the board very soon…FYI, The things you wrote could be said about any poster here, so what? In fact the title of this piece is mistitled…when things happen to you, what other side can you tell but yours? You can only speak on YOUR experience and viewpoint.

        No one here is seeking the truth…we would like to know the truth but seeking it, no. But you are correct, truth will prevail as it always does. To say her claim is a weak lie is baseless…you don’t have enough information to judge 1 way or the other. As appraisers, we are 3rd party unbiased observers…her case will show if that what she got…or not.

        3
        • Avatar Dave says:

          No burden of proof to the general public? Then why call the news? Why make it public? The higher authorities? Why not file a complaint with the state’s appraisal authorities as well? Why wouldn’t she want this appraiser to face punishment if what she is saying is true?

          I am starting to think you didn’t even read this article… Baseless? Even her OWN COMPANY’S AMC DONE AFTER THE FACT IN AN INCREASING MARKET WAS $40,000 LESS THAN THE 2ND APPRAISAL. 2 other AVMs done were closer to the 1st appraisal. Right now, her entire “case” consists of a story she tells and that 2 appraisals that have 2 different values. There is nothing to indicate racism. The AMVs don’t support her story… AND on top of that she won’t release the raw data AND she works for a company that sells a product that they want to replace the appraisal industry with. WOW… if you are being genuine, you couldn’t have your head buried any further in the sand. If you aren’t being genuine then you should be ashamed of yourself for participating in this fraud.

          I really hope that appraisers do not allow this situation to just go away. We need to shine a light on this. We all know what is going on here.

          And I will say, in agreement with the article, if it turns out to be a situation where there was racism involved then I want to see that appraiser gone. They shouldn’t be an appraiser. However, if this is found out to be a fraud and the 2nd appraiser just hit whatever value they were told to hit then they need to be punished as well. Then Abena, her husband, Black Knight and the news/propaganda outlets will need to be held responsible for their part. They are trying to destroy an industry and destroy our livelihoods. DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY PEOPLE, THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS ATTACK AGAINST US. WE NEED TO FIGHT BACK.

          11
          • Avatar rd party observer says:

            I’m as genuine as you. I definitely am sparking the heck out of your nerves…which is good. YOU don’t know there is no racism. SHE feels that. SHE CAN feel that and she has filed to prove her point. Again, THEY DON’T HAVE TO PROVE ANYTHING TO THE PUBLIC. WHY you don’t get this is amazing. Did YOU read ANY of the articles? I’ve read about six and counting…

            Fraud…you are calling people fraud without facts available. Now you should be ashamed of yourself for that esp as appraisers work with facts…or most do and should.

            Again, we will have to wait for the outcome to get our curiosity appeased. Just because a person doesn’t handle things like YOU like…doesn’t mean they are fraudulent. Racism is alive and well and has been in place for centuries. As I also posted, the Appraisal Institute has recognized this and is offering training.

            At this point, you and I know about equal. If you don’t have anything further to offer, I’m done. Good day.

            2
            • Avatar Dave says:

              “Sparking the hell out of my nerves”. So, you are a troll. Got it.

              Again, I am defending my industry that I know is fair. You are a troll. Abena is a liar.

              I think that Abena’s ploy will backfire. I think you just showed everyone that you are not to be taken seriously.

              “You and I know about equal”… LOL ya… I don’t think so.

              Buh-bye troll!

              4
              • Avatar rd party observer says:

                Troll….tell yourself what you need to so you can sleep at night and dismiss valid viewpoints. I also defend my profession…but we have bad apples and perhaps this is one. In the end…WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE. If you think I live for commenter’s opinions….WAKE UP. I got a whole life plus you have nothing to do with. Don’t like my viewpoint, easy, DON’T COMMENT.

                3
                • Avatar Dave says:

                  You have failed to make a point. All you said is that you really want this story to be true. You offered excuses as to why she wouldn’t be transparent. You were not able to counter or refute any facts.. like why did 0 of the AVMs in the story support the 2nd appraiser’s value? Not 1. Not even her own company. You are just ignoring the fact that she is a VP of a company that makes a product that is meant to replace appraisals… Nope! You have proven nothing. You have provided nothing. The only thing you have done is say that racism exists. We all know that. However, you need to provide evidence when you make such a serious accusation. When you refuse to provide evidence and you have a financial interest in a situation, you can’t be trusted.
                  Bye Troll!

                  3
                  • Avatar rd party observer says:

                    I’ve made all the points I need to make which are valid and you are just flat out lying about me saying I want this story to be true. . You don’t like my viewpoint and that’s a YOU problem not me. I’ve written what I’ve written and stand by my statements. Since comprehension doesn’t seem to be your strong suit, for the umpteenth time, WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE THE OUTCOME. You have a good day TROLL…now that you do seem to comprehend.

                    3
                    • Avatar Dave says:

                      LOL and you STILL haven’t addressed any of the issues brought up..
                      How about this- yes or no, is it suspicious that she is the VP of a company that happens to make a product that is meant to replace appraisals? Can you answer that direct question?
                      Everyone can see right through you.

                      2
                      • Avatar rd party observer says:

                        Dave, a lot of time has been wasted responding to baseless comments. Tell yourself whatever you need to. We won’t change anything about the other. Whoever needs to see whatever they want they can. I’ll still be commenting and giving my viewpoint. Take it and run with it as far down the road as you need to now. You got that trolling down pat.

                        3
                        • Avatar Dave says:

                          And you can’t answer the question. Again, we all see right through you.

                          3
                        • Avatar Seneca says:

                          You are the one with the baseless comments. You have refused to answer any of the questions proposed to you and Abena.

                          4
                          • Avatar Rd party observer says:

                            I have NO obligation to respond to random questions about a situation that isn’t mine. To think otherwise is to create angst for yourself. Mrs. Abena apparently feels the same. Deal with it.

                            3
                            • Avatar Seneca says:

                              Then why are you even here commenting? You ad nothing to the conversation. I’m with Dave, I’m done with you.

                              3
                              • Avatar Rd party observer says:

                                Same reason you are…I have a viewpoint. As I told Dave and now you, don’t like it, DONT COMMENT. Keep it moving…

                                3
                                • Avatar Seneca says:

                                  Yep, Your viewpoint is that every low appraisal value is either racist, bigoted, sexist or homophobic until the appraiser can prove otherwise.

                                  3
                                  • Avatar Dave says:

                                    Or he is a corporate shill. His name is meant to say “3rd Party Observer” as if he is an outside viewpoint. That to me is like someone saying “Hey I am the guy that doesn’t ever lie!” and then he tells outrageous stories… Why does he have to tell us that as his name when almost everyone else just has a name… Then he also slips up and says “we as appraisers”… I think he forgot which role he was playing because he obviously isn’t an appraiser.

                                    This story is a corporate propaganda piece that has political undertones due to the timing. It uses race as a tool to divide people in order to further the agenda of the company that Abena works for and it also clearly has political messaging like the campaign sign, the coronavirus t-shirt, etc.. This is hardcore propaganda. We need to take this seriously and expose it. This is a good opportunity for us to counter-attack and show the public what kind of deceit and deception is going on.

                                    This also just goes to show that people need to think a little deeper on more news stories about race and other things. We as appraisers can see the holes in this story instantly. How many things about other topics are we fooled about because we are as ignorant to those things as so many are to our profession? This should be a wake up call to anyone that isn’t already very suspicious of things they are told via any and every media source.

                                    4
                                  • Avatar rd party observer says:

                                    Pure. Lies.

                                    2
                                    • Avatar Dave says:

                                      Not. An. Argument.

                                      Prove anything I have said to be untrue. You can’t. You are just avoiding every question raised and saying, “ya but everything is racist so… ya racism!”. It is a terrible argument, it proves nothing, it is bad for society, it is bad for our country and it is an attack on the appraisal industry. You need to bring a better argument or just admit you’re a troll or a shill.

                                      4
                            • Avatar Dave says:

                              It is hilarious that you think you are making a good point.

                              You just can’t fix stupid.

                              – Not even her own company’s AVM supported the 2nd value
                              – She will not release the data
                              – She has not filed a complaint with the appraisal authorities there
                              – 2 popular AVMs are far below the 2nd appraiser’s value
                              – She is a VP of a company that has a financial interest in discrediting appraisers
                              – She has offered no evidence of racism. Just a story complete with crocodile tears
                              – She said herself that they had a specific value in mind to get a specific rate
                              – The rate of appreciation from the 2nd appraisal to the prior sale of the subject is far outside of all other indicators whereas the 1st appraiser’s value indicated an appreciation rate much more in line with the rest of the market.
                              – There is conflicting data about the size of her home, additions, bedroom count, bathroom count… no information was provided as to when the appraisals were performed, etc… All things that could factor into a value variance.
                              – Florida tax assessor uses a rate of 85% of the state’s appraised value. Her home’s assessed value was around $315,000 which means the state appraisal was about $370,000…much closer to the 1st appraiser than the 2nd.

                              There are many more holes in this weak story. You either have your head in the sand or you have an agenda.

                              27
                              • Avatar rd party observer says:

                                Let me understand, we are commenting on a story that neither of us is involved in and you have digressed to using the term stupid between our comments? That’s usually what happens when people don’t feel they are “winning” a debate or conversation.

                                1. You have been allowed to have your viewpoint, but me having mine is an issue
                                2. You have managed to lower yourself to inserting insults because I won’t capitulate to your viewpoint
                                3. You are irritated to the point where you actually can’t stop commenting because I won’t agree with you.
                                4. You refuse to comprehend or understand we are outsiders to the situation, not front row seaters to any facts.
                                5. Agenda…what would that really be? That there maybe racism in the appraisal industry? You got classes offered to address it so someone else is seeing something. Maybe here or not, but somewhere.

                                YOu might want to do as the guideline suggests….”Please keep remarks about the topic at hand, & PLEASE avoid personal attacks. If the poster gets you upset, it is the Internet, you can walk away from it.”

                                4
                                • Avatar Dave says:

                                  And you STILL avoid all questions raised. Unreal.

                                  Again, you just can’t fix stupid.

                                  A visualization:
                                  Jacksonville’s historical appreciation rate per year is 3%
                                  Jacksonville’s current appreciation rate per year is 6%
                                  The 1st appraisal indicated a yearly rate of appreciation at 6%
                                  The 2nd appraisal indicated a yearly rate of appreciation at 19%

                                  3% – 6% – 6% – 19%

                                  Which of these things is not like the other?!…

                                  C’mon Man!

                                  You aren’t fooling anyone with your weak “argument”. Neither is Abena. Hopefully people will get the punishments that they deserve for this hoax.

                                  5
                                  • Avatar rd party observer says:

                                    Stupidity is definitely unfixable as evidenced as you slowly unravel as you cannot force what you want to happen. Can’t make me play along like you want. Can’t make me agree to answer questions that have nothing to do with me. Got to resort to making up things and wlld assumptions…pitiful.

                                    4
                                    • Avatar Dave says:

                                      LOL… riiight.

                                      And you STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO ANSWER 1 QUESTION, REFUTE 1 FACT, ETC…

                                      You just can’t fix stupid.

                                      3
                                      • Avatar rd party observer says:

                                        You can’t be this slow . Answering questions about other people’s situation…And irked when that doesn’t happen…sad

                                        4
                                        • Avatar Dave says:

                                          Again, you aren’t fooling anyone with your little game. You offered nothing. You have not been able to provide any support for this situation being racism. Your only statement is that racism exists… kindergarten level.
                                          You can’t answer 1 question. You have no experience in this industry. You and your comments are worthless.
                                          Go ahead and get the last word… it will only make it even clearer how little of a point that you actually have.
                                          The fact is here is my argument:
                                          -Jacksonville’s historical appreciation rate per year is 3%
                                          -Jacksonville’s current appreciation rate per year is 6%
                                          -The 1st appraisal indicated a yearly rate of appreciation at 6%
                                          -The 2nd appraisal indicated a yearly rate of appreciation at 19%
                                          – Not even her own company’s AVM supported the 2nd value
                                          – She will not release the data
                                          – She has not filed a complaint with the appraisal authorities there
                                          – 2 popular AVMs are far below the 2nd appraiser’s value
                                          – She is a VP of a company that has a financial interest in discrediting appraisers
                                          – She has offered no evidence of racism. Just a story complete with crocodile tears
                                          – She said herself that they had a specific value in mind to get a specific rate
                                          – There is conflicting data about the size of her home, additions, bedroom count, bathroom count… no information was provided as to when the appraisals were performed, etc… All things that could factor into a value variance.
                                          – Florida tax assessor uses a rate of 85% of the state’s appraised value. Her home’s assessed value was around $315,000 which means the state appraisal was about $370,000…much closer to the 1st appraiser than the 2nd.

                                          And your argument is:



                                          …well, I mean, racism does exist so…


                                          That’s racist!

                                          24
                                          • Avatar rd party observer says:

                                            GAme? You have completely unraveled and are now babbling like a fool. You want to argue about something you know nothing about. You have assumed and flat out lied when you didn’t know. To say I hit a nerve..that nerve is frazzled like heck. Answer whatever questions you need to because I don’t need to or have too. Have at it. I can’t believe this thread is still open.

                                            4
                                      • Avatar Chubbyluve says:

                                        Please keep in mind, “The personal insult is the last recourse of an exhausted mind” – Pat Buchanan.

                                        1
    • Avatar Dave says:

      And now the word “funky” is racist? Funky in that context means it is odd. A funky addition could be one that doesn’t flow well with the original floorplan. This is a very weak piece of “evidence” for your “argument”.

      It really seems like you just WANT the story to be true despite so many glaring holes and red flags. Do you work for Black Knight, Inc. too? Are you and Abena both employees of a company that has a financial interest in lying about this story? Is that why you would excuse her not providing the data after making a very serious accusation? Is that why you are making excuses as to why she wouldn’t want to file a complaint against this racist appraiser? If he is really racist we want to see these reports so we don’t punish an innocent man and if he is guilty he needs to face a severe punishment. Why are you trying to help undermine that process to ensure transparency?

      3
      • Avatar rd party observer says:

        You are reaching and have unraveled. Take the afternoon and calm your nerves cause the look now is pretty bad. You are reaching, lying, making wild assumptions and overall trying very hard to create a false narrative that isn’t there. You and your blog are taking pretty ugly hits right now.

        4
    • Avatar Philly Appraiser says:

      For someone who is hyper sensitive to subjective statements, you have included two in your post. “Racism exists in all aspects of America period.” Racism-the systematic oppression of a group based on color exists. It has been proven to permeate every walk of American life despite the assertions that it does not exist.”

      Open and shut case, not subjective at all.

      2
    • Avatar michael jones says:

      I can guarantee there will be no complaint made to any appraisal board by this couple as that would expose their agenda. On the other hand, I would hope that the local appraisal board would reach out to the appraisers involved. I assume the appraisers involved have already retained attorneys.

      Looking forward to the sequel!!!!

      15
    • Avatar Greg says:

      it is curious however that removing the blacks from the home would raise the value that dramatically. Also, given rather even the banks thought something was off, let that sink in. I can see being off by 10 to evenings but 100,000? Thats a deliberately act!

      2
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        No it is not necessarily a deliberate act.

        Difference of opinions are just as likely to be a consequence of a diverse market where one mis step by the valuation professional can indeed result in substantial result differences.

        Take a look at the address in question, then scroll through the zillow maps yourself if you so choose.

        $100k value variances are common. So are value variances to the millions, only literally across the street.

        This is the wrong marketplace to try and claim because muh racist. It’s obvious there are complex market relationships there.

        Brakes Plus just gave me a sky high brakes quote. I’m starting to go along to get along with this narrative and obviously they’re overcharging me because of racial considerations. Muh, please.

        10
      • Avatar Xpert says:

        “Also, given rather even the banks thought something was off, let that sink in.”

        Why? Because the extortion of appraisers to inflate property value has never happened?

        “There were three great warnings about the elite fraud and predation epidemics. We explained MARI’s warning in early 2006 to the entire industry about liar’s loans and the reaction – make vastly more fraudulent loans. The appraisers gave the earliest warnings in 2000 through a public petition explaining that lenders and their loan broker agents were extorting them to inflate appraisals or face being blacklisted and crippled economically. No honest lender would ever permit this, for an accurate appraisal is the key protection against loss. By 2006, 90% of appraisers reported being extorted that year. Chris Swecker, the top FBI official on mortgage fraud warned publicly in September 2006 that an “epidemic” of “mortgage fraud” would cause a financial “crisis” if not checked. The administration and anti-regulators’ response to the appraisers and the FBI’s warnings: crickets.”

        http://appraisersblogs.com/seven-myths-of-the-great-financial-crisis-n-the-elite-fraud-schemes

        “Thats a deliberately act!”

        You may be partially right. The deliberate act however came from the second appraiser who was most probably pressured to make the homeowner’s predetermined value! She said her home was worth $465k and voila… magically, the second appraisal came at $465k.

        14
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          And the moment after ‘comp searches for best value’ were prohibited… The lending industry suddenly whipped out all new methods to pressure appraisers in order to get predetermined results. Enter the amc model, the avm prediction, the abbreviated tech focused appraisal forms. Blacklisting as well as measuring appraisers performance against predetermined results is just an everyday thing now. Now instead of just losing one lender, when you upset an amc or refuse to use their new forms, appraisers may lose every single lender the amc may be contracted with. If you liked what happened in the past you’ll absolutely love FNMA’s newly redesigned forms.

          Great points. Xpert. People perhaps do not understand the concept that the appraiser may be the last independent check to balance to stop systemic lending malfeasance. The lending and tech industry seems set on downgrading the appraisers role. The end goal being to eliminate the independent non integrated position and move one step closer to total control of the lending process, top to bottom. Lets do a study to see how many lending institutions just ran with this appraisers are racist story, vs responsible outlets whom would have immediately wrote letters of defense, being of course naturally objectionable to the idea their entire independent appraiser staff are extremely biased. Catch 22.

          4
      • Avatar Phillyapp says:

        Greg, removing signs of race did not raise the value. You clearly do not understand An appraisal. An appraisal is an opinion of value. There are two opinions in this case.

        The second occurred after a homeowners complaint of a low value. The. Story indicates the removal of any identification of the owners race. What the story lacks is actual details on the appraisals.

        As an appraiser, I can tell you, the 100 thousand plus variation is more likely due to an inflated appraisal.

        Back to my original statement, the first appraiser did not raise his opinion of value, so his value is the same. The second appraiser arrived at a different opinion. Where is the proof of racism?

        Based on what was reported there is no evidence of racism, just an accusation without any support. For all we know, both appraisers could have been people of color.

        Most on this site, are infuriated over an accusation that is being amplified without factual data. Most of us would like nothing more than having the facts presented and appropriate action taken.

        5
    • Avatar Joe ridin says:

      oppression such a stupid loaner word

      0
    • Proving innocence (such as data to counter the homeowners 100% unsubstantiated claims) is not an American tradition, practice or legal requirement. It runs contrary to our Constitution and all of our laws. It is the obligation of the party alleging a wrong has been committed to supplying the proof, or at least to provide verifiable data to the extent that such data is available. It is not the burden of an accused to prove innocence. Your argument is sophistry.

      Mrs. Horton has provided nothing. For what it’s worth, others have tracked her repeated refinance history with her credit union dating back to when she was first added to the title along with someone having the same name as her husband (he owned the property beforehand).

      It would be interesting to see if that credit union reported the (allegedly) deficient appraisals to the National Credit Union Administration AS THEY ARE OBLIGATED TO DO under the Dodd-Frank Act before they engage in any appraiser shopping.

      2
  21. Avatar rd party observer says:

    Again, racism and bias exist. The Appraisal Institute realizes this and is now offering training…

    https://www.appraisalinstitute.org/appraisal-organizations-join-forces-to-support-training-ethics-to-combat-bias/

    5
    • Avatar Seneca says:

      Just another public relations reaction to the current climate just to say they did their part. Just like all these companies that are now flooding the TV with commercials containing minorities and interracial families. Everyone is in a preemptive CYA mode on race. Anyone can see this.

      3
    • Avatar Dave says:

      “Appraisers today announced their collective support for the development of additional training that addresses unconscious bias in valuation”

      UNCONSCIOUS BIAS. I.E. you aren’t being racist but you may have biases that you are not even aware of. And let’s pretend that is a valid reason to have a class (I have a feeling that class won’t last long…how can you teach anyone to not do something unconsciously? That is ridiculous. Are they going to make appraisers go through hypnosis? lol..)..if appraisers have an “unconscious bias” even after going through ethics courses then that is essentially saying all human beings have “unconscious bias”. If that is the case, wouldn’t the market also have an “unconscious bias”? Isn’t our job as appraisers to analyze, interpret and communicate our opinion of that same “unconsciously biased” market’s reaction to the subject property?

      This whole story is BS. We all know it. We need to push back HARD against this non-sense. This has nothing to do racism and everything to do with replacing appraisals with AVMs.

      8
      • I agree Dave.

        Being quiet for fear of antagonizing the jackasses promoting this crap only encourages it to continue, and/ or become even worse.

        NO appraiser is unaware that acting in any way as a result of bias is impermissible. None.

        TO start deflecting attention away from their obligation to cite specific verifiable evidence of such claims requiring all of our collective attention, proponents of such crap as “Critical Race Theory” that incorporates fallacious concepts like subconscious race bias, or past & current ‘white privilege’ claims want us to embrace this ephemeral, unproven, politically correct, (apparently) socialist philosophy in our daily work.

        I have a much easier educational alternative in the event any appraisers are unsure of themselves.

        1. Do NOT apply any personal biases of any kind in your appraisal practice. Certainly, nothing that is race-related. Not ever! (“Course” concluded).

        2. STOP pretending recent actions by any organization lend credibility to these undefined & unproven claims of inherent bias; privilege or subconscious bias. They are PANDERING to a small segment of the populace to the detriment of our profession!

        2
    • Avatar rd party observer says:

      I’m starting to believe ya!

      Dave October 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm
      Sounds like any information you don’t like, you dismiss. Any information you do like, you assume to be true.

      4
    • The Appraisal Institute is pandering. IF anyone is so stupid today as to engage in racist activity in their analyses or appraisal then it is an integrity issue rather than an issue of lack of knowledge. NO AMOUNT of education will instill integrity. Either people have it or they do not.

      Many claims of ‘racism’ or other socialist claims of phony but emotionally appealing inequities such as ‘social justice; environmental justice, economic justice and so on are big on allegations but very vague when it comes to citing specifics.’ The “Abena” article purported to make semi-specific claims and was disproven in a very short period of time.

      Like many older Americans, I went through the painful American periods (60’s & 70’s) when we identified, addressed, AND attempted to deal with past and (then) present injustices. Many laws and programs were passed to eliminate them.

      Some succeeded. Others did not. Many more people (Such as the Neighborhood Resources Defense Council) learned they can make a fortune off of making up and then exaggerating some imaginary ‘new form’ of injustice that only special mitigation funds or education (for a fee) can ‘cure’. Others have political careers that hinge on finding racism (some for nearly 40 years), and then failing to ever fix it.

      I expect far more of the AI than pandering. I’d be far more impressed if they had announced that they are going to conduct an in-depth study to determine IF racism still exists in housing & if so whether any appraisers have ever been participants to it; if it is ‘systemic’ in any way and then intended to seek input from other parties.

      REVERSE RACISM ALSO exists! It has directly affected me all of my entire adult working life. It also affected whether I could receive college aid. It affects how high I must otherwise scoreif I want government contracts. It affects me and any other non-African American who has ever been called honky, or attacked because of OUR race. It now exists in the premise that today’s whites have something to somehow atone for.

      We do not as appraisers participate in racism. Period.

      If anyone can’t effectively compete in America today it is because they are either stupid, lazy, feel self-entitled, or all of these. I do NOT mean uneducated, because even the uneducated can succeed in America IF they are willing to try.

      18
  22. Avatar Philly Appraiser says:

    Systemic racism does exist to a degree, but that does not equate to racism on the part of either appraiser in this situation. What is clear here is the racism exhibited by the homeowners as well as the mainstream media hyping this non-story. Without any data other than a racist opinion by the homeowner and a story of two opinions of value, they ran with the racism card again.

    In addition to the numerous other observations noted in the comments, the level of inspection by either appraiser was not disclosed or any variations in the effective date of each appraisal. While it may be reasonable to assume full inspections and very little time between the inspections, this was not disclosed and some appraisers are operating under a modified scope of work due to Covid.

    Equally troubling is the studies discussed in the many articles stemming from this non-story as well as the famously flawed Brookings Institute Study. There is no correlation whatsoever of the definition of market value in these studies. There is only the vague assertion that appraisers are “setting values”, which is an absolute falsehood.

    While recognizing systemic racism is important, using it as an excuse for racism is unacceptable, which is what the homeowners and the media did here.

    If the government and the people want to correct decades of low housing prices in neighborhoods, they need to change banking regulations and increase acceptable loan to value ratios in the areas they want to effect. What you cannot do is demand an appraiser violate or ignore the market forces they are required to consider in developing their opinion of value.

    The real story here is a value dispute.

    6
  23. Avatar dale bailey says:

    Will the moderator please shut this blog down………………….

    2
    • Why? So ideas and different or opposing perspectives cannot be exchanged?

      3
    • Avatar Dave says:

      Why would you want to shut down information getting out to people? Especially after your 1st comment is complaining about a different comment section being closed down??

      That is odd…

      2
      • Avatar Dale says:

        Tired of the condemnation between Appraisers. I don’t think I have demeaned anyone or resorted to name calling. In fact I only asked for greater tolerance of people’s opinions. It make me sad to see insults and disparaging remarks against each other. The comment about being closed down was from the Miami Herald article where I wanted to ask a question. So I am sorry if you don’t agree with my suggestion to eliminate harsh criticism of each other. But I understand not everyone feels as I do.

        1
        • Avatar Dave says:

          That guy “rd party observer” is not an appraiser. He is coming here to cause issues and is offering nothing. I think it is because this story is getting shared so you are going to see people come in here and comment that are not appraisers. I agree with you and if you look at my post I am saying appraisers need to use this hoax as a rallying point and unite against our common enemies. This story just shows how determined they are to replace us with AVMs. They are making propaganda stories and have ABC and tons of other media outlets dispersing this propaganda. We cannot sit back and take this lightly.

          Look at his comment above. Now he is also trying to get the conversation shut down. You should never shut down a conversation. Only someone with something to hide shuts down conversation.

          2
    • Avatar Anon says:

      I agree. I think it’s his blog because he is outrageously unprofessional

      3
    • Avatar rd party observer says:

      Dale, I think either he IS the moderator or it’s his blog. No way should his unprofessionalism have been allowed to continue.

      2
      • Avatar Dean Merriweather says:

        It’s absolutely NOT HIS BLOG!! It would be mine, and I will stand by it hoping that the questions will be answered and the facts will be stated thus proving if in fact this was an act of racism, an act of fraudulent behavior, or just someone looking to create their own story.

        7
        • Avatar Dave says:

          Hi Dean- thanks for your blog. I never claimed it was mine. We just have been arguing very similar points. Your blog introduced some new information that I did not know previously. I appreciate your efforts at exposing this obvious hoax. I really hope we as appraisers can rally together to expose these liars to the public for what they are. They clearly are after us. We need to fight back.

          3
  24. We just wanted to chime here to advise that AppraisersBlogs is a place for civil conversation and discussion. Please keep criticism constructive and refrain from name calling as it adds nothing of value to the conversation.

    No one who commented on here so far is the moderator or owns this blog. Moderators will identify themselves as AppraisersBlogs Team.

    Let’s keep things civil!

    10
  25. Avatar Chubbyluve says:

    Why are people who have never experienced systemic racism commenting if there is or is not systemic racism? The aggrieved race should speak on this topic, period. The comments from my fellow appraisers in this forum are depressing. Is this where we are in this country? Is this who we are as a profession? I hope not. I hope the 23 plus years in this profession has not clouded my eyes from admitting that we are not perfect. We are human beings that are flawed and can make mistakes; we all have implicit biases that we struggle with in life. I hope the author of this article gets the answers to his questions. I agree more facts about the case should come out because it could damage our profession.
    The case should underline the importance for homeowners to obtain their appraisal and not solely rely on the bank’s appraisal. With Voice of Appraisal (on Youtube), Phil Crowford has championed this practice for some time now. It would have helped the couple in this article to obtain their own appraisal and present comps to the original appraiser that came in lower than the second appraiser. We should not be insulting one another. We should respect each other’s differing opinions and not resort to grade school name-calling. It is unfortunate; more and more people seem to be at a “ten” these days. It must be the current heated political climate, Covid, wildfires, hurricanes, racial injustice marches; 2020 is a hell of a year.

    3
    • “Why are people who have never experienced systemic racism commenting if there is or is not systemic racism?”

      How would YOU know whether commenters have ever experienced systemic racism? Systemic racism was rampant against white people for many decades as a direct result of affirmative action. I experienced it most of my adult life. Until people realized penalizing ANY race in order to compensate for perceived but unproven disadvantages to another race is equally wrong.

      As for insults, when the kind of ‘progressive’ social engineering drivel that is given so much credence in the media & failed schools today encroaches into the professional world, it needs to be opposed. Vehemently and often in plain colloquial English (or another language of a posters choice).

      When an author or a publication casts aspersions on an entire profession, then the burden is on them to produce actual & credible evidence in support of their claims.

      17
  26. Avatar Phillyapp says:

    With all due respect, the last thing we as appraisers should do is remain silent on this issue. The silence is what has allowed institutions such as the brookings institute to pass off their flawed study. I agree that name calling is childish, but real discussions need to occur and no one should be barred from speaking. If only the aggrieved get to speak, than who speaks for the other side. Especially when the aggrieved parties actions are as racist as they claim the other parties actions are.

    A black female receives a value under what she believes her home worth and immediately decides it is racism because the appraiser is not the same race. But our industry should remain silent. Bad advice….

    23
    • Avatar Seneca says:

      Until we get to see both appraisals and how the appraiser was selected there really isn’t anything else that can be said. Believe me, We appraisers will know which is the good appraisal.

      4
    • Avatar rd party observer says:

      You don’t have to remain silent but to fall on the sword for the appraiser when you’ve not seen an appraisal, don’t know the ID of the appraisers or if they’ve been before the board with similar allegations or any allegations of substandard work is not a well thought out plan. We can speculate but until the information is released or provided, we are making uninformed leaps. The derision of the homeowner and the overall panning simply because she said what she felt had occurred is sad but definitely what I see when discussing racism or the possibility of racism being present. The reality is, if this is occurring once per blue moon…it still should be addressed. Because that 1 occurrence may have a profound effect on the people it happened to. We may not want to admit that there may be an appraiser who has these issues and shouldn’t be one…but there is a likelihood at least 1 exists. The definitions of prejudice, racism, and racist should be reviewed. They are not interchangeable.

      3
      • 1. No one can properly analyze the reports if they are never released.
        2. The homeowners unfounded ‘opinion’ invites being panned. Especially when the limited info provided indicates shes promoting a personal or professional agenda contrary to common sense. What possible motive could any appraisers have for risking their entire careers and opening themselves up to other potential civil liabilities?
        3. There is a huge difference between ‘may not want to admit’ and not being willing to throw our own profession under the bus in the 100% complete absence of factual, verifiable data.
        4. We ARE addressing that purported ‘1 occurrence’. We are addressing it by calling it out as BS when a story screams of being contrived. When that ‘once in a Blue Moon’ event is purely imaginary, then it deserves zero credence and no action other than pointing out its spurious nature is warranted.

        7
        • Avatar rd party observer says:

          Without #1, you invalidate 2, 3, and 4 statements.”

          “What possible motive could any appraisers have for risking their entire careers and opening themselves up to other potential civil liabilities?” Million-dollar question I ask whenever I see the repercussions from confirmed racial actions…but they still occur despite the news reporting and huge consequences.

          3
          • Avatar Steve says:

            You should just go observe something else. People who think like you, negativity, are a large part of the fake racial injustice claims and all other fake news stories that have zero facts. Get over it and move on with your life with positive thoughts, you will feel much better.

            3
          • Sophist responses dont address the real issue. Nor does trolling this blog.

            Perhaps you can tell us some of the specific ‘confirmed racial actions’ you are referring to? Particularly any in which an appraiser has acted improperly…since this is an appraiser’s blog.

            11
            • Avatar rd party observer says:

              I’m a troll because you don’t care for my viewpoint? This article should make your blood boil then…written 2 days ago

              https://www.homelight.com/blog/buyer-real-estate-appraisals-racism/

              So should this one:

              https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2332649218755178?journalCode=srea

              They pretty much confirm racial actions….have at it…these should get about 100 responses.

              2
              • Baggins Baggins says:

                Well, you know what they say; If you research something with a predetermined opinion, you can eventually find some arrangement of data to supposedly prove your point. It’s called backing into the research while already having a preformed conclusion.

                https://www.sociology.pitt.edu/people/ant-1
                https://static1.squarespace.com/static/573ba69bcf80a1323384f7d6/t/5f9aec33ad5baa22ef9dc7ff/1603988531833/Howell_CurriculumVitae_2020_10.pdf
                https://democracy.missouri.edu/undergraduate/kinder-scholars-d-c-summer-program/

                I found one of these reference articles from the late 1990’s as being a quite interesting reference which one of the article links you posted was supposedly built in part upon. I especially liked the reference that appraisers may have stopped more african Americans from being sold into adjustable rate loans. Wouldn’t that make appraisers less racist rather than more, having supposedly gone out of their way to keep this segment of society from getting swindled with a.r.m.’s?
                https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1007727716513

                (start quote) We empirically examine the role of appraisal in the residential mortgage lending process—in particular, the incidence, consequences, and determinants of appraisal below contract purchase price. Using the Boston Federal Reserve Study data set, we find that, as expected, low appraised value significantly increases the probability of mortgage loan application rejection. We find no evidence that low appraised value is related to census tract racial composition, an important finding given the history of the appraisal industry; however, low appraised value is related to proxies for neighborhood quality. Moreover, properties securing adjustable rate mortgages, condominiums, and properties purchased by African American buyers show an increased probability of low appraisal, though the race effect result is highly sensitive to model specification. (quote end)

                My opinion is that to look at entirely different societal segments, especially those segments that some how are clearly segregated apart, either by choice or coincidence, it does not matter, of course there will be value price and quality differences without a doubt. The local economic factors at play are what drive comparative home quality and earnings opportunities. Corporations and businesses are not uniform, they don’t all pay the same or operate equally. Those factors are what led to higher or lower home quality factors for individual neighborhoods or towns, either during time of build or through their existing lifespan. Then you have rather standard and predictable corporate goals where businesses and companies are known to pursue commercial opportunities in regions with higher education rates and lower crime rates. Again, larger socio economic factors that have nothing to do with the individual appraisers choices.

                Then the independent appraiser steps in, measures existing market differences and existing market benchmarks. The appraiser reports that honestly and BAM! Racist appraiser because they said this property was not worth as much as that property. If that is the measurement stick, every agent broker and appraiser involved is clearly a racist for not advocating for higher home values…

                These corporate talking points have become mainstream. It’s a shame people do not understand price vs value arguments. Arguing for higher prices is a fools errand. One does have to live in a glass tower with myopic views, sit with a silver spoon, or have other motivations besides just the wellbeing of society, to even begin to go along with the con job that higher pricing is what people want and is good for them individually. Let me ask exactly what is wrong with low prices? This notion that buyers are denied individual deals based on race is silly, but even if that was happening, one presumes the declaration of racist patterns should naturally also extend from the appraiser, on up the ladder. The underwriter, the broker, the bank managers, all an integral part of the process of qualification and appraisal opinion approval. If there really were that many instances of racism supposedly verified, it seems strangely convenient that the accusation stops with the appraiser and does not carry on to the other people and positions whom actually lend the money, approve the borrower, fund the loan. Oh but wait, they’re protected banksters, so the buck apparently stops with the appraiser…

                Who’s actually buying this? Only people who do not understand how integrated the appraiser is in these systems and how small of a part we actually play. Only people whom no not understand how much power banksters actually wield. Only people whom do not understand the ‘audit the FED” argument. People whom have no idea how much control over society and economic power this secret and private group actually wields and flexes on a daily basis. Sorry to inform the victim mentality people whom seek to somehow measure racism to this exact narrow point, finally finding the appraiser culprits hiding behind the curtains, but we’re all victims of the federal reserve policies, every single one of us. Some more than others but hardly anybody actually wins and nearly everyone loses. Only ‘first receivers of money’ win in this game, and it’s not a mystery or rocket science how to clearly identify them. Who handles the money first? If people were really caring about the larger system, so that regular individuals could more effectively navigate this, they may dare to ask questions about the federal reserve. Perhaps more complex questions like how is the FDIC increasing their capital holdings to fund the guaranteed insurability in a system with trillions of unfunded derivatives and a dramatically expanding monetary supply? Betcha a pepsi the FDIC is not keeping up. Enter the magic of fractional reserves.

                These problems are not black or white. They are gold and green. The growing gap between the ultra wealthy and everyone else, the declining middle class. If those issues are not resolved, things will not turn around. I find it marvelously entertaining that the lemmings focus on race baiting while simultaneously cheer leading for expanding government programs and wealth tax. I’m like, what sense does it make to tax the wealthy while still giving them corporate subsidies? Shouldn’t we just remove their sweetheart deal subsidies before turning to increased taxation? Don’t these insider DC people realize that by creating new government programs they’re only accelerating the taxation and subsequent decline of the middle class opportunities? No, expanding government is not going to save you. Neither is racial equality education. Peek behind the curtain and you won’t find an appraiser. But you may find a banker. Examining this based on race is a waste of time.

                13
              • Lol, posting an old article that is just a rehash of the original discredited article is hardly proof of anything. As I said, troll.

                2
  27. Avatar Phillyapp says:

    My problem is the media and politicians running with this, while the industry remains silent.

    Your earlier points are well received, as there is no obligation for the homeowners to take any action or provide the reports. But the media needs to do their due diligence before providing their platform for the accusations.

    A story repeated often enough appears factual in these times, and the story as presented and repeated in the internet is racism, period.

    We need to educate the public as to the shortcomings of the media and politicians. That does not occur with silence, name calling or false narratives.

    2
    • Appraisers and appraisal organizations have not remained silent on this. Our access to media outlets is not the same as that of authors that have articles alleging racism in any fashion. It is the topic du jour today.

      Appraisersblogs (last time I looked into it) had somewhere in the neighborhood of 35,000 known readers based on unique email addresses. Many with .gov addresses. We know that ASC.gov monitors articles here based on prior discussions with it’s Executive Director, Jim Park.

      Several great responses have been written in a variety of appraisal professional media outlets. That the mainstream media chooses to deliberately ignore them, is beyond any of our immediate control. They have competing interests.

      While I personally disagree with AI (& ‘the others) announcing the creation of committees or educational offerings to instruct appraisers in this area, none can deny that they have taken action (albeit pandering that promotes the belief that systemic racism is a factor in our profession-in my opinion).

      All appraisers need to reach out. One little-used resource we can access is our own local newspapers. Letters to the Editor. In my area there are several. They range from Beach Cities “Easy Reader” to Argonaut, to Pilot, to Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press-Telegram, L.A. Times, La Opinion, Grunion Gazette and a host of others.

      The avenue doesn’t require all 78,000 to wait for that other ‘someone that should do something’. 78,000 unique letters written all over the USA would likely get some attention.

      FB, Twitter and Blogs are great, but they are not the only place people go for news.

      12
  28. Avatar rd party observer says:

    Calling facts fake don’t make them fake. There has been much overreach, conjecture and when all else fails, hopeful lies in this discussion. Seems like it’s irritating you so, perhaps you should take that road to another topic or skip my responses…remember the sites instructions: If the poster gets you upset, it is the Internet, you can walk away from it.

    When or if the reports are revealed, we can have a field day with the info, say which appraiser is correct and which will likely be face repercussions, determine if the homeowners are correct or not.

    2
  29. Avatar Phillyapp says:

    Observer, a story is not a fact. Period. It is a story, like the time I took my son fishing and he caught the biggest fish.

    The professional appraisers recognize this and will maintain their profession, and call a story a story until someone can provide data and facts. We do this daily.

    10
  30. Avatar willfulknowledge says:

    Just finished an appraisal with comps that required very few adjustments. The county says the property value is about 100k greater than the comps say. Guarantee the refinancer won’t be happy. I suspect someone fiddled the 2d appraisal to make a problem go away.

    2
  31. Avatar Diana N says:

    Been doing this for 50 years, I was always told if you have two or three appraisers with no agenda and are knowledgeable about the area their values shouldn’t be any more that 5-6% apart and generally that’s based on their opinion of condition and quality of property.

    1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Yeah, generally speaking.

      In different housing markets with substantial variances natural to the market, such a generalization would only be a presumption.

      It’s the open ended allowance to use whatever technique the appraiser thinks will bring most reliable results.

      Art not a science and all of that.

      2
    • Same here…though on multi-million dollars and more complex assignments that may vary. I think it originated from old AI texts indicating our adjustments should not vary by more than 5%. Personally I no longer believe the adjustments should be that tight or even CAN be that tight. Concur re conclusions though.

      2
    • Avatar don says:

      Diana, also a fifty plus doer, and retired
      Our history came from a previous economic strife, some say we came out of the dust, some say it was the faults of the big bankers. Maybe all of that is true. Its still not Black and White. Its all colors, all creeds, its the Irish, the Italians , the Poles, the Turks, the Asians and many more disciplines than the appraisers have available.
      We are in wonderful times for a disciplined appraiser great data and proven methods are easily available for the appraiser, NOT for the social scientist. Social scientists are still proving them selves, many are using drugs, many go into history, and as you have read lately History is proving Un reliable. 1619 is referred to a a beginning date, that can’t be true.
      We Appraisers only have the appraisal contract, we can only loose if we try to justify other goals for our reports.
      As stated earlier we are in the best of time for appraisers. Our history began with poor tools such as: historic cost in a down market, No sales in a diminishing market. No lenders, no investors, Mad owners, tenants, & tradesmen, and a confused government. And as for collecting MONIES we have an overactive government.
      SO Shut UP, and quit your bitching

      0
  32. Avatar Seneca says:

    I keep seeing this story pop up with everyone taking it as fact of racism without anyone asking real appraisal questions. Just got an email from appraisal Buzz and Collateral Risk Network for a 2hr webinar based on this story.

    Any updates to this article. Have both appraisers names been revealed? Has a case been filed? Who were the lender, AMCs or how were the assignments ordered? Has the Lady has gone quiet?

    1

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