That Terminator is out There!

That Terminator is out There! - AI National Is Vigorously Fighting For EvaluationsOne of my favorite lines from the original Terminator movie from the Kyle Reese character that can apply to the unknown driver of AI National’s obsession to force evaluations on residential appraisers because they can count on the designation handcuffs that keep many from speaking out and continue to damage the public trust and continue to damage the livelihoods of its own members in slow motion without bothering to reach out and explain what is behind it (gasping for air sound). Remember that it took 10-years of screaming by AI membership to get AI National to disclose their dealings with FNC with an admission inserted into their email newsletter in the middle of other generic announcements.

Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

The Florida Real Estate Appraiser Board is having a meeting on August 6, 2018, concerning the FREAB’s February action (by a 7-1 vote) to require appraisers to comply with USPAP when performing appraisal and evaluation assignments.

The Appraisal Foundation will be there as well as AI National’s well-traveled evaluation-advocate-in-chief Scott DiBiasio.

Be sure to read three attached documents, especially the written comments on pages 13-15 of the “Discussion Documents”. A shout out to my friend and appraiser colleague Frank Gregoire from Florida who is working hard behind the scenes for all residential appraisers on this issue – you can see his emails and his professional discourse (unlike me).

Documents from Public Record:

Remember that AI National, aside from doing battle with The Appraisal Foundation, is beginning to focus on befriending the state coalitions. I have a feeling that will be impossible and they will remain alone in the wilderness continuing to damage the public trust and our livelihoods.

The only way to stop AI National from further damaging our livelihoods AND THE PUBLIC TRUST is to demand the removal of the old guard that has been able to personally insulate themselves from removal – the arrogance of current leadership while flying first class to valuation conferences around the world is an abomination. Residential appraisers will have to do a lot of $25 evaluations to pay for 1-4 of their first class round trip tickets to China, Singapore, Portugal, Canada, Germany, Serbia, Brazil, etc.

Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986. He is a state-certified real estate appraiser in New York and Connecticut, performing court testimony as an expert witness in various local, state and federal courts.

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Tim says:

    AI=A-holes Indeed

  2. “The only way to stop AI (appraisal institute-mai) National from further damaging our livelihoods AND THE PUBLIC TRUST is to demand the removal of the old guard that has been able to personally insulate themselves from removal ”


  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    These people in their effort to claim a lions share of very simple desk work and alter the definition of what is and is not appraisal services through illogical language application, may be surprised to find they do not like the competition which will flood in from every direction from non licensed ‘valuators’.  Lenders and appraisers alike have shot themselves in the foot.  They’re bpo farmers now.  It’s just like Mr Ford says, they make a point of avoiding the talking point regarding how unreliable these evals and hybrids are in the first place.  What goes around comes around and if lenders honestly believe the appraiser is the best person for the job, they should stop reducing our volume a tenth here a tenth there, cutting income to a fifth via evals. It all has already added up and nobody trains anymore.

  4. Two issues:

    A. The integrity of AI (or purported lack, thereof); and

    B. Evaluations and alternatives standards.

    Excellent background Jonathan. Anyone that didn’t read it all, really should.

    I’m not a member of AI and while I’ve opposed them on many issues including alternative standards, they raised many valid points and concerns in their objections to FREAB treatment of Evaluations and alternative standards. These shouldn’t be given short shrift just because I/we or anyone disagree with AIs views.

    Open meetings with sufficient notice to prepare informed positions are critical to good governance. While I don’t want AI setting appraisal policies for me, I also would not support their exclusion from processes designed to result in statewide positions and policies. I think there should be a rule-making working committee comprised of ALL appraisers from all associations, coalitions and AGA plus independents.

    I happen to oppose AI on alternative standards. If the best argument that anyone can come up with is so that we can compete effectively with brokers and agents who are allowed to perform Evaluations without complying with USPAP then THAT is the core issue. Not lowering appraisal standards!

    Simply put, an appraisal MEANS something. The tolerance among professionals for euphemisms or alternative verbiage to describe the orderly process of developing credible opinions of specifically defined values has come round full circle to bite them on the ass, and now they don’t like it.

    IAEG originally described extreme, emergency situations where Evaluations could be performed; and where they were forbidden to be called appraisals. This was incorporated into federal law.

    Having this provision allowed the camels nose to get under the tent flap with predictable results. First the whole camel came in (emergency condition); then the whole heard (non emergency situations-involving CHEAPER services), then the goat herd came in (non emergency, cheaper, faster AND allowed to call themselves appraisals), then the camels, the goats, the sheep and the sheep shearers came in (let’s ignore ALL rules and common sense). TAF has been a willing participant in this process.

    The solution is actually VERY simple. If PRICE is the sole consideration then an agent or broker CAN conclude asking prices; fair prices to offer etc. Strictly for direct listing, sales or leasing solicitations.

    If the term or concept of VALUE in any form is to be determined, then it IS an appraisal, and it should be regulated. If the feds (& states) want to foolishly continue to have states enforce FEDERAL Laws, then those federal laws should be mirrored in enforceable state law for ALL transactions.

    IF a state is to enforce federal appraisal requirements, then let that state also adopt those same identical regulations. We already have a near impossible task to define, understand and comply within dual tracks where some states enforce USPAP in all appraisals and other states do or don’t depending on their mood at the time.

    IF an unlicensed  person does something now (like an APPRAISAL) as long as it’s not an FRT, then it’s ok. If an appraiser does that same thing, then whether it was for an FRT or not, that appraiser has to  follow USPAP (again, depending on the regulators mood or policy parsing that particular week; or the state involved). This is unacceptable practice.

    The FRT limitation or loophole needs to be closed. Completely. I wouldn’t want to cramp agents rights to provide their fundamental listing, selling and leasing services. They don’t need to have a statutory right to call their opinions “value.” Nor does what they do need to be called an evaluation (a term that should not exist anywhere). They offer price opinions.

    IF an appraisal is to have any meaning at all, credibility or trust going into the future, then it MUST be consistently performed. Bring back the Departure Rule and make the appraiser support using it, instead of burying the level of half-assed services performed in an ambiguously worded scope of work. Better yet bring back Departure AND require a thorough SOW description!

    By both Federal and State Law FORBID alternative appraisal and appraisal reporting products to be offered until fully vetted and exposed to professional peer review AND regulatory agency reviews. For ANY software company that creates a form saying “appraisal” or USPAP Compliant within it that has not been so vetted let them be subject to a $10,000 fine for every single such form originating from them and downloaded or used online for or from them.

    IF hard money lenders, bail bondsmen or bulk securities investors need need a cheaper and faster product then let it be one in which it must be prominently shown, that the Departure Provision has been invoked. There is no need for a restricted report.

    Just appraisal reports. With and without departure specified.

    IF IT IS AN APPRAISAL then it MUST be performed by an appraiser. If it is an appraisal then it MUST conform to USPAP (Departure conditionally allowed).

    For the slow witted among FNMA, AMCs, lenders and software hustlers that means if it is any kind of automated product you can call it whatever you want as long as the words appraisal and valuation are not associated with it in any way!

    “Bifurcation” and appraisal/valuation do NOT go together. Not ever. Hybdrid is a plant, animal or confused automobile. It is never an appraisal or credible valuation ‘product.’

    As appraisal professionals, do we really want to keep pretending there is a valid excuse for development of any appraisal to less than the minimum acceptable appraisal standards that have been known and accepted as principles for more than 30 years?

    Take the original TAF-USPAP and AQB / ASB requirements (circa 1991-1993) and adopt federally and in the states.

    THEN RETIRE the The Appraisal Foundation itself. MISMO claims they were responsible for its creation. If so, then it was NEVER INTENDED to promote and protect the integrity of the appraisal process as required by Congress.

    TAF is in good company with those first class traveling old guard ‘leaders’ at AI Jonathon was talking about. There is no need for either.

    IF science really does create a real product that can be verified, tested and proven to be as reliable as we are required to be (as opposed to merely being hyped) then Congress can revisit this issue.


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That Terminator is out There!

by Jonathan Miller time to read: 2 min