Top to Bottom: Complaint Primer

Top to Bottom Complaint Primer

“Why don’t you write about the complaint process from start to finish?”

Howard Richter, MAI of IACREA made a great suggestion for an article.

“Why don’t you write about the complaint process from start to finish?”

Okay, Howard. Let’s do it!

Whether complaints come from homeowners, lenders, AMCs, other government entities, they all find their way to my desk via Complaint Intake. The two-page complaint form is on-line and was designed to make it easy for the complainant and for the Department to get to the heart of the problem.

Complaints come in all shapes and sizes. Some are vague sticky-notes. Others read like novels. All are read and filed. Every complaint from the sublime to the ridiculous gets a file number.

How Many?

Since I started in 2007 I’ve received well over 1,500 complaints. Complaints have been on the increase every year.

Dodd-Frank’s Mandatory Reporting has spiked complaints coming from lenders and AMCs. Many of those complaints are coming in just under the five-year statute of limitations.

The problem for the Department becomes one of prioritizing. Should we drop everything to work on a case that just came in on a June 2007 appraisal gripe from a lender?

It isn’t unusual to see such a complaint come in with a field review that was completed in 2008. This means that the lender has been sitting on this information for almost four years before they decided to turn it into the state.

That seems disingenuous, wouldn’t you agree?

Typically we see 240 to 350 gripes every year. It sounds awful but for a state this size it’s about right. Even years like 2012 see a spike due to the CE Audit that nets another 60 to 100 complaints. We’re in the middle of a CE Audit right now. This year’s total is about 60 or so licensees who were short in their hours.

What Cases Get Closed?

I review complaints for relevance. If someone is griping about how late you were for an appointment or that you showed up dressed like Captain Lou Albano (for you wrestling fans)…we’re really not interested. Sure, you should dress more appropriately and call when you’re still tied up at the last property but those aren’t USPAP or state law issues. Those cases get assigned a number then get closed. You will not be contacted in order to respond to such complaints. I figure that your life has enough stress without dealing with a pointless complaint that I’ve already closed.

Sometimes lenders turn in appraisers on aged reports and never bothered to search the National Registry to see that we may have already revoked or suspended an appraiser on the same property.

Case management in a state with few resources, a lot of geography, and a large and diverse licensee pool requires creativity in order to deal with the volume.

Complaints don’t come to us in linear fashion. I may received a complaint on an appraiser from 2010 followed a few months later by one from 2008.

If I receive multiple complaints involving the same appraiser or appraisers I can usually spot a trend in reporting.

We’ll pick up this topic again next month.

By Lee Lansford – Illinois Appraiser Newsletters – Volume 4, Issue 4

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Provided as a service to licensed and registered Illinois appraisal professionals as well as Illinois course providers and users of appraisals. Illinois Appraiser Newsletters promote a greater understanding of USPAP, the Act, and the Administrative Rules of the State of Illinois. promote a greater understanding of USPAP, the Act, and the Administrative Rules of the State of Illinois.

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Top to Bottom: Complaint Primer

by IDFPR Board time to read: 2 min