Wanted: Angry Appraisers – BankRape
Experienced residential appraisers have spent the past 30 months wishing for change and wondering if it would ever come. Most were fooled into believing that justice could be found by writing to politicians, signing petitions, and waiting for their state agencies and appraisal organizations to fix the problem. Nearly two years passed and the remaining appraisers continue to tread water while scanning the horizon for signs of a rescue. Appraisers awakened on April 1, 2011 (Appraiser Fool’s Day) with renewed hope, only to find that the tiny clause within Dodd Frank, “customary AND reasonable fees” had been altered at the last minute to read “customary OR fair fees”. Once again, a loophole had been created by the banking lobby to prolong the life of the golden goose that created under HVCC. BankRape.com was created with experienced appraisers in mind; those who were given the option of working for pre-certification level fees or finding new careers. The original intent of our site was to simply create a gathering place for appraisers who were interested in boycotting low fee orders. Work began on the project shortly after the April 1st kick in the teeth mentioned above. The documentary Inside Job enlightened us to the power of alternative media sources. This option would not only add to the impact of a “proposed” boycott, it would eclipse it on it’s own. Hence, the idea of the BankRape documentary was born.
The primary goal of the project is to produce a professional documentary to expose the crime of BankRape to the public; a crime that the national media has for the most part chosen to ignore. The beauty of a documentary is that it can convey the entire story of how a profession was brought to it’s knees through the blackmailing of two government entities. This is indeed a complex story of blackmail, legalized extortion, greed, & backroom political deals. The fact that it involves a prominent national politician makes it even more incredible. For appraisers, the nightmare of the story pales in comparison to the reality they are forced to deal with each day.
The secondary goal of the project is to provide appraisers and other victims of BankRape with alternate income choices. This portion of the project is still under development; we are however accepting ideas from individuals who have made successful transitions into other careers which we will post online.
The third goal of the BankRape project is to raise the funds necessary to end Andrew Cuomo’s political career. Although there is a limit on campaign contributions, there are no limitations on the amount of funds that a private entity can spend to support or oppose their candidate of choice. As most of you know Cuomo was the political puppet of choice for the banking industry with regard to the HVCC fiasco. The Home Valuation Code of Conduct was conveniently designed to expire just as Mr. Cuomo was about to enter the New York Governor’s office then sprang back to life immediately afterwards as part of the Dodd Frank legislation. The current appraisal ordering system continues to render appraisal businesses as worthless. Experience has no value as AMCs prefer to train new appraisers from scratch. Amazingly the ability to increase AMC profits by slashing fees & cutting corners continues to be rewarded.
“Our method of fundraising and the intended use of the film’s profits are as newsworthy as the film itself.”
This film provides BankRape victims with the opportunity to raise awareness of the crime that was committed against them. Similarly it provides a way to end the daily violations that they have endured for nearly three years. Lastly, it provides them with the means to end the political career of the one person who should be held responsible for blackmailing of FNMA & Freddie Mac. We urge appraisers, Realtors, mortgage brokers, homeowners, & home buyers to help themselves by both contributing and becoming Fundraising Partners. Although this is a nonprofit venture for the organizers we are hopeful that it will become very profitable for BankRape victims in terms of ending the rape.
We are not connected with the Wall Street Movement in any way. We are however amused that documentary producer Michael Moore has suddenly become interested in the Wall Street Movement. We are similarly amused that 22 year Molly Katchpole was able to single handedly reverse planned bank fee increases at major banks (such as Bank Of America) by simply creating an online petition. These recent developments should inspire BankRape victims and provide them with the confidence that change is possible when you bring intelligence and organization to the table. BankRape.com was created for those who are ready to force change rather than rely upon the very politicians who turned them into victims. The platform is yours to use as you please as we are open to new ideas, new articles, etc. The one thing we cannot provide is effort on the part of victims. The success and failure of this effort rests squarely upon the shoulders of those who were violated but with appraisers in particular.
Wanted: Angry Appraisers
Must have a willingness to contribute, participate in fundraising. Must have an appreciation for the power of social media, the Internet, and new distribution methods within the entertainment industry. An entry level understanding of guerilla warfare is a plus as well as a strong desire to win. Apply at: BankRape.com
By David Feather aka Retired Appraiser
I admire what you are doing and have made a $200 donation. What is happening to our industry is unfair and wrong, and something must be done about it. I, like so many, am struggling to stay in the business. I am grateful to have work from AMC’s as it keeps food on the table, but being paid half of what is reasonable and customary is just wrong, especially when the work load is doubled due to all the new requirements. How is that justified?
I appreciate the fact that there are a few appraisers out there who still care about their profession. The key word here is FEW.
Here is an example of the typical response from appraisers today:
“Proof reading your e-mail will put you in a positive light….” ~ email@example.com
Dave I apologize for the typos. The is a small operation and since I am quit appraising I know longer have an office full of assistants. If you have the spare time to correct my mistakes how about volunteering your time as a staff writer generating articles for us. A donation wouldn’t hurt either (if you care about saving the appraisal profession).
I may be the only angry appraiser in the U.S. today but I can assure you that I don’t sit on my ass whining about the way things are. I’ve spent thousands on this project so far and hundreds of hours as well. Keep this in mind guys before you send an email to us complaining about spelling.
GET OFF YOUR APPRAISERS AND DO SOMETHING!
I first found out about AMC fees when I had my condo appraised two years ago. I spent a total of $1175 on two appraisals for a one bedroom condo. First appraiser came from WV about 60 miles away and under appraised my condo by $100,000. Second appraisal was ordered which I paid for. The latter was in line with the other sales. Later on I found out that out of the $1175, $675 was the AMC fee. And what service did they offer me except for picking an appraiser unfamiliar with my area from another state? I actually ended up paying more because of their mistake. I was outraged!
I think consumers need to participate in this project. How long has this project been in the works? How many are participating?
Reading dbearce comment above reminded me of all the typos I came across the first appraisal. I’m glad dbearce no longer appraises.
The comments and typos were actually part of my response to dbearce at 4:30 a.m. As you can tell, I am passionate about this issue because few others seem to care. I took the time to lookup dbearce’s appraisal web page this morning and found 4 typos on that page.
To answer your question: How long has this project been in the works? We began work on it in mid April after seeing that the April 1st fair fees regulation was nothing more than a hoax and a cruel joke on appraisers. The site launched one week ago. The article that you read above is the first published article on BankRape. We appreciate your support and hope that you will help spread our message.
The national media has no problem putting a 22 year old college graduate on tour because she took the time to create an online petition over $5 bank charges. Oddly enough, they refuse to touch the issue of BankRape which affects millions, ruined the appraisal profession, and created the second collapse of the housing market. Extortion & blackmail have no place in the national news when NY’s governor was behind the scheme. They have a very prominent place however in the documentary that we intend to create and pipe into every american home.
Yes your passion is obvious. I’ve emailed friends about this article, the BankRape website and the petition. Hope your project starts getting the attention it deserves. Fundraising $2 million is not an easy task. More power to you. I’m sure you’ll be getting a lot of criticism; just stay focus and don’t let anyone discourage you. And when you get emails such as the one dbearce sent you, it is best to either ignore it or respond calmly. I truly admire you and wish you the best of luck!
Thanks. I managed to locate an investor that has an ax to grind with the banking lobby. They have agreed to fund the entire project. The budget was reduced but work has already begun on the documentary.
That’s great news!
You are kidding? That is great! Please keep me posted.
On the flip side we have some bad news for appraisers.
Over the past 4 months we witnessed complete apathy on the part of appraisers with regard to helping themselves out of their graves. This fact, coupled with a need to simplify the issue for consumers has led to downplaying the impact on the appraisal profession.
The documentary will still be made available to millions of homeowners in a format that we can spoon feed to individuals ultra short attention spans. Hopefully these homeowners will take it upon themselves to demand answers from both the media that concealed the story and Congress.
HVCC in Sheep’s Clothing
The Truth behind our Real Estate Recession
By Don Simkovich – March 1, 2012
Glendale, CA. – I just heard that 2012 will be great for Real Estate because “they” are going to loosen lending regulations. But isn’t that what got us in trouble in the first place, says a local expert turned activist. According to Loring Greene, a local developer, Real Estate agent and State Certified Appraiser, our Real Estate recovery should have gained a lot more traction by now.
“When homeowners can get to their equity it employs millions of people, it always has” says Greene. Ask any Realtor or homeowner if they are happy with our lending regulations and they are all in agreement that we are all in a “world of hurt” because of a new practice that very few consumers are aware of.
Buried under the Frank Dodd, financial reform act of 2011 are the effects of the H.V.C.C., Home Value Code of Conduct, which is obstructing the natural market appreciation that grows from increasing interest and participation in Real Estate.
What has subtlety happened is that we have lost one of our rights that are part of the original “Bundle of Rights” in land ownership. The freedom to choose is basic in the free enterprise system; you get to choose your own religion, doctor, attorney, CPA, geologist, surveyor, the list grows exponentially in a free society but the freedom to choose your own Real Estate Appraiser has been taken off the table.
Not to mention that appraisers like Greene can no longer market themselves to homeowners, loan brokers and banks who would like to hire a State Certified Appraiser as their appraiser and local expert. This legislation discriminates against a long standing, noble profession the Real Estate Appraiser, as well as loan brokers and has created a vacuum of accurate appraisals.
The H.V.C.C. affects us nationally and was the result of a little known law suit by Andrew Cuomo, who was the New York State Attorney General and the end result was the H.V.C.C., whose policies were promulgated by the GSE’s, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The H.V.C.C. went into effect May 2009 and although it has expired its adopted practices still prohibit homeowners, lenders and their agents from knowing their appraisers. Lenders must schedule appraisals through anonymous third-party administrators, called A.M.C.’s, Appraisal Management Companies. The effects of the H.V.C.C. have replaced experts like Greene with neophyte appraisers, who will work on the cheap and fast to break into the business; but at the cost of the consumer and our property appreciation.
True professional appraisers are being driven out of the business in favor of these inexperienced appraisers who often compete against each other bidding on-line for jobs or are selected by the A.M.C.’s who often take up to 50% of the appraiser’s fee.
The result is artificially deflated appraisals for a variety of reasons by inept appraisers who are often not familiar with the neighborhoods they are assigned.
Originally the H.V.C.C. was a good idea so as to protect appraisers from lender pressure to hit a certain number. But it has backfired on us and is an overcorrection of massive proportions.
You have to ask yourself, is it really the appraiser’s fault that banks were lending on “stated income programs” to anyone who could and very often would lie about their income to get a loan.
The “Banksters” as Greene calls them and Washington collectively threw out years of regulations that prohibited such lax lending and now “they” want to shunt the blame on the ground troops in the trenches doing all the grunt work scratching for our true values.
Investing in a home can be one of the biggest financial decisions most Americans will ever make and the loss of this freedom to choose our own expert now makes homeownership a much more daunting prospect.
Tragically, Americans have lost two basic economic freedoms, the right to choose their own representation and the right to free enterprise for an important profession in our economy.
But if losing your freedoms doesn’t put a burr under your saddle maybe the loss of your money will as it can often take two appraisals to get a loan approved, doubling the cost to the consumer.
Irate homeowners and agents are calling on Greene to perform a “rebuttal appraisal” for a lender’s “reconsideration of value” to save their deals. The rebuttal is more time consuming and costly as it requires a full review and critique of the first appraisal and a whole new appraisal. And not all banks will allow a “reconsideration of value” leaving many deals to fall dead which is stalling our recovery.
Real Estate is the flagship of our economy; no one can afford to stand idly by. We have to roll the clock back says Greene who has been boycotting the lending industry.
Unfortunately, there is no national coalition of appraisers large enough to make a difference, so homeowners need to pressure Realtors as the N.A.R. National Associates of Realtors is far more powerful but first they will need to mitigate their misplaced disdain for appraisers.
There is a small ray of hope as the California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the creation of the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.
Homeowners should call her and other elected officials and demand that their rights to equal representation be reinstated and added to the “Homeowner’s Bill of Right” or our nation’s economy may never fully recover.
Loring Greene provides appraisals and expert witness testimony for probates, living trusts, rebuttals, sales, divorces, dissolutions, casualty loss, bankruptcies, tax and litigation support. He can be contacted through his website http://www.realworks.biz or at 818-236-3697 and you can watch his poignant P.S.A. on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Uyw12O4bE
I have been appraising almost 30 years. 10 years ago I had an office with 4 appraisers 2 support and full time receptionist and myself. I have been forced to downsize in every conceivable way, sell a good portion of my assets, exhaust my savings and finally had to start letting people go. One by one and now, I have no staff, will be down to a single phone line and a sole practitioner because I can not perform appraisals for 1/2 fees.
By the way if you haven’t already fallen prey to the “field review” by an unqualified appraiser who is willing to do one at 1/3 the typical cost- get ready. These AMC’s find the least fit among us to perform the lions share of the work at deeply discounted rates and perform these in a reckless and irresponsible manner. I coined a phrase for what I see today it is simply “No Appraiser Left Behind”. It worked well in the education system, the bright people got no attention but all sorts of programs available for those who fail or lag behind.
Something has got to change- I am now in the un-enviable position of selling the last of my assets and considering another line of work, at 50+ what is available?
20/20 hindsight. I wish I had read past issues of AB this far back when I first learned of the AppraisersBlogs site. Dave, your old BankRape.Com site is no longer a live link. Looking back from the perspective of January 19, 2018 I can understand the history that lead to your current perceived cynicism. I have a better appreciation for your past efforts. Thank you for those.The fight still goes on as you know. There have been some successes – though nowhere near as many as are needed. A few state coalitions have been partially effective. More are needed.The Appraisers Guild has also had successes. More are needed there as well.