Appraiser’s Response to Palm Beach AMC

Palm Beach AMC Solicitation Blast & Appraiser's ResponsePalm Beach AMC, thank you for your blind/bulk solicitation.

Just out of curiosity, why do you think I would share that kind of personal & confidential professional information with a firm I never heard of? I don’t even know what kind of fee schedule you are used to paying?

You offer no references of any kind, yet you expect I will extend credit to you for thirty days? Without exception, THAT means that you will use MY fee to pay YOUR overhead for thirty days before you even consider sending MY fee to me.

Firms that do not segregate appraiser fees from operating income /expense are one of the things that virtually all failed AMCs had in common with each other before leaving appraisers on the hook for unpaid appraisals.

Its easier for me to just assume you are low-ball fee seekers. Seekers with a high non payment risk since no one here ever heard of you before. Under those circumstances, I must decline to participate.

In the event that you wish me to reconsider joining your panel, please provide the following:

  1. A list of your clients (at least a significant partial list so that an idea of client quality can be determined)
  2. The name and corporate checking account number for your bank account
  3. A copy of your California State AMC registration
  4. The minimum amount that you feel is required for E&O insurance to work for your firm. If I’m over that amount I may well want to reduce it and limit my exposure.
  5. The formal business name you are incorporated under and principle officers’ names along with your official corporate address
  6. A copy of your State Surety Bond for operations in the State of California
  7. The date you first started in business as an AMC and the names of all states that you operate in.

Just as you need to evaluate ‘my credentials’ (despite my being listed in the ASC Federal Registry as a general certified appraiser and being on the HUD FHA Roster), I too need to evaluate the credentials of anyone I am entrusting with my income, my time and my business reputation.

Upon receipt of the above requested information, coupled with a written stipulation that fees will be paid within 48 hours of submission of the appraisal report and invoice, I will reevaluate whether I can afford to be associated with your firm.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Mike Ford,

Dear Vendor,
Palm Beach AMC is looking to add smart and competent real estate appraisers in located in the State of ‘California’.

By working with us you have the following advantages

No transaction or upload fees
Payments within 30 days of completion
Nationwide network of lenders

To join our panel, just click the link below:

You must provide your resume, a signed copy of your W-9, and scanned copies of your license and E & O insurance with your application so we have all the information we need to evaluate your credentials. If you have additional certifications or designations (e.g. MAI) please mention that on your application.

If you are already registered with us, please update your license information to ensure that we have your most up to date information on file.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.

Nefi Duran

Palm Beach AMC
Phone: 915.321.9207

Michael Ford
Latest posts by Michael Ford (see all)
Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Over 28 years appraising all property types and interests, in Southern California real estate. VP/Chairman National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU/AFL-CIO. - Michael Ford on e-AppraisersDirectory

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16 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Your Caption mentions the name “Pam Beach”; one can only assume that she is married to Sonny Beach since she’s with an AMC.

    Save yourself some time and condense it down to two words and two letters. Have your subcontractors in India to copy and paste all AMC responses from a template as follows:

    Dear AMC


    • RA, Im one of those anachronisms that still types up my own report-no need for subs of any kind-Not India and not here. I also don’t feel the need to use DataMaster (yet) and cant ever see a need for violating client AND borrower confidentiality through the use of alaMode’s new cloud based Titan Trap just so Biggers can make another data stream sale to CoreLogic later.

      I don’t mind using the extra verbiage for AMCs and language my Mother would still approve of.

  2. Baggins Baggins says:

    No transaction or upload fees
    Payments within 30 days of completion
    Nationwide network of lenders

    Hey hold on!  Didn’t we have all of that and the whole cake too, before amc’s?

  3. Avatar EJ Brown says:

    I just recently received a similar request from some place called Timmons, or something like that, and they wanted all the same stuff along with my credit card number because they had a $10 tech fee. I told them that I’d raise my fee up $10 for each request and they could take that but noway, they couldn’t do that. F.O. to them too !

  4. I don’t extend credit for commercial appraisal order with less than 50% down as a “non refundable retainer-balance due on notification of completion but prior to delivery.”

    Why would I do so for a third party that has already been paid by the borrower?

  5. Avatar Deborah L Smith says:

    Every time I complete an appraisal for an AMC I have to worry if they are going to screw all us appraisers for the work they pimped us out for. When some clerk who has never appraised anything and has no licence runs my report thru CU and they request changes because Al a Mode says we have “Fatal Errors” and I see they are about the adjustments being over 10% I laugh, then I ask them if they are licensed. One guy lied to me, I got his name, and checked him out in Pennsylvania and found out he lied. I fired them immediately and luckily I got paid.

    They still send me requests but since I wouldn’t allow them to lie and profit off my experience for their pimping, I refused to be beat up by a 19 year old clerk who knows nothing and does not improve the process, otherwise making his bosses the money I deserve after 38 years in the business. I hold the MAI designation but none of these guys know anything about the professionalism that is required to obtain and hold the designations, nor do they have any proper training, so I think we should all just bid what it is worth to us, depending upon the amount of work and responsibility we accept when we do their appraisals.

    I work in Oregon and when I do a single-family home I must have the MLS which is expensive, Annual MAI dues, E&O insurance, licensing in two states (California also which is my home state), and having a background check every two years in one or the other state when I renew.

    Short of going on strike which will affect our cash flow, how little it may be now that we have blood suckers obsconding with a larger fee than we are paid, I suspect this AMC law will unravel someday but it won’t be with the current federal government since the top guy is just about a million times more greedy than the owner of an AMC.

    I asked one owner in Idaho who hired me to do a house last year in podunk OR on acreage which I researched land sales in an agricultural area with lots of large parcels how much he gets for managing each assignment; He said $125.00!  I told him he couldn’t afford me on his panel because I am way too much trouble, and that he was going out of business so I thought he had to go down in flames soon and not be able to cover his costs at that price.

    Lately, I’ve heard some of the people who pimp us out get more than the appraiser gets for the job. This is outrageous and with all the pressure they give us, checking on our every move and seeing if we are going to deliver on time, they are not worth the fees we get from these companies.

    I heard way back when we first got HVCC (2007?) that Mario Cuomo, Governor of NY was the owner of an AMC and he is responsible for the AMC due to legal action he took when he was attorney general. I’d like to know if anyone knows if that is true.

    The reason why we are not trusted are the many appraisers who worked for companies like Countrywide and World Savings who then got jobs doing analyses of the origination appraisal and if it was properly done. I worked for a computer company who proposed this to Fannie Mae so I could figure out who owned the company and how they did “fraud” investigations.  It was enlightening; we had people who had no licenses or experience in appraisal and every time the SRA went to Fannie for a meeting our procedures changes. After two months of making literally nothing for trying to figure out the process, I found out you couldn’t kill an origination appraisal without killing ALL their comps!  I reviewed a lot from Florida where homes had loans over $200K that were then worth $32,000!  The American people got fleeced by Fannie and we are supervising them like they are a governental agency when it is private.

    None of us are valued. Since we deal with value, I have grown to believe that there is a price on everything, including ethics and that there is a value to nothing, unless it is prepared by a professional with experience.

    Now that we have seen how a presidential candidate without any governmental experience has screwed up our country, and who is profiting while in office, I am hoping some people who put him in office will come to there senses and elect people who actually have experience and purpose in working for the public.

    Wait until the next bailout!  Then those of us who stayed in the business can sock it to them and maybe retire when we are younger than 85!

    We need to coordinate!  I really appreciate Mike Ford’s contribution and will copy his letter and add a few things and send it to those AMCs who are requesting my information. Additionally, we should demand each state make a law that AMCs must disclose the fee they get from selling our work to these lenders who are busily planning their next theft from our retirement accounts, such as the upcoming “tax reform” which is just going to help the occupant of the white house and his cronies.  All this because an experienced, educated woman wasn’t trusted to be our president. Are you happy now?  I am not!  As a commercial appraiser I got into doing houses because it is interesting in OR because almost all homes are custom, so no cookie cutters almost anywhere but Portland and even them it is important to have an appraiser there who is educated, trained and experienced.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Oh please with the trump bashing, it’s been old already. Politics 101; leave your mess for the next guy. If you want to blame someone, do so intelligently and blame the private consortium of lenders whom have crushed 98% of the value of the dollar, and are circling the rest like vultures, the FED. Trump was nowhere in the picture through the entire train of events which led us here. Infowarriors have already united, you’re being left behind. If we want to increase our trust position, it’s important to be a non advocate. When the life blood of this country is at stake, home ownership, that’s not a red or blue polarized issue, it’s a common ailment which affects everyone. Want to talk experience working with the public? A successful independent business person or a for sale politician? I believe in the concept of representative governance, do you? The slander against those whom do not bow to special interests is ongoing, it certainly did not start with the current administration, neither will it end there.

    • Re first Post Deborah, I agree with so much in it we should talk. (714) 366 9404

      As far as I know Cuomo didn’t own an AMC though it was alleged (some say credibly) that he had ties to a major Title Co. that was or became big in the AMC world. References were made to Sacramento ties but I never had time to follow up.

      Deborah, you would not be our first senior designated Institute Member. The perspectives are always welcomed. Who knows-maybe together we can convince AI that supporting policies that will destroy us all isn’t the best option.

  6. Avatar Deborah L Smith says:

    I forgot to mention the name of the “fraud investigation” company in Agoura Hills, CA. It was Interthinx. A bunch of Pakistani’s and Indians were my “bosses”; they really don’t care about our country as much as we do.

    Remember people, all real estate is local and this move toward international valuation is just a niche for the big guys that have junior people working for them!

    With all the UAD, stealing our comps and harrassment so we will cooperate to get the final product completed and get paid, we are expected to learn the code language of Fannie’s computers that want to get rid of all of us.

    Please pay attention to the changes in refi and some origination loans on homes that do not require an appraisal.  This trend, and the destruction and neutering of the Consumer Protection Bureau may be the death of our profession.  If you were wondering why we don’t have a single-payer system for health care like other civilized, democratic countries who deliver more for less than we pay, you can look to the insurance lobby.

    Our problem is we can’t afford to pay Mike Ford a substantial salary to represent appraisers nationwide and use his experience to kill AMCs like the insurance companies destroyed the possibiity of a better system like Medicare for all.  Where has anyone ever seen the exclusion of a licensed professional who has not done anything wrong but who is there to protect our country’s financial security from banksters who profit on our work? Do CPAs have restrictions about who they can work for?  Are their fees obsconded by someone who is not even in the business of accounting?  I thought not.  We are “special” in this regard and it is way out of control but I am speaking to the choir!

    Don’t even get me started on Montana’s exclusionary policy of non-reciprocity. I could tell but it is not all about me!  It is about the profession I love and continue to do because I don’t know how to flip burgers or wait tables!

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Yes, please tell me more.


    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Mention of interthinx naturally takes one to Corelogic.

      Related, highly fascinating legal ruling on avm patents, but also the most boring document anyone on this board may perhaps read this month.

      Interthinx Inc v. Corelogic Solutions LLC

      • Baggs, you out did yourself today. Nice!

        Agree fascinating! Not especially boring; merely cumbersome to wade through the legalese and jargon. I’ll definitely reread a couple times with a note pad &/ or score card.

        Just for fun, substitute the words “snake oil” wherever the words predictive model (or similar) appear and its much easier to follow. Another option is to jump to the findings on page 18 and 19 and then with an understanding of the direction the decider of fact went, the process is slightly less cumbersome to follow.

        I want to reread it again before jumping to erroneous conclusions, but it appears that they are saying the snake oil was not sufficiently unique to be patentable.

        For those that don’t want to waste 15 to 20 minutes more of your lives here are the crib notes; Knowing the snake oil (multiple flavors) is not reliable enough to predict an actual real world market value; they introduce other independent snake oil (version S/O3 and so on, designed to tell them exactly how far off the errors are (think about THAT one for a minute folks!). Since S/O1 is too inaccurate to develop a credible appraisal, they apply S/O 2 or 3 to tell just how far off their nut they are…er I meant margin of error; Honest!

        With all the technical details, Id love to have also seen HOW they determine that what they are hustling (er I mean developing in a scientific manner)  knows which standard of Fair Market Value to apply as opposed to differing results in Market Value as was left undefined?

        There IS a difference folks! ( market value definitions  tab on left)

        Why is it in court documents they call their process a real estate appraisal, but they pretend in public forums and before State and Federal Boards its merely a pretty good risk rater reinforced with all  kinds of fancy big data that has been leveraged, correctly and adjusted?

        I missed the part where it says the process and result is compliant with SR1, SR2 and even SR3 of USPAP. One of you folks mind finding where that was discussed for me?

    • Minor correction Deborah,

      Mike Ford (oh wait, thats ME!) doesn’t get paid by anyone other than my own appraisal clients for ordinary appraisal work. My work for the Guild is purely voluntary. It’s rewarding in other more intangible ways which is great, because time spent working on guild issues is time taken from my own business. My GF and daughter would prefer I spent more time with them. I just want to leave them financially secure when I die.

      Like many others want to do for their families,

      Oddly, there are certain AVM and AMC hucksters banks, title companies and loan officers out there that don’t share our goals. They also don’t care about taxpayers goals not to repeat the S&L crisis or Great Recession.

      Our former President was also an unpaid volunteer. The only paid staff AGA has is our Director of Member Services, or as most know her “Jan Bellas”, and she does at least as much additional volunteer work as i do. In keeping with our unpaid leadership history, our new Acting Present (Leo) went from his paid position to an unpaid one.

      We appreciate that hard working appraisers already have more than enough hands ready to reach into their pockets, but the reality is even though our parent union has been ‘generous’ in allowing us to discount dues it cannot last forever.

      As an offset to that, OPEIU and executive leadership of AGA are looking into ways to keep dues to a minimum while still offering meaningful benefits beyond our help to members that are facing state complaints, been black listed or simply been unpaid for an excessive time frame. More tangible direct benefits that can be used when members AREN’T in trouble.

      Right now we are working to resolve the free college glitches some members ran into as well as looking into other potential benefits.

      Over sixty members were helped in the past year (+/-) to collect VA payments, get removed from eligible lists and in at least six cases actively assisted in helping prevent state sanctions for alleged offenses. Jan has built up some powerful executive level contacts at some very surprising major U.S. Banks.

      Deborah most members don’t “need” us… until they do. That’s unfortunate because there are so many more people we could help with even more dues paying volunteers.

      I promise each and every one will receive the same exact pay that I am receiving from the Guild! What the heck, DOUBLE!

    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      Again, thank you. I have never asked for a salary nor do I require one. I do what I do for Appraisal Guild Members because they ARE members. Period. Its a benefit of membership.

      If I were ever to do this ‘outside’ the guild for money it would take away from the time available to our members. There may come a time when my successors may be compensated full time Guild employees, but its not a current part of my (our) business plan. Neither the President nor I expect compensation.

      We do this to demonstrate first hand to our members (and peers) that not everything has a dollar attached to it. Earning that dollar should NEVER conflict with integrity. We are not a Guild where executive leadership is driving luxury cars or wearing $4,000 suits paid for by our members. Large unions may have that flexibility and may require 100% full time compensated leadership. I don’t judge them for it.

      I only know that for appraisers, assistance has to be voluntary or the motivation itself becomes suspect.

      To ALL of our Members, and non member Supporters alike…thank you for that trust.

  7. Avatar wontobey says:

    Excellent points to add to my AMC negotiations. Oh wait I no longer accept AMC solicitations…problem solved


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Appraiser’s Response to Palm Beach AMC

by Michael Ford time to read: 2 min