Author: John Pratt

Changes from Fannie Mae: ANSI, Desktop Appraisals & Virtual Inspections 30

Changes from Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae has decided to make at least 2 significant changes… The New Year is here and along with that comes change. The appraisal industry and the appraisal profession is no exception to this. Change is something we should embrace provided that the change is for the betterment of those effected by the change. Before we make a change we need to identify what we are trying to accomplish and will the purposed changes achieve the desired results and is this the best way to accomplish our objective. I am not sure that we have identified the problem that we...

Request Changes by AMC Reviewers & Withholding Appraisers Payment 20

AMC Reviews of Appraisals

Only the lender’s Underwriter should be able to request changes to the report and the lender should be the one that pays the appraiser… An appraiser associate was having a discussion with one of the head review appraisers at HUD and the reviewer noticed that the Plat Map in the report did not correspond with the site size reported in the URAR form 1004. The appraiser stated that the public record and the Plat map did not agree with each other and that he chose the figure shown in public records. The reviewer questioned why he would choose the public...

New Law Effect on the Working Relationship Between Appraisers & AMCs 3

New CA Law Negative Effect for Appraisers

Some of you appraiser in California may not realize there is a new law, AB-5, which goes into effect on 1/1/2020, less than 60 days from now that will have a significant effect on the working relationship between appraisers and AMCs. Most appraisers work as Independent Contractors when working with AMCs. However, this will most likely change under this new law, AB-5, as of the first of the year. Most engagement letters or other instructions from AMCs to appraisers are in conflict with this new law as it pertains to the use of Independent Contractors. Under most of these agreements...

ACI Software Users - Hold Harmless Agreement & Digital Signature 22

ACI Software Users

I just received a message from another appraiser that I believe uses ACI software. He received a request from ACI to sign a “Digital Signature Application” along with a few other forms. This appears to me to be in connection with a new form of an appraisal product which they have developed. The first paragraph of this “Digital Signature Application” read as follows 1.1 Signature Using BLACK INK, sign within the box below. Signature must remain within the confines of the box (see sample). All signature cards are destroyed after they are scanned, tested, and delivered. Passwords are not kept...

Let's Come Together, and Take Control of the Appraisal Process 32

Take Control of the Appraisal Process

If the appraisers want to take back their industry they need to come together… This new law in NY has aroused a lot of comments from appraisers but let’s be honest. Appraiser have been complaining about AMCs for the last 10 years and waiting for the government, regulators and other to solve the problem with the whole AMC disaster. I have written about this before, the appraisers have no one to blame except themselves. If you wait for someone else to solve the AMC problem you are looking in the wrong place. We all know of the problems with AMCs...

Solidifi Agreement... All Indemnity Clauses Are Not Created Equal... 5

Indemnity Agreements

Solidifi User Agreement… all Indemnity Clauses are not created equal… This is a response to the article that Dave Towne wrote regarding Indemnity Clauses and that they are common in today’s world and appraisers better get used to it. It is also true that all Indemnity Clauses are not created equal and the devil is in the details. This topic came up because of the agreement that Solidifi requires that all appraisers that receive assignments from them must agree to. Let’s delve into the Indemnity Clause which is in that agreement. First the agreement is between Solidifi and the appraiser...

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Solidifi Agreement

Solidifi Agreement provides little or no protection for the appraiser… Many appraisers have seen the Solidifi agreement that appraisers must agree to if they want to receive appraisal assignment from them. This 18-19 page agreement written by a lawyer which was paid by Solidifi provides lots of protection and power for Solidifi and little or no protection for the appraiser. Many of you might be on the fence, should I agree to this or should I not and know that I will lose some business. If Solidifi is your major provider of appraisal assignment they have just put you between...

ENV Format Appraisals May be a Violation of USPAP 18

Appraisals in ENV format

From my perspective there seems to be an increase in the number of appraisal requests that require the ENV format. The conversion to ENV of your completed appraisal report is usually not an exact copy of the report which the appraiser completed and signed. Some forms may not convert, other may separate your photos from the text which go along with the photo and the order of the forms in your report may not be the same and there may be other changes to your report. This should be a concern to every appraiser since the client/lender, is not getting...

Alternative Evaluations... Good or Bad 10

Alternative Evaluations… Good or Bad

All of these "alternative evaluations" are an attempt to reduce the fee of the appraiser… All this talk about alternatives to a full appraisal needs some common business sense added to the conversation. At the end of these comments I will include some of my background and you can make your decision if you think I am qualified to put my 2 cents in this discussion. I have said this before and I will say it again, the lenders (AMC included) just want an Appraisers signature and their E&O insurance with a value and they want it as cheap as...

LRES Wants Your Digital Signature 31

LRES Wants Your Digital Signature

Do NOT send your digital signature! I just received the following message from LRES (AMC) requesting I send my digital signature to them. I think this message should get out to all appraisers immediately. I don’t know if any other appraisers received this message however I would strongly suggest that you do NOT send your digital signature to this AMC or anyone else. I hope you all understand the possible problems this could open you up to, including forgery, fraud and many other illegal activities. If you have any doubts just call your E&O insurance and ask them what they...

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