Author: Peter Christensen

LoanDepot Appraisal Discrimination Settlement 28

LoanDepot Appraisal Discrimination Settlement

Connolly and Mott v. Lanham, 20/20 Valuations, and loanDepot.com, U.S. District Court, Maryland. This is one of the appraisal discrimination cases that has received significant attention – among appraisers, the media and government agencies. A Black couple in Baltimore – Dr. Connolly and Dr. Mott, both university professors – filed suit in August 2022 alleging racial discrimination against loanDepot.com and the appraiser it engaged to appraise their home for a refinance. They alleged that the appraiser had taken into account their race in his valuation of their home in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and other laws prohibiting...

Should Property Data Collectors Be Licensed 63

Should Property Data Collectors Be Licensed?

Should “property data collectors” who inspect properties and provide information to real estate appraisers be licensed by state appraiser boards? In Mississippi, a bill has been introduced this week to require exactly that. The legislator behind the bill happens to be an appraiser. HB1663 would establish a license category for property data collectors under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Real Estate Appraisal Board. A property data collector would be defined as an individual or company, who is not a licensed appraiser and “who collects, either physically, virtually, or digitally, any information on real property, and produces such information to a...

VA Appraisal Request Form at Heart of AIR Violation Class Action 61

VA Appraisal Request Form at Heart of AIR Violation Class Action

While the statute doesn’t explicitly mention that providing a loan amount is an AIR violation… When a mortgage lender seeks to make a Veterans Administration-backed home loan, the lender requests an appraisal from the VA’s appraiser panel by using a form entitled Request for Determination of Reasonable Value. For many years, until it was revised in July 2022, this form had a box labelled “Refinancing-Amount of Proposed Loan.” This box asked the lender to fill in the proposed loan amount for refinances. Once submitted, the form begins the appraisal process and is provided to the appraiser assigned by the VA...

Lender Liability for a Negligent Appraisal? 12

Lender Liability for a Negligent Appraisal?

Does a mortgage lender have liability to the borrower for a negligent appraisal?  As residential property prices plateau or decline in various markets and as borrowers have financial problems with fewer financing options, there are more legal claims being filed by borrowers against appraisers and lenders in relation to appraisals for loans made in recent years. Essentially, the cases are situations of “buyer-borrower remorse.” Leaving aside the appraiser’s potential liability, does a mortgage lender have liability to the borrower for a negligent appraisal? An Ohio appellate court recently said “no.” It ruled that the lender did not owe the borrower...

CFPB Investigations in Alleged Appraisal Discrimination 25

CFPB Investigations in Alleged Appraisal Discrimination

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has started investigating alleged appraisal discrimination. This is a new development, as federal investigations had so far exclusively been by HUD. The CFPB is an aggressive investigator, and AMCs, large firms and lenders should be wary. For the last year, 40% of my legal work has been occupied by issues concerning alleged discrimination – balanced between representing parties in fair housing investigations and helping clients improve compliance and decrease risk. It’s the CFPB that makes me most anxious for clients in the future. I addressed some of the details of what I’m seeing in...

Appraisal Fee Price Fixing Claim Case to Reach the US Supreme Court 6

Price-Fixing Case May Reach Supreme Court

The first case about real estate appraisers to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in almost 60 years may concern the Federal Trade Commission’s price-fixing claims against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. Would that be a good thing for appraisers? Well, maybe it’s not the best timing. Filed in 2017, the FTC’s administrative complaint asserts that the Louisiana appraiser board, “a state agency controlled by licensed real estate appraisers, has unreasonably restrained price competition for real estate appraisal services.” The FTC contends that the board carried out this price-fixing through its regulation of fees paid to appraisers by appraisal management...

Bill Prohibiting Discrimination in Appraisals, BPOs & CMAs 15

Bill Prohibiting Discrimination in Appraisals…

A bill to amend Illinois’ appraiser and real estate licensing acts to address discrimination. With increased public attention on the issue, complaints alleging unlawful discrimination are emerging in the courts and before regulators in relation to appraisals. In Illinois, a bill (HB 5862) has been introduced to amend the Illinois Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act and the Real Estate License Act to expressly prohibit discrimination in appraisals, broker price opinions (BPOs) and comparative market analyses (CMAs) for residential real estate. The bill would amend each licensing act to state that an appraiser or real estate licensee engages in prohibited discrimination...

Are Appraisers Being Sued for Errors Relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic? 2

Appraisers Being Sued for COVID-19 Errors?

The alleged errors in appraisals that parties are suing appraisers over during the pandemic are the same types of errors that appraisers usually get sued over… Wow. I did not go into the basement on my last visit. I’ll explain why an appraiser wrote that in a moment. Are appraisers being sued for errors relating to the COVID-19 pandemic? My short answer is “no” – there’s no pattern of that happening. One of the services that I provide to my legal clients is tracking lawsuits and legislation that relate to valuation services. I locate and follow cases of all types...

Update on FTC’s Price-Fixing Enforcement Action Against LREAB 6

New Appellate Decision – LREAB v FTC

FTC’s price-fixing enforcement action against LREAB… A federal appellate court – the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit – has issued a decision in the long-standing fight between the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission about “customary and reasonable” appraisal fees. I’m venturing here to provide a short, understandable, unbiased summary of the litigation and what this latest court decision means. What did the Court of Appeals decide? Here’s the very short summary: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing an administrative complaint it filed in 2017 against LREAB, contending that LREAB’s “customary and reasonable”...

COVID-19 Legal & Risk Issues for Appraisers - Appraisers Blogs 5

COVID-19 Legal & Risk Issues for Appraisers

Free video webinar: “Legal and Risk Issues 2.0 for Real Estate Appraisers Stemming from the COVID-19 Crisis.” Scheduled for April 10, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific. For those who cannot watch live, a video recording and the presentation materials will be made available here shortly after the webinar. In this second Valuation Legal webinar for appraisers relating to COVID-19, I will be joined by attorney Claudia Gaglione of Gaglione, Dolan & Kaplan LLP. She is the national claims counsel for the appraiser professional liability insurance program managed by LIA Administrators & Insurance Services. We have worked together on appraiser liability...

xml sitemap
blank