Category: Customary & Reasonable Fees

AMCs Billing Scheme, Hidden Profits & Deceptive Practices 78

AMCs Billing Scheme, Hidden Profits & Deceptive Practices

Appraisers who do not agree to their hidden billing methods are excluded from the majority of the GSE lending marketplace for appraisal orders.  Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s) do not pass on cost savings for reduced appraisal services to consumers. Instead, they keep the savings for themselves without disclosing the amount to the consumer or the appraiser. What should have been cost savings for the consumer are pocketed by the AMC in secret. This is considered a junk fee or unearned fee billing scheme under current law. Appraisers who participate in this system are in violation of The Management Rule of...

AMCs Violating TILA and C&R Fee Clauses 85

AMCs Violating TILA and C&R Fee Clauses

Fellow Appraisers, the appraisal industry has been facing a major issue with AMCs violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Customary and Reasonable fee clauses. This has not only caused harm to consumers but also to appraisers who are struggling to make a living. Despite efforts to bring this issue to light, it has been largely hidden from the public and regulators. However, it is time to change that and reveal the truth about what is really happening. To do so, we need to gather more data and evidence to establish a pattern of violations for these bids...

It’s a Great Time to Leave the Appraisal Profession 144

Leaving the Appraisal Profession

It’s a Great Time to Leave the Appraisal Profession. I can hear the chorus of my fellow appraisers rising up in disagreement with me. I envision many of them screaming, “But I love being an appraiser”! Yeah, I hear you. I loved being an appraiser too. Let’s not consider what we were but what they want us to become. First, ask yourself if you are still making a livable wage. I’m not and instead of blaming myself, I started running the numbers. In, my high value market, 18% of the solds were cash sales. No appraisal required on those! Values...

AMC Engagement Letter: Do Not Include Your Invoice 16

AMC Engagement Letter: Appraisers Do Not Include Your Invoice

File the complaint against the AMC yourself OR Forward the engagement letter to VaCAP to file on your behalf.  At the recent Virginia Appraisal Board Meeting on Wednesday June 28th, a discussion occurred about Appraisal Management Companies prohibiting appraisers from including their invoices with the appraisal report. The overall consensus of the Board Members was this practice could be a violation of Virginia Appraisal Management Company Statute § 54.1-2022 B. “B. The appraisal management company shall not prohibit an appraiser from disclosing in the appraisal report the actual fees charged by an appraiser for appraisal services, and shall otherwise comply...

Look in the Mirror 15

Look in the Mirror

The phrase “take a look in the mirror” is a common idiom used to encourage self-reflection and introspection. It is a powerful statement that can evoke a range of emotions and reactions from individuals, from contemplation to defensiveness. At its core, the phrase is a call to examine oneself honestly and objectively. It asks us to step back from our assumptions, biases, and preconceptions and consider our behavior, choices, and beliefs in a critical light. When we take a look in the mirror, we are forced to confront our flaws and shortcomings, but also to recognize our strengths and achievements....

Opportunity to Work for Free is Not a Plan 73

‘Opportunity’ to Work for Free is Not a Plan

I gave this ‘opportunity’ further critical analysis in terms of time spent versus the fee income potential.  Appraisers, I’d like to disclose a personal ‘opportunity’ that was presented to me last fall, early winter. A company with AMC roots was, or is, recruiting people to become “property inspectors” with the resulting reports potentially fed to other appraisers who do HYBRID, or maybe even DESKTOP reports. The GSEs never intended the DESKTOP report to incorporate separate ‘property inspections’ from a hired third party, but that’s been the evolution because they just look the other way. Last fall, due to the slowdown...

"Valuable" Advice From an AMC - Valuation Connect 57

“Valuable” Advice From an AMC

The person who espouses this super valuable ‘advice’ does not have an appraiser’s license… Appraisers, if you think I’m serious about the message subject line, please reconsider! It’s time to actually call out an AMC who’s encouraging appraisers to ‘lower their fee’: Valuation Connect This outfit sent out a ‘newsletter’ to appraisers, part of which says this: “My advice would be to make adjustments based on the market. Some examples in a slow market would be adding a new county or zip code to your coverage area, lowering your fee for a product, or adding a new product to your...

Appraisal Management Companies Take a Sizable Cut of the Appraisal Fee 97

AMCs Take a Sizable Cut of the Appraisal Fee

It still proves my point: Appraisal Management Companies take a sizable Cut of the appraisal fee… It was March 28th, 2018 that I wrote my very first blog post entitled “What’s not in your wallet?” where I went into great detail about how Appraisal Management Companies or AMCs get paid and how the consumer is not aware of the fact that the AMC is taking much of the fee while finding the cheapest and fastest appraiser. In that blog post, I gave many examples of the abuse appraisers and consumers are absorbing by these Appraisal Management Companies. How one borrower...

What Is My Incentive to Take on Trainees? 22

What Is My Incentive?

Why would I bother taking on the added risk of an inconvenient process? Where is my incentive again? As an appraiser, I have to ask (seriously) why should I care if the profession has a shortage of skilled appraisers? Logic dictates that If there is a shortage, then I will remain busy. Even if waivers (another ruse to eliminate appraisal work) increase, I’ll be busier with fewer appraisers. Especially with so many of them “trained” under PAVE or PAREA programs. If there is an adequate supply of appraisers, then users of appraisals will continue to seek cheaper alternatives from them...

Georgia State Appraisal Board Tables Proposed Rule to Eliminate C&R fee 8

Proposed Rule to Eliminate C&R Fee Tabled

Yesterday morning, I attended the Georgia state appraisal board hearing on the proposed rule to eliminate the C&R fee law they have in place. You know, the one that is similar to the one in Dodd-Frank. The Georgia appraisal board apparently is being investigated by the FTC for their law. They thought that the FTC vs the Louisiana case was a ruling in favor of the FTC when in fact it was not, and wanted to avoid any sort of notion that they were price fixing or of anti trust. The board received letters from appraisers and others in the...

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