My Day as an Appraiser

CoreLogic vs Appraisers: My Day as an Appraiser

Big Corporations like CoreLogic are like sharks…

This morning, as I do every morning, I made some coffee and began work on one of the two appraisal reports that were soon to be due. The first was for an AMC known as Speedy Title and Appraisal Review Services. This appraisal management company is owned by CoreLogic. From their website

“CoreLogic is an Irvine, CA based corporation providing financial, property and consumer information, analytics and business intelligence. The company analyzes information assets and data to provide clients with analytics and customized data services. The company also develops proprietary research, and tracks current and historical trends in a number of categories, including consumer credit, capital markets, real estate, fraud, regulatory compliance, natural hazards, and disaster projections.”

As I opened my appraisal software program, ACI or Appraisers Choice, I noticed that it is owned by First American formally known as First American-Corelogic. Corelogic became a standalone business in 2010.

Once the data collected from my field inspection was input into the previously owned Corelogic software, I began my search for comparable sales though my local MLS. Surprisingly, I noticed a familiar orange, white and brown logo which I had seen somewhere else before. Then it hit me! It was the Corelogic logo!

As required by USPAP, all information must be verified to be accurate with other sources. At that point I started to check the data provided by my local MLS with the Realist Tax Data. Realist coincidentally is also owned by Corelogic.

After the data from the Corelogic owned MLS software was checked against the CoreLogic owned Tax Data and entered into the previously owned CoreLogic appraisal software, I began the cost approach, as it was required within the scope of work of the assignment. My current (but I’m thinking not for long) source for cost data is the Marshall and Swift Residential Cost Handbook, which, surprisingly is now owned by Corelogic.

In the final stages of the report I skimmed the lengthy engagement letter to ensure I had addressed all the requirements. Good thing I did, a flood map is to be included in the report. Well guess what, the company I use for flood maps is Yes sir, another CoreLogic product.

Finally, I completed the report and just for fun I took another look at Realist to see how my value was coming in compared to the REALAVM. You know the computer generated value provided by CoreLogic within Realist.

The next appraisal report would have to wait because I had a revision request from my best client, The Veterans Administration. They always come before ANY appraisal management company. They actually pay a reasonable and customary fee, do not participate in scope creep, and have reviewers who know what they are talking about. They understand the appraisal process as they are most likely appraisers themselves.

It seems their review program alerted them that further commentary was needed for one of my adjustments on an appraisal. The review program is known as LSAM. Well guess what, LSAM is a CoreLogic product also.

Once that was uploaded to the portal I started work on the remaining report for RELS, an appraisal management company. Oops excuse me. My bad! That is the old name of the AMC. It is actually called Corelogic now as they acquired RELS in 2010.

In case you have forgotten, let me remind you; Corelogic, from their website,

“is an Irvine, CA based corporation providing financial, property and consumer information, analytics and business intelligence. The company analyzes information assets and data to provide clients with analytics and customized data services. The company also develops proprietary research, and tracks current and historical trends in a number of categories, including consumer credit, capital markets, real estate, fraud, regulatory compliance, natural hazards, and disaster projections.”

Finally, all reports were completed and the revision request addressed. It was time to look for some continuing education! I get solicitations all the time for continuing education in my email. So I check my email. I received an email from FNC, the parent company of AppraisalPort. It seems my credit card has expired and I need to update my information. AppraisalPort is an online portal some lenders use to create a firewall between them and the appraiser without the use of an AMC. Just so you know, FNC was recently acquired by CoreLogic.

Back to my continuing education quest…

There were a few options available to me. The first one was from the Appraisal Institute. Although I obtained my initial education from them, I decided not take any more classes from them as they do not have the residential appraiser’s best interests at heart. There was one that sounded very interesting, “USPAP at Sea.” Take a 5 day cruise, spend 1 day on the water knocking out the required USPAP update class. Sounds great. Wait! This class is offered by the Columbia Institute! CoreLogic recently acquired them too!

Enough! Time for a break; I walk down the street to my local coffee house for an afternoon pick me and I run into another appraiser I have known for years. We sit and chat and he tells me he is being solicited by an AMC to become a Field Staff Appraiser. We discuss how this is just wrong and that AMCs should not be completing appraisal reports. That is not their function. I inquire as to which AMC and he informs me it is CoreLogic. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry…

Big Corporations like this are like sharks. They must keep swimming and keep eating otherwise they die. Their shareholders want to see profits every quarter. It has happened to for profit colleges, the medical industry and now it is happening to the appraisal industry. As appraisers we identify trends. I think I have identified a very big trend here. If you think it is healthy for our industry to be so heavily engrossed with one company, which is harmful to the consumer, go on about your business. If you don’t think it is healthy and actually harms the consumer, contact the Attorney General in your state. Let’s regain control of the appraisal profession.

Other services of CoreLogic from their website:

Automotive: Automotive & Trucking Credit Reports
Mortgage: ePostClosing & Mortgage Credit Reports
Real Estate: Australian Property Info (RP Data), RealQuest, & REI Source
Marketing: ListSource
International: CoreLogic Australia, CoreLogic Mexico, CoreLogic United Kingdom

By ACE Appraiser, VaCAP Guest Author – ACE Appraiser is a Certified Residential Appraiser and wishes to remain anonymous.

VaCAP Board
Image credit flickr - Jeff Kubina
VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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117 Responses

  1. Avatar Dawn Aubrey says:

    I would definitely like to contact my state’s attorney general. I fully agree with the article and the dangers core logic presents. However, while i see the red flags, I do not trust myself to competently compose a letter/sufficient evidence that would jump start an investigation or propel action on behalf of my state’s attorney general.

    Is there any incredible appraiser on here willing to compose a well thought out, evidence backed, professional letter that we all could submit to our respective attorney generals? Maybe Mike Ford or the article’s author?

    If you don’t want to say something publicly, i would welcome a private message on fb.

    • Avatar chris says:

      Great suggestion, I would also help with that !

    • Dawn our first step is trying to get enough board support among appraisers for a specific objective.

      Remember that many of our associates work for corelamode and similar data-driven high volume sweatshops. They post their opposing views here as well as other forums. Appraisers are our own worst enemies…and our only strength. (How’s that for philosophical drivel?)

      Sometimes we can find common cause with AI – other times we are in direct opposition. ASA is generally supportive as are the other major’s professional associations.

      Bottom line, writing states AGs is not usually going to be the best solution. Piggybacking on other favorable issues is. That’s why I keep urging support for House FInancial Affairs Cmm. legislation. Get past the partisan rhetoric and when an issue favors us, jump on board.

      The biggest unfinished business appraisers have today is the ongoing FTC case between Louisiana and FTC. Hopefully, Steve Cannon and his team are close to a resolution. They have had some incremental successes but the case lingers on.

      As long as that case is open not one state is concerned with C&R fee enforcement.

      New York and NJ recently past good laws relating to appraisers. We need to support those.

      Texas just passed a GREAT LAW allowing appraisers that are falsely accused and taken to court (admin or otherwise) by their states MAY recover up to $1,000,000 in costs from the state. The burden is pretty high (must be found to be frivolous)- but at least recovery IS possible AND the message is there to regulators. Passing similar legislation in ALL other states should be the goal after the FTC case.

      Imho the next most serious (and potentially profession terminating) issue are hybrids; and separately conflating ‘Evaluations” with “Appraisals”. They should NEVER be permitted to be called the same things.

      There is no such thing as a ‘good hybrid model’. Even the best of the worst result in substandard fees; unrealistic completion times and fees too low for quality work… not to mention turning designated appraisers into national hustler sweatshops. “JUST SAY NO!” Always.

      VaCAP and Virginia seem to hold the most hearings. Get involved people.

  2. Avatar mark freitag says:

    They also own Alamode which invites appraisers to share comp data, some of which are assignment results.

  3. They also own alamode and invite appraisers to share comp data, some of which are assignment results.

  4. Avatar Concerned Citizen says:

    This company’s representative asked if I were interested in working full-time for them. The rep called after the death of my appraiser-husband and I thought it might be a good idea to go to work for someone else. I learned I had to use MY: car, gas, insurance, upkeep on the vehicle, computer, home office, flood maps, software, MLS, office supplies, air and heat cost and other incidental costs. The rep asked how much I expected to be paid. I replied, since I was not being provided anything, a figure of $65,000 sounded reasonable. Long silence on the other end. I never got a callback and the rep did not answer my call.

    A year later, I attended CE classes, which were taught in Irving, Texas, in CoreLogic’s offices. Then, I realized the money issue. CoreLogic was founded by someone from India, as I have heard. Very few white people are employed, there, particularly white men, as it appeared. Mostly I saw minorities and, particularly, young Indian men, dressed in suits with tight legs, looking like the English Beatles. A recent article by an American computer specialist regretted he could not get hired at, I believe it was Intel, because the interviewer blatantly stated he could get Indians at 1/3 the the salary expected by the Americans. Wonder why 900+ illegals from India were caught at the border, this year?

    CoreLogic is a threat to the American public. I heard that they own Roomba, the vacuum robot, and that they are working on attaching cameras and calculators to photograph and measure the interior of your home. Major spying capability. They are too ambitious to be considered a good corporate citizen. It appears that they are fast becoming a monopoly, which needs to be stopped. China and India have big designs for this country.

    Citizens, WAKE UP!

  5. Avatar The shadow says:

    Mark Chapin works for Corelogic. Hes not Indian, he’s just a SELL OUT or better yet a “Principle Sonderkommando.”

  6. Avatar Diana N says:

    Why are these posts so old. Somebody please remove the ones from 2017..

    • Diana, we don’t remove old articles from our blog.

      You are getting notifications because you opted in to be notified of followup comments via email. If you no longer wish to be notified, just click on the unsubscribe link in the notification emails you receive.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      The article was written in 03/2017. If you want something more current, not miraculously still alive all these years later, click on the home page in the upper left.

  7. Avatar Joe English says:

    Corelogic is a monopoly & this is the enemy of the independent appraiser….

  8. Avatar David Brauner says:

    You can take your CE from OREP (not owned by Corelogic- not yet). 🙂


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My Day as an Appraiser

by VaCAP Board time to read: 4 min