Defiant or Compliant

George Dell
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Defiant or Compliant...Parallel Between Appraisals & Reaction to Pandemic

And there is another type of defiant. “The government should stay out of our business…”

Believe or don’t believe. Is there a parallel between appraisals and how people respond to pandemic warnings?

Appraisal reviewers decide whether an appraisal is “worthy of belief” (“credible”) or not. Similarly, people decide whether to believe in the need for public health orders.

Steven Dinkin (president of the National Conflict Resolution Center) recently had some observations on the public’s response to the pandemic, dividing people into two groups: defiant or compliant. What is interesting is that each group has a belief that their thinking is the right thinking. Their opinion is the right opinion.

Let’s look first at the “defiants.” Some of these are defiant out of economic necessity – money. The need to eat can trump health risk. (Especially if the health risk is to other nameless strangers. “They have to take care of themselves.”) Guess what – food on the table comes first.

And there is another type of defiant. “The government should stay out of our business – people should just take care of themselves.” They feel their beliefs have a higher purpose. They may even say that a few more people may have to die, so the rest of us can be happy and free and fed.

Then there are the “compliants.” This camp follows social-distancing and stay-at-home guidelines. They feel they are more spiritual in their motive, putting others ahead of themselves. (But of course, they want to stay safe too.)

So, we have two camps. Each claims a higher motive for self, as well as a motive for how they think of others! Similar, or even identical motives!

Let’s come back to appraisal credibility. How does an appraiser get to be “worthy of belief?” How do you get anyone to believe what you want them to believe?

A quick online look-up gave me this:

“Beliefs are the ideas, viewpoints and attitudes of the particular group of society. They consist of fables, proverbs, myths, folklore, traditions, superstition, education and etc. that influence the ideas, values, emotions, perceptions and attitude of the members of the society.”

Hmmm. None of these say anything about food on the table. None of these say anything about the need to keep a client happy. Nothing about fear: “losing what I got, or not getting what I want.”

Dinkin goes on to say two groups are developing: the susceptibles and the immunes. How do you think these two groups set up? Do you think the susceptibles tend to be the compliants? And the immunes tend to be the defiants? Yep.

In much the same way, appraisal standards insist that we engender belief in our reviewers – repeatedly. Better than presenting facts and data and logic. Find ways to confirm and support your prior beliefs. Heck, its an opinion. Not an analytical result! Form an opinion, then find a way to support that opinion.

Well, that’s my analysis, logic, and words from the standards. If you believe them. Believe that the standards say something different? I have not changed your mind. In fact, studies show that even in the face of evidence or research, results contrary to our prior beliefs – will reinforce our prior belief.

Prior beliefs triumph again. And you will be confirmed repeatedly by friends who believe as you do. Why would you even choose to talk to the idiots on the “other side?”

Image credit flickr - Alan Levine
George Dell

George Dell

George Dell is the owner of Valuemetrics and author of the Analogue Blog. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with extensive post-graduate work in Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Finance, and Information Systems, Certificate level work in Environmental Management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). George has earned the MAI, SRA, and ASA designations.

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9 Responses

  1. Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

    Seriously that is a terrible analysis and a ridiculous comparison between making reviewers believe in an appraisal and actual science. Reviewers are not scientists, reviewers too often follow a set of guidelines which may or may not have anything to do with coming up with a credible result or just a plain result.

    • Avatar Scott says:

      I have to agree. That’s several minutes of worthless reading I will never get back. Should be title “Fiction”.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Well write something better than Scott. Everyone is a critic these days. I liked the article, it was thought provoking, in an unusual open ended sort of manner. I ran with that for a great response post.

        Try again.

  2. Avatar Nick says:

    Respectfully, stay in your lane. Also, what I think you’re referring to is better described as confirmation bias.

  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    Some things are worth fighting for.

    The American revolution and the liberties we enjoy are not fable or lore, they are fact. There is a difference between subjective opinions and fraud. Reviewers tasks are to distinguish between the two, disregarding conformational bias. However, you can no longer look to the justice system as a model example for how things should be, which in turn diminishes the value of review services. Appraisal review should be it’s own specialty, minimum of 10 years experience, and a complaint free claim free record required. Think about it, when asked for review services, there is no question of previous complaints, no attention to claims and EO base cost differences, low fee and fastest turn time gets it. Sadly, appraisal review now follows government oversight programs, so it’s basically only ordered to answer high risk scores. Couple that with automated underwriting, a rise in volume with reduction of review attention, if you can trick, circumvent, or somehow stay under the CU risk rating system, anything goes.

    Our defiant federal government demands compliance. The runaway gse’s, fdic and similar entities follow suit. If the government (aka taxpayer backers), got out of risk assurance and let the free market function without interference, appraisers would be in high demand. Amc’s would be mostly absent, appraisers would not be subjected to the parity pricing influence these unnecessary injections into the process bring. Those shielded behind mega corporations would not be too big to fail, or too big to jail.

    How, in a perfect system, would we differentiate between subjective opinion, fraud, and reliable opinion? We could track default rates and appraisals tied to them, have negative reviews tied to the permanent record of the vendor, look at credit scores of appraisers, there are a lot of great possible applications of checks and balances not in place today. The name of the game is origination volume and it’s important we don’t ask for meaningful system corrections, unless those alterations benefit origination. Those left behind are quite simply, forgotten.

    Gaming the appraisal industry and the lenders whom use those services, is as simple as not giving a hoot. And why should appraisers care, the system of backwards rewards is firmly entrenched in the appraisal industry. And why should lenders care, there is no real personal penalty for fraud. The companies handle all of that through pay to play fines based schemes. It’s so bad that nobody even cares if the appraiser outsources everything, the inspection, the typing, the analysis, the delivery itself. In this system, it is not surprising that the appraiser themselves, is hardly even needed anymore. The less you work, the less attention you pay, the more you outsource, the less you care, the less time you spend, the more you get paid. Shake a stick at that. It’s not philosophical, but rather blatantly obvious, a result of this industry and the industries appraisers service, being magnets for fraud. It is as Bastiat wrote centuries ago; When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

  4. Avatar Julio E. Sune Jr. says:

    The MAIN PROBLEM is that as long as we have appraisers with the Circus Elephant Syndrome (willing to work for peanuts) the AMC’s will continue with the PARASITIC BEHAVIOR they so much embrace and love.

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” [Mr. B.]

    “Never leave an enemy behind, for he shall come back and haunt you” [JS]

  5. Baggins Baggins says:

    This post is on topic, although focusing on different industries, and is super interesting. I ran across this by accident but could not turn away. Just scroll through and read the headlines, lists of class actions being brought forth right now. It reads in a sort of loosely organized section by section. Medicines, states, businesses, by type, etc.

    Defiance has a price in the courtroom. And those lawyers whom appear to be very busy, are going to test the numbers. I wish those lawyer guys would look at the amc C&R issue, that single case could outweigh everything on this extensive list. Imagine the billions of unearned amc fees being returned to appraisers all at once via class action. Dare to dream.

  6. All great points George.

    You are aware I hope that several states (increasingly leaning toward many) do not use the USPAP metric of credible (worthy of belief) at all anymore?

    In fact, California is so far removed from following USPAP in any of its state investigations, it stopped calling them reviews, and further had laws changed that now prohibit any state appraiser employed by BREA from doing ANY appraisals or appraisal reviews. Think about that for a moment.

    They ‘investigate’. That eliminated all those pesky ethical and legal requirements to follow USPAP. In fact, it even makes their work files (seriously) exempt from subpoenas by anyone trying to defend themselves against false allegations.

    We aren’t sure what standards (if any) they do follow since neither TAF nor they disclose the concepts taught by TAFS Investigator I; II & III courses. From having appeared as a witness before Admin Law Courts where BREA filed spurious charges (under USPAP) they main metric appears to be whether through prosecutorial sophistry a case can be argued, rather than being submitted for professional review by peers.


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Defiant or Compliant

by George Dell time to read: 2 min