Fake Hybrid “Inspectors”

Fake Hybrid Inspections

I did a screenshot of a photo from a private appraisal group that blew my mind.

Now imagine an unregulated, non-standardized, untrained inspector (home inspectors aren’t being used for hybrids) for a hybrid appraisal assignment (being paid $12 to rush through a home) actually catching this scam like a trained experienced appraiser did. LIA (Liability Insurance Administrators) has said that the appraiser is still responsible for house conditions even if they use a disclaimer. I heard this directly from LIA when they presented at TAF a few months ago. I wonder what other things would be missed by an unregulated, untrained inspector that is in a new industry that is non-standardized?

Fake electric

Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986. He is a state-certified real estate appraiser in New York and Connecticut, performing court testimony as an expert witness in various local, state and federal courts.

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17 Responses

  1. Jonathon they undermine the entire concept of FIRREA & USPAP (as originally written-rather than what its next weekly change may be).

    Read the ClearVal posts here – same photos used for two different subjects; as repaired value grossly over stated and left investor unable to refi out of construction / renovation loans on each property.

  2. Pierce G Blitch III on Facebook Pierce G Blitch III on Facebook says:

    I understand what is being presented here; however, I know that you have never missed anything like this………… On another note, I have a recently licensed appraiser in my office that just started doing these observations for hybird appraisals. He has inspected +250 homes with me over the last 2 years. I’m not sure that he would have picked this up. We don’t complete hybrids unless the inspector was a licensed(or higher) or trainee appraiser that we know.

    • Avatar Koma says:


      Sorry, but if by now (observing 250+ homes) he wouldn’t have noticed something like this he’s never going to get it. I am not saying I’m perfect even after 10 years, but when I drive into the area and walk up to a property things are just popping up in my mind left and right. My wife doesn’t like when I drive because I’m always looking at properties we go by instead of on the road..lol

      Not into doing hybrids (our choice) because I do not “lend” out my signature to no one.

  3. Pierce you know your guy and his level of competency to inspect. An appraiser in another state does not. IF your licensed appraiser ‘inspector’ is also doing the BPO part of the hybrid, then he is likely violating USPAP by that fact alone. I’ve seen NOTHING in the inspection side of these reports that meets USPAP requirements for the kinds of opinions offered in a BPO when performed by a real appraiser.


    Read the boilerplate on the ClearVal hybrid form…certification, etc. Successful brokers don’t run around doing these inspections. Most competent agents aren’t doing them either. Your guy seems to be an exception and perhaps his inspections are actually ok, but are HIS professional appraisal opinions compliant?

    • Avatar Van Wolslagel says:

      First, it’s freaking amazing that somebody would accept an assignment for such a little fee. That alone would tell me that the report is probably bogus and no one with any real appraisal experience or stature within the industry would charge $25 not even for a desktop visual inspection saying that it’s a house or not the fee would be well over $25 unless of course your signature isn’t worth s***.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        But Mr Van Wolslagel, it’s important to understand the scale of this scam. The appraisers completing them are grossing what is likely 200k to 300k yearly and routinely. They’re attaining multiple state licenses to do so (as evident by some of the lengthy disclosures in the clear val article & commentaries). The use of these products has cost appraisers what is likely hundreds of millions of dollars in lost and redirected working fees, these products substitute everything from PIR’s to drive by’s, desk reviews, and full origination appraisals. Not surprisingly, the amc’s increase their profit points and have earned record figures in the billions. Have you ever wondered where the easy work went? Lenders charge consumers 250 to 350 for these and amc’s farm them out for mere 25 to 75 dollars each.

        It’s time for a nationwide audit of all amc’s, in relationship to every single consumer fee. Are variable rakes, kickbacks, and junk fees now legal again? Absent of an audit, the answer is now yes.


  4. Y’all will be no doubt surprised that the Indiana AGs Office; and Dept of Consumer Affairs chose not to take any action on the hybrid complaint. Letter came in today. [ClearVal out of state appraiser doing egregiously reckless work on the Georgia appraisals].

    “Our Section’s attorneys thoroughly reviewed your information for possible legal action. Unfortunately, the Indiana General Assumbly statutorily limited the Section’s jurisdiction to investigate licensed professionals as defined under Title 25 of the Indiana Code, violations of the Home Loam Protection Act, and Foreclosure Consultants. Based on the information provided and the legal boundaries of our authority, we have concluded that your case should be closed.”

    Though I’m disappointed I heartily comment the Indiana AGs office for treating the complaint seriously and investigating it as far as I know they did.

    The issue (yet again) is that our individuals state laws covering the actions of appraisers is inadequate for interstate commerce and prevention of fraud.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Have redress, will troll. Basically they told you wish we could, but you’re outside of our sphere of influence. Mirror the complaint elsewhere, building on the momentum. If they will not handle this, who will? It’s, oh, so, obvious…

  5. Baggins Baggins says:

    This is fun…..


    Valocity amc reo photo takers. LOL. Behind a login wall but you can still read a page and google for cached versions. Sound familiar? It should.


    Home of the $20 bpo, click ‘services’. Always negotiable!

    Just FYI, BPO stands for business process outsourcing to the rest of the world. Coincidence?

    • Baggs you missed the MotherLode!

      https://www.facebook.com/MelindaWaseem/about – You HAVE to go back to your fsivas link and see “Who we are”

      Apparently its a combo Real Estate Virtual Assistance Service and Dating Advice page!

      It appears her primary qualification for her ‘Expert Real Estate Management services is a willingness to go Dutch on dates!

      I can’t stop laughing. Will someone else please be kind enough to forward this to VaCAP for submission to the VREAB Hybrid Committee?

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        They make it easy don’t they? Almost too easy I would feel bad taking more personal digs. Virtual assistant bpo is an interesting search term, there are so many people doing it it would not be fair to just pick on one of them exclusively.

        The linked in page is better, all the familiar brain drain companies we know and love. The scary thing is a lot of people whom are attracted to the big box companies honestly believe the companies are socially responsible and are humanitarian in nature, and are giving them that open door out of love and respect for their developing careers. Nothing could be further from the truth, these service shuttling companies crush everyone in their path destroying lives and careers. They produce nothing but take everything. If they give to charity it’s only a cover.


        • I called one out (where the “about” featured persons expertise appeared to be limited to dating expertise). The Facebook site advertised all kinds of professional real estate related services from VA appraisal report writing ot picture taking. Everything except babysitting and washing windows.

          FB sent me a post removed for policy violation notice I’ll be curious to see what their response to my (respectful) reply is.

          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Don’t bother. Facebook is the king of censorship and it’s a waste of time to even bother surfing anonymously, much less logging in. That’s why these start ups like those platforms, sanitized public relations images. Home Advisor does the same thing, don’t believe the reviews. If you post bad reviews for paying customers, they do not post the review. All someone has to do is write in, complain, and you are censored. Those whom are denied access often turn to sitejabber to complain more freely.

  6. Avatar Eric West says:

    Wow this is insane! Velocity pays a whole $8 to take photos of $5 Mil property with 8 bedrooms, 10 baths, pool, etc. Great find Baggins!


    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Are they related companies? They do share a name similarity.


      Click both links. Related companies? Logical probability is high.


      Research can be fun.

      This is the ‘trusted inspector’?

      Asking for a friend…

      • Baggs, It’s like pulling apart old, mildew lathe and plaster walls in a 100 year old house…ya never know just WHAT will turn up.

        MAYBE it’s a teensy mortgage company that can’t afford to stay in business without those $65 filed inspector or $25 photo taker fees.

        I seem to recall having done work for a Velocity mortgage at some point but the logos aren’t at all similar and the ones I worked for were a real mortgage brokerage; with real licensed loan originators.

    • Reminds me of old Marina neighbor. Friends that were EXPERT carpenters and even one cabinetmaster worked with him all day to get his two diesel engine running. Eventually after many hours of colorful language and kibbitzing from those of us sitting under a shade area sipping ice tea all day; and a case of beer for those working, the engines fired up.

      I’m only surprised the Air Quality Management District compliance officers didn’t come down and cite him! The adjacent refinery never sent up that much black smoke.

      My friend’s comment Well, what can you expect? When you hire a carpenter to do a diesel mechanics work'”

      What DO lenders expect when they hire hair dressers; students, taxi drivers, drug dealers, addicts, drunks, handymen, winos, illegal immigrants, unsuccessful real estate agents and former newspaper delivery drivers to be their “Expert Eyes In the Field?”


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Fake Hybrid “Inspectors”

by Jonathan Miller time to read: <1 min