The Latest AMC Ploy

Preferred Appraiser, the Latest AMC Ploy

Oh what fun it is to become PREFERRED…


From various sources I’m learning that you now have the outstanding opportunity to become a "preferred appraiser" with certain AMC’s.

What does that mean…really?

It means you will have assignments automatically assigned to you at a set (lower than C&R) fee and with a mandated report delivery date pre-selected. This process might even 'help you out' by also pre-scheduling the home visit with the borrower or RE agent for a certain day and time.

It matters not that many of the assignments will be the left over highly complex junk properties other appraisers have turned down due to ridiculous fees or shortened turn times.

Oh what fun it is to become 'PREFERRED.'… Not.

AMC’s are doing this because their recruitment efforts to snag full time "Staff Appraisers" who are 100% assigned to the AMC are not working. So the next gambit they are trying is to see how many appraisers want to have the lofty title of "Preferred."

If you are wise, you will tell the AMC recruiter that you 'prefer' not to be offered the dubious distinction of their 'preferred' opportunity.

Someday, most lenders (and possibly Congress, GSE’s, FHA, USDA) are going to finally 'get it' that the AMC model of hiring low fee appraisers and demanding quick report turn times does not work well and exposes the lender to excess liability. But it might take another massive 'market correction' like happened in 2008 for the lenders to realize this. Note that I didn’t include VA because they already 'get it.'

On a side note, on April 4, 2017, Mortgage News Daily reported that Ocwen is being sued and shut down in multiple states. The story does not mention Altisource by name, that’s the AMC OCWEN uses to place their assignments. Appraisal order volume may be affected by the actions taken by the states noted in the story.

Mortgage News Daily Excerpt

There are bad days, and worse days, and there are days like Ocwen Financial Corporation (OFC) had on Thursday. The company was not only sued on multiple grounds by both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the State of Florida, but saw its operations effectively shut down by the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks.

Dave Towne
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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15 Responses

  1. Chris Rehagen on Facebook Chris Rehagen on Facebook says:

    I also have a “Preferred” client list…which AMCs are not on.

  2. David Bowen on Facebook David Bowen on Facebook says:

    There needs to be more public awareness by customers on what they are actually paying for. I had a angry customer confront me at an inspection and wanted to know why my fee was so high because he had to pay $1000 for an appraisal where my fee was less than 1/2 that number. Some of these AMC’s are ripping the public off.

    • Baggins - Senior C&R fee specialist. Baggins - Senior C&R fee specialist. says:

      There needs to be better lender awareness that the average amc worker is likely earning more than professionally licensed appraisers.  Soon if there is not already, the order stewards will outnumber the appraisers themselves.

      Corporate executives at amc’s outnumber the appraisers an average of 5 to 1, often greater.  Everyone is running the appraisal business except appraisers.

      There is nothing wrong with a thousand dollar fee for appraisal services.  Get your mind around that first.  A quality appraisal takes over 2 full days to complete solo, for a wide array of challenge properties.  “see addenda” remains as codeword for dialing it in.

  3. Avatar Raymond says:

    lol…….preferred appraiser……..what a joke. “preferred” appraiser is the code word for “fast and cheap” appraiser

  4. Avatar Ralph says:

    My favorite is “your a Gold Star appraiser”  AMC’s are taking it back to nursery school level with that crap!  Honestly who falls for this S#%T!

  5. Avatar Wayne Courtney says:

    Appraisers who work for and put up with these silly AMCs are comical at times! There are plenty of appraisers in my market. I really do thank many of them for working with the AMCs, mortgage brokers, etc. If those appraisers were not bogged down working with crap clients they would be competing with me and my peers for the good clients. For those appraisers who are unaware….there are many very good clients out there!

  6. Baggins - Senior C&R fee specialist. Baggins - Senior C&R fee specialist. says:

    It’s always pretty awesome to read the titles the unlicensed amc csr’s are tasked with.  They’ve got the appraiser manager, the appraiser handler, the appraiser invoice specialist, the appraiser customer service specialist, the lender appraiser liaison, the technical integration specialist, you name it they got it.

    That’s one of the first things my step dad taught me during my 4 year apprenticeship, how bank people assign themselves fancy titles, despite not actually having professional licenses themselves.  Don’t believe the hype.

  7. Avatar Wayne Courtney says:

    Lets try our own PLOY!

    Dave tell us which AMC is doing this “preferred appraiser” thingy and all of us can refuse to accept assignments from them! If enough of us refuse their work they will be toast. I promise to not accept any assignments from them if you promise the same!

    Once we bust their financial azz, we can move on to the next and then next and so fourth! Works for me!

  8. Richard Carmichael on Facebook Richard Carmichael on Facebook says:

    Do like I did. Take screen shots of the cases they cancel when you accept at C&R fees. Then file a complaint with state board when try for force you to sign statement saying your C&R fee is $100 below market.

    They won’t send me any more business but hey, if you want to work for minimum wage there’s always fast food and you get fed too.

    • Avatar Wayne Courtney says:

      Richard, I am not trying to be disagreeable but I believe that you can take screen shots, tequila shots, etc. at the AMCs and report them all day to the various state boards. Honestly I believe (and look forward to) the next coming of Jesus before any government agency will ever assist us. That is just not going to happen! FACT: AMCs earn their money off of the efforts of appraisers! If appraisers refuse to work with AMCs they will go broke and go away. Those appraisers who accept assignments from AMCs are the problem! Once enough appraisers stop accepting AMC assignments….our occupation may begin to survive. Until then, it is everyone for themselves. Many appraisers like myself are semi-retired and it does not matter either way. Most of us love this business and hate to see it destroyed this way.

      I am sure that I have made many appraisers who work with AMCs very mad. I do not wish to make anyone mad but as a profession we must realize that until we rid ourselves of these “MASTERS” we are doomed to ever be able to control our on professional destiny.

      We have about 75,000+/- total appraisers. About 1/2 of those do residential assignments. A whole bunch of those that do the residential assignments are like me. They are at or near retirement age. I think the old dudes are just playing around. I just want to earn enough to pay for travel.

      • Baggins - I ran out of money! Baggins - I ran out of money! says:

        Per this specific sub conversation;  I believe this was argued about at length on the AF, sometime right after the CFPB’s analysis of the dodd frank reg z rules.  Read the entire reg z w/ the cfpb analysis notes. (1026.42 F) And that’s where it gets quite complicated.

        If I understood it correctly, there is a safe harbor clause that the fee needs to be either customary or reasonable.  Aka Kennedy’s line; fictitious alternative presumption of compliance.  So if an appraiser accepts, the fee was reasonable by way of acceptance.

  9. Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II says:

    “Preferred Appraiser”

    is that like the “Affordable Care Act”?

    or “Customary and Reasonable” fees?

    or “Public Sanitation Engineer“?

    or “Internet Freedom Act”?

  10. Avatar Wayne Courtney says:

    Dave posted this blog so I figure he will be along soon to tell us which AMC he was referring to. Also, I suppose he will join me publicly renouncing said AMC as a future client? I mean, gee, we must stick together as peers in this profession. Right? No one would want to teach or coach us unless they are willing to stand by th of us in the profession? YEP.. lol

  11. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I put ALL AMCs on my preferred list. I prefer that they all burn in L.

  12. Baggins Baggins says:

    This just in!  I’m an approved appraiser with another amc!  However, I’m not quite sure why they can’t land with consistent terms of engagement and continue to quote fee call and email for individual order requests.  The lender pays the same amount per appraisal, why can’t the amc?  Boy that engagement fizzled quickly.  The other day another appraiser told me of an amc which pays more to appraisers on the top tier preferred list.  I thought fair billing ethics for independent contractors dictated….  Oh who cares, if the amc offered me more I’d take that.  But knowing they pay that much to other guys naturally leads me to demand an equivalent billing rate myself, regardless of their grading or categorical placement as me being preferred, stellar, tier 1, gold, or whatever.  I preferred myself, and demand equivalent fair engagement, after all the consumers are charged the same amount regardless.  What now, did I just discover institutionalized advocacy forced upon appraisers?  Unfairly balanced incentives programs for appraisers with no direct relationship to consumer billing trends?  It’s unlikely the tech, telecom, and general business management guys at the amc’s even understand these appraiser based ethical concepts in the first place.


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The Latest AMC Ploy

by Dave Towne time to read: 2 min