Skapinetz versus Coester

Skapinetz versus Coester

BREAKING: David versus Goliath Redux: Skapinetz versus Coester VMS – Case Direction Favors Underdog

Court Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit That Coester and His AMC Hacked Appraiser Mark Skapinetz’s Emails

My colleague and friend, Georgia appraiser Mark Skapinetz, sued COESTERVMS.COM, INC. and BRIAN COESTER in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland last year for hacking his email account. Here is the evidence submitted. Coester subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. On February 9th, U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis Denied The Motion to Dismiss for 3 of the 5 claims and the lawsuit will move forward.

I find this whole matter very compelling – especially with Brian Coester & Co. representing the most prevalent and controversial AMC model – begins to crack. You know, the one where the mortgage applicant pays an “appraisal fee” at time of application, not knowing that the actual appraiser gets 50% or less than that market-rate fee. Brian Coester – with a trail of bad press, pushing the false narrative of an appraisal shortage and good PR as a charitable fundraiser protected by industry media gets “caught” by an independent fee appraiser for hacking the appraiser’s email. You get a better gauge of the Coester legacy when you read this AppraisersBlogs post: Scheer Motion to Dismiss Coester vs Scheer Lawsuit.

Why does this process of outing the bad AMC players take so long? Al Capone was brought down for tax evasion rather than what he actually did for a living. Is this situation, aside from the gambling, prostitution, bootlegging, bribery, narcotics trafficking, robbery, “protection” rackets, and murder part, any different?

Based on Skapinetz’s success in convincing the court to proceed on the meat of the lawsuit, I suspect this is going to result in a substantial settlement that Coester VMS may or may not have the funds to pay. To all appraiser vendors of Coester VMS: you may want to take a look at your accounts receivables for this client and start calling today.

Here are some documents in the Skapinetz v. Coester matter. They are all fascinating reads.

MARK SKAPINETZ v. COESTERVMS.COM, INC. and BRIAN COESTER [2018 Denial of Motion to Dismiss]

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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8 Responses

  1. Jeff Bodi on Facebook Jeff Bodi on Facebook says:

    Oh that’s going to leave a mark….

  2. Jennifer Hilt-Bellman on Facebook Jennifer Hilt-Bellman on Facebook says:

    I hope they nail him (them) to wall! Good article and great job Mark Skapinetz.

  3. Avatar TruthBTold says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but the ethics and practices of these AMC’s are linked to the Mafia. But then again, when you’re working for banks that have been fined a lot of money over the past few years brings to mind, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”!

  4. Avatar Pt says:

    Cats have 9 lives.

    • Hopefully not in this instance. Full disclosure, Mark is an AGA Member and our Georgia State Representative. Obviously I fully support him. Just as I am more proud than I can say that he took the initiative to do the right thing. Too many just rollover and accept the abuse. Not Mark. He’s not that kind of guy. We need many more like him. Heck, just a couple hundred more like him out of the 75,000 to 80,000+- appraisers left, and we could clean our entire profession AND the AMC/bank abuses up.

      I think this is a big landmark in his case, but having said that I’ve seen too many instances involving appraiser or AMC regulatory agencies where the system simply doesn’t work anymore. Fortunately for Mark this is  a United States District Court case. Serious stuff, and not as vulnerable to miscarriage, or after the fact tampering as some Administrative Law Court decisions are. (Yes, California – that last sentence was directed mostly at you, along with a dishonorable mention to Minnesota and Maryland).

  5. Avatar Bill Johnson says:

    And yet Housingwire has previously named Brian Coester a rising star in the Real Estate world. More like a falling star.

  6. Baggins Baggins says:

    Looking forward to making a minute to read those documents. Super busy right now, probably the early year rush to beat the pending rate hikes. This industry is long over due for a substantial slow down. Amc’s can only survive by volume and I think smart consumers are going to ride out a large portion of their 3% range loans for some time to come. The days of refrying refi’s are hopefully coming to a temporary end. Thank you.


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Skapinetz versus Coester

by Jonathan Miller time to read: 2 min