Nuclear Option DENIED!

TriStar Bank Nuclear Option DENIED! FTC vs LREAB in Circuit CourtVaCAP has just been informed the TriStar Bank Waiver Request has been DENIED by the ASC.

Representatives from VaCap attended the TriStar bank appraisal waiver hearing at the Federal Reserve building in DC this morning. Also present were John Russell with the ASA-NAIFA, Leo Regensburg with the AGA, Bill Garber with the AI, Mark Shiffman with REVAA, appraisers and other stake holders. The board members consisted of Robert Witt with the FHFA, Veronica Spicer representing the CFPB, Richard Taft representing the OCC, and ASC board members. The meeting got off to a late start because the Tri-Star representatives were held up by DC traffic. Once they arrived, James Park with the ASC began by introducing the case and citing data provided by TriStar bank. Public comments were not allowed; however, TriStar bank was given the opportunity to speak and basically reiterated the banks position concerning the perceived appraisal shortage, turn times and costs. In short, the board members responded citing the banks data as well as data provided by the Tennessee Appraisal board and comments they received by the ASC from “boots on the ground” appraisers serving in and around the counties in question. With all of the information the board concluded that there was not an appraiser shortage and that there was not an unacceptable increase and turn times given market conditions. The board members then voted unanimously to deny appraisal waivers but did offer to act as an intermediary to assist the bank in finding qualified, state certified appraisers.

The chairman of the board Arthur Lindo stated waiving appraisals would be considered the “NUCLEAR OPTION.” It was mentioned that since the bank waiver request, appraisers had asked to be included on TriStar bank's fee panel but the bank was only considering adding one of the appraisers. Also of special interest was the lack of discussion regarding AMC’s and their contribution to long turn times, higher fees to the consumer, and low compensation for the appraisal professionals actually doing the work. Stay tuned for more as developments arise!

Even more exciting news, the FTC vs LREAB has been removed from the Administrative Law Judge at the FTC and been placed with the Circuit Court System in Louisiana. Our friends in Louisiana will now get a fair evaluation of the facts.

We will update everyone with more details as we receive them.

Last week we asked everyone to share their comments on the CoreLogic / DataQuick revised proposed settlement agreement with the FTC. The FTC is in place to ensure consumer protection of an open and free market. The FTC wanted input on the revised agreement and asked for public comments. This was an opportunity that simply could not be passed by.

VaCAP suggested giving your thoughts on the proposed agreement and sharing examples and analogies from your everyday activities. There were some questions on how this agreement impacted appraisers so VaCAP broke it down for everyone and sent out this email in response. AppraisersBlogs reposted the email so every appraiser in the country could have the opportunity to express their comments.

Then a la mode sent out their announcement that CoreLogic had purchased them……

VaCAP, along with 17 other state organizations signed a joint letter sharing our thoughts about the proposed revised agreement. We also took the opportunity to express concern over the control CoreLogic has in the real estate industry. NAIFA/ASA, also sent a letter expressing concerns; as did AGA.

The industry is changing. Some change is good, some maybe not. The FTC vs Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board outcome will change the industry. We are hoping for a win, but the reality is there are strong forces working against us and we simply do not know how this will turn out. Appraisers must stick together, stay informed and not sit by and watch others destroy our profession.

Let’s be clear, it is not just professional organizations that are supporting you, the professional appraiser. We have some great resources keeping us informed and provide platforms for each of us to learn from one another. Here are a few of the more popular ones:

  • Voice of Appraisal with Phil Crawford
  • AppraisersBlogs
  • 100% Real Estate Appraiser Facebook Group
  • Jonathan Miller
  • Ryan Lindquist
  • Dustin Harris
  • And let’s not forget about AppraiserFest. FOR APPRAISERS, by APPRAISERS! This is going to be an event like no other and you don’t want to miss it.

Thank you Phil Crawford, Lori Noble and Mark Skapinetz for volunteering your time, energy and expertise in making AppraiserFest happen!

See the NSAO letter here.

See the AGA letter here

See the NAIFA / ASA letter here.

See all the comments submitted to the FTC here.

VaCAP Board
Image credit flickr - lonelysherpa
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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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Hooligan says:

    Great news about the Louisiana appraisal boards lawsuit against the FTC! Apparently they only have enough “gonads” to go after the little guy! Collectively, we should file suit against them as well if they do not get a handle on CoreLogic !

  2. Avatar Scott R. says:

    “Also of special interest was the lack of discussion regarding AMC’s and their contribution to long turn times, higher fees to the consumer, and low compensation for the appraisal professionals actually doing the work.”

    As usual, appraisers have little to no say in the matter and no one to speak on their behalf. AMC’s are the problem, not a lack of qualified appraisers. 

    • Avatar Advocate says:

      I am not sure why you state appraisers have no one to speak on your behalf. The bulk of the article is informing you about all the organizations speaking on your behalf. Not mentioned in the article, but in previous articles, there was a public comment period concerning the Tri Star Waiver. All the state organizations, and the national ones too all voiced concerned as did many individual appraisers. A joint letter from all the organizations was signed representing all appraisers. Even the TAF commented against the waiver. Are you a member of your state organization? Any organization? We are all speaking on your behalf, even if you are not a member of any organization.

      I don’t mean to be rude or show any disrespect, but you do have your own voice, why are you not speaking for yourself?

      • Avatar Scott R. says:

        With all due respect…did you even read the article? My quoted statement was pretty clear. “LACK OF DISCUSSION REGARDING AMC’s”. If there were actual appraisers there (which the article said there was) they must have been those appraisers that accept the $200 FHA orders from AMC’s that want them in 8 hours or less. You know…..the appraisers that have their heads inside a hole. Did those who represent appraisers speak up…at all? From the article it suggests they did not. REVAA is a joke, we all know that. Advocate…are you REVAA? If you are, you certainly do not represent me as an appraiser. All one need do is look at the membership of REVAA to realise that. Your beliefs may vary.

        • Avatar Advocate says:

          Please go back and re read the article. It clearly states that public comments were not allowed. I can assure you there was lots of discussion between appraisers and members of those organizations present before the hearing. The only person allowed to speak during the hearing was the representative of Tri Star Bank. Your assumptions as to the type of appraiser present at the meeting is way off base. In fact, if your think about your statement, it does not even make sense as those that are too busy accepting low fee assignments are completely clueless on what is going on in their own profession.

          Scott, I understand your anger and frustration. I would recommend you channel that negative energy into positive energy for our profession. Please get involved with any organization. We certainly need more passionate appraisers to take back our industry.

        • Avatar Rick G. says:

          VaCap, the AGA, and the NAIFA, were all there and spoke to board members individually about our concerns. Several other coalition reps were there as well as  individual appraisers. All were speaking to board members after the hearing. During the hearing; however, public comments were not allowed. I know, I was there and spoke directly with Robert Witt with the FHFA regarding how the AMC’s have and are damaging the profession and John Russell with the ASA-NAIFA. If you are not a member of a coalition or any of these fine groups that I mentioned, please consider joining one or all of them. The coalitions were formed in direct response to the abusive practices of AMC’s.

          • Avatar Scott R. says:

            Not sure why you want to argue with me or debate what I wrote. Let me write it again…here. “As usual, appraisers have little to no say in the matter and no one to speak on their behalf. AMC’s are the problem, not a lack of qualified appraisers.” 

            As usual, appraisers have little to no say. (NO PUBLIC COMMENTS ALLOWED).

            I give up. I have work to do, as an actual appraiser.

            • Avatar Advocate says:

              Scott, The public comments were submitted in writing prior to the meeting. Just like every other government organization, they ask for them prior to any formal proceeding. There were no public comments from anyone at the meeting. What VaCAP relayed was a brief summary of the proceedings and they pointed out that all these organizations are acting on your behalf. So your statement that no one is speaking on behalf of the appraiser is wrong. All these organizations have spoken on your behalf and continue to do so.

              If you believe this issue is about AMC’s you may be correct in an indirect way. However, the lender is responsible for the actions of their agent, the amc. It was TriStar Bank that requested the waiver, not an amc.

        • Scott there are rules about speaking in federal agency hearings. Just because we go doesn’t mean there is either an opportunity OR need to speak on an issue. When we are ‘winning’ that’s not the time to throw rocks verbally, on points that have already been made in writing. Government agencies often preface meetings by saying “OK we will (or won’t) hear from the public but ONLY on the issue before the agency at that time. Sometimes a ‘demonstration’ is required, but other times it is not. Frankly sometimes people are intimidated by the process, but their very presence in a hearing sends a good message too.

          As critical as I am of TAF one thing I will commend them on is that they let everyone have a chance to speak freely. They may answer in effect that they cant do anything about the issue, but they DO allow people to speak.

          To say those that were there that didn’t speak out must be the ones accepting low fees is just mean spirited…beside being untrue.

          • Baggins Baggins says:

            No he’s totally right, in the intended scope of his comment. We’ve been bamboozled for a long time now. Ethics in billing, the absent talking point.

    • Scott over 125 people or groups wrote in to speak on appraisers behalf! Several appraiser groups attended. I got a phone call about an hour or two ago from an appraiser that has already received a call from FTC to ask her opinion. People ARE speaking up and we are getting heard. Now if we want to be heard AND change things we need even more people to speak up. Posting here and elsewhere is a big start, and thank you for doing so, but please don’t think for a minute that no one is trying to speak out on behalf of appraisers.

      I remember an old city council member once explaining that if one person cared enough to write a letter, there was a good chance there were 1,000 or so other people out there thinking the same thing. Government agencies are very aware that far more people may share an idea than will write about it. Never be discouraged by what may look like low numbers. People have more impact than many think.

  3. Avatar Jeff says:

    The reply to TriStar from the ASC was dead on perfect. if you have a chance to read the reply to TriStar it is refreshing. John Brennan reminds TriStar what happened in the 80’s and the appearance that TriStar is willing to take higher risks for their own personal greed.

    Good Stuff

  4. Baggins Baggins says:

    Improperly co mingled fees. Stop that activity, watch the assignment and fee market correct themselves. Everyone has a chance to dip into the appraisers fee, before the appraiser does. Junk fees, unearned fees, extortive practices, restriction of free market participation. There are plenty of orders, and plenty of appraisers, but there is a shortage of orders and assignment companies whom keep their hands off the appraisal fee and don’t somehow dip into that. The shortage of appraisers whom make themselves available routinely is caused by the majority of assignment companies whom think fee skimming is acceptable practice, they have no concern for ethics in billing. Ethics in billing can be regained with one simple rule, nobody can touch the appraisAL fee except the appraiseER. Management service is not valuation practice, the fees are therefore; improperly co mingled.

  5. Avatar Mark Skapinetz says:

    Thanks Vacap for the amazing job you guys do, for the support of everyone and the Appraiserfest.

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    Yes….Thank you Vacap !!!


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Nuclear Option DENIED!

by VaCAP Board time to read: 3 min