Using Discrimination As a Bully Tactic

Using Discrimination As a Bully TacticAs an appraiser who has been appraising in rural south for 20 years I have seen a few things. This wave of discrimination has gotten out of control. Sure, there has been some discrimination going on which is not the norm, but to accuse someone of discrimination because the value came in lower than an expected value is pure asinine. It is not our job to validate lenders and borrowers expected values.

I have had very few borrowers get mad, that I am aware of, because my opinion of value was lower than their expected values. I can remember three that were fuming, and one complained to the board which was dismissed.

Even when you have done a good job and confident in your work, it is not a good feeling when the board contact you with a complaint. The waiting and sometimes long process can be nerve wrecking.

Being in business has good and bad points. You have to manage your risks as much as possible. If I do not feel good about a homeowner, lender, AMCs or any order, I turn the order down. This can happen during my phone interview or during my inspection. I have had to do this for what I perceived to be a risk that I was not willing to take on.

There have been many times there were homeowners that were hostile toward me because they were unaware that I was black, until I showed up for the inspection. I would address any of their concerns as to my qualifications and some were ok with it and some were not. I would always finish the inspection and never be rude to them. I did not care if they were prejudice or whatever issue they had. If I did not feel good about the situation, I called the client and told them at this time it is not to my best interest, and declined the order.

My wife asked me why I did this? I told her some money and business is not worth it.

For my fellow white appraisers, maybe some discrimination complaints are justified but the overall majority of these complaints are bull crap. Some people misguided mentality want to hang on to the past and will use discrimination as a bully tactic because they can. This appears to be the norm today.

I stand with you all who are falsely accused of discrimination regardless of your color. Everyone should stand up for their rights or your rights will be abused or taken away. I am sorry anyone has to go thru these false accusations.

By Russell Bean, Certified Residential Appraiser
Image credit flickr - Lorie Shaull

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar IMJSAYN says:

    Thank you Russell! And yes this is just another way to pressure appraiser for value

  2. Avatar Mark Davis says:

    Well said, and thank you for saying it, Russell.

  3. Good article. Totally agree.

  4. Avatar PJTMC says:

    Cudos, and all appraisers worth their salt, I’m sure, agree with your sentiments. Using discrimination as a club only lessens its impact when actual discrimination occurs. It is a really sad state of affairs when people use race as a way to try and badger people into what they want. Also despicable is when our elected officials jump ship and hop on the discrimination band wagon when it has become obvious, they do not have the first clue what they are talking about and obviously not taken the time to educate themselves. Simply reading their diatribe and suggested resolves proves the point.

    • Avatar PJTMC says:

      Another point in fact, the individuals complaining always seem to be, for the most part, refinances. Seems funny the owners of properties that were and are listed for sale with a realtor, don’t scream racism. That in itself is pretty strong evidence the complaints are self-serving. Or equally supportive, no Assessor or valuation company I’ve heard of have been called racists. Funny how that works.

    • Avatar Russell says:

      PJTMC, so true what you said. One of my many favorite quotes is by Tony A. Gaskins Jr. “You can give a person knowledge, but you can’t make them think. Some people want to remain fools, only because the truth requires change.”

  5. Avatar Honest Appraiser says:

    Biting my tongue right now…. but aren’t the national racial bias cases being fought in Baltimore and California?? Sorry, just completely tired of The South being blamed for everything racist. Ya’ll be Cool. Peace Out

    • Avatar Russell says:

      I am from the south all the way and make no excuses of my southern heritage. I experienced both segregation and desegregation in the south. My parents, grand parents , etc. experienced harsher segregation and racism than me. My parents taught me and my six siblings that character, name and your word means more than what color you are. No one choose where they were born but we can certainly choose how we act toward each other regardless of where we come from. The south does have a very tainted history. There is no perfect country, state or city because there are no perfect people. Racism is all over the entire world because people hearts are tainted. Not one person is born a racist. Racism comes from being taught racism, from personal experiences or personal biases. Personally I feel racism is evil regardless of whom you are. I have faced racism for as long as I can remember. I made the decision that I would never allow racism to control my life and not become a racist because of my experiences or anything eles.

      I have been an appraiser for 20 years and auctioneer for almost 30 years. In both of these professions one percent or less are black. Why? It is not because of racism. I think that it is because blacks do not inform themselves on certain professions.

      I work in GA and AL and where I live I am the only black in both of theses professions. When I tell people what I do they are very surprised because they have never seen anyone black doing what I do. No, it does not make me feel special. I believe anyone regardless of their color can almost be and do anything they want if they will just do what it takes to achieve it. My father-in law use to say “This is a land of plenty. You have to get up and go for it!”

      I specialize in lake/golf, high end, estate, historical and rural properties. I make a very good living by the grace of GOD. I get a lot of referrals from Realtors, other appraisers and attorneys because of my character, knowledge, name and my word. I thank GOD and my parents for who I am and I never let any racism I face to make me bitter. I choose to be better. I know who I am and very confident in skin and my abilities.

      I said all of this is because no one knows what people face or go thru unless they have walked in their shoes. I have made it a point to know our true history very well because it is in my nature to be well informed.

      Honest Appraiser you are right the “South is not responsible for everything racist”. I will challenge anyone that says so. It is the heart of mankind that is everything that is racist and not the place because racist people live everywhere.

  6. Baggins Baggins says:

    Another great independent article from a real appraiser, rather than some industry corporate person or predatory amc industry person pretending to speak for all the appraisers. Thanks Russell. The truth of the matter is that appraisers are some of the least biased most compassionate people in real estate. We work harder for less money and are willing to place ourselves into positions where we have almost no control who we deal with, always deal with different people, and we’ll still maintain professionalism and dedication to consumer protection principals regardless. Replacing us with unlicensed people and automation will only further erode consumer protections in an already difficult to navigate lending system.

    • Avatar Russell says:

      When I appraise a home from the lowest to the highest values. I take it seriously for several reasons.
      1. It is incumbent upon me to do a good job.
      2. My parents taught me to do the best job and keep improving upon on it. 3.Our profession requires we follow USPAP rules and guidelines, etc. 4. I know how hard it can be to own and maintain a home. People most often have to make a lot of sacrifices to own a home which is the largest asset they may have. As a whole we as appraisers understand the importance of what we do. We do not look thru rose colored glasses. Our job is to stick with the facts and come to an opinion of value based on these facts.
      Yes, “appraisers as a whole are some of the least biased most compassionate people in real estate and work harder for less.” Before I became an appraiser I paid a lot of appraiser fees because I own a lot of real estate. On the closing docs the appraiser was the lowest professional fee. Fortunately, I do not have to accept any low fees. I tell my clients if they balk about my fees that I do not begrudge anyone one else fees and I deserve my fee too.
      Sure, just like all professions there are some people who should not be in that profession. It is no different in ours. Baggins, as a whole what you said about appraisers is very true and the norm in our profession.

      There are no perfect appraisals however; we should be ready to defend what we do as long as we follow the required guidelines.

      I was truly surprised my comments were featured. Thanks for your comments and the other comments people made.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Write another article dude, and then another, and then another. They’ll get published. That’s an independent blogging site for you. Just one site owner calling the shots, no corporate or government influence. (that’s not me, lol) Most people have simply forgot what real independent journalism was like and this site surprises the hell out of them. We live in a sea of fake news and propaganda, and so do our government officials. The illusionary requirement we all have to adopt some status quo popular talking point position, some peer pressure standard imposed by the fear of progressive backlash. Real independence is a very rare thing these days.

        Maybe if we grow government more or provide even more bureaucratic oversight of the scarce few independents left, we can correct this system… Racist appraisers lurking in the shadows and automation controlled by monolithic corporations and deep state bureaucrats with incredible and obvious conflicts of interests will be there to save the consumers from evil white appraisers! Who’s still buying this? When people without talk to me about housing opportunity my very first question to them is; What’s your credit score? Usually we end up talking about how to manage that the entire time and never actually take the conversation all the way to talking about actual housing and price vs value considerations.


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Using Discrimination As a Bully Tactic

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