The Biggest Snow Job of Your Life
The concept is simple enough, a fire wall between the loan production staff and the appraiser to avoid any possible pressure, coercion or influence. It sounded like a good idea to many; hence the HVCC legislation passed and was enacted. This was a period of trial and error for so many and before anyone found their way, along came Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank to give their official stamp of approval under the Dodd- Frank Legislation.
Are appraisal management companies fulfilling their intended purpose? Has the consumer benefited from their existence? What has been the impact on the appraisal profession? Is the appraiser still pressured to hit a number?
Let me be clear, the consumer has not benefited from appraisal management companies. In fact, due to the actions of the amcs, consumers are receiving a lower quality appraisal, delays and are paying more for appraisals. Order blasting, bid requests and shopping an assignment for days or a week to find the least expensive appraiser is the norm with amcs. The appraisal management company is not about competency, professionalism or qualifications. It is about fast and cheap. Remember the saying “Pick two: fast, cheap or good. You can only have two of them?” Well you see, amcs got impatient and stopped reading after fast and cheap.
Some appraisers will argue so and so amc is very good and I get my fee. I get it, you have bills to pay. But be honest with yourself, you have received the biggest snow job of your life. Amcs hire people, give them fancy titles and instruct them to con you into thinking you are important to them. It’s kind of like the pan handler that begs for loose change on the street corner and then gets into their expensive car to go to their million dollar home… It’s a con job people!
Recently there have been numerous posting of an inter-racial couple in Florida that has publically cried racism because the appraised value did not come in where expected. A second appraisal was ordered after removing all signs of race from the home and the value came in where anticipated. Now this story has been discredited as the women in the story is the VP, General Counsel for Black Knight and it was a publicity stunt to encourage automated values; but what if there was some truth to the story and the appraisal was ordered through an appraisal management company? Would the fast and cheap amc appraiser be a racist or just an unqualified appraiser? Has any appraisal management company ever asked an appraiser about their qualifications to appraise a certain property? Grant it, most amcs know absolutely nothing about a property. Many times they cannot even get the address or locality correct. Do the actions of the amc cause delays? Does this not snowball into buyers and sellers losing both time and money? How does the consumer benefit? They don’t.
What about appraisers? Have well qualified experienced appraisers embraced the con job of amcs? What about the newly licensed appraiser or trainee desperate to earn a living? Have amcs allowed those well qualified, experienced appraisers to bring on trainees to assist and train? That would be a big fat NO! Have amcs followed the Dodd Frank requirements of considering an appraisers experience in customary and reasonable fees? Again, that would be NO! According to the amcs whether you are licensed a day, a decade or century, your compensation is the same. That is in direct violation of Dodd Frank and most state statutes. What states have enforced this requirement?
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled they have no jurisdiction to intervene with the FTC fiasco against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. The case with the FTC employed Administrative Law Judge presiding can continue. There is no way Louisiana can get a fair trial, but what has this strategic move initiated by REVAA done? It has put a stop to states enforcing customary and reasonable fee requirements. This angers me as the State Regulatory Boards are put in place to protect the public and by not enforcing the laws, consumers are harmed. My hat is off to Louisiana for doing right by its citizens. I am embarrassed and ashamed for the other 49 states for allowing themselves to be bullied by amcs and REVAA. Why has the National Association of Realtors not stepped up to the plate against the actions of amcs on behalf of Realtors and their clients? Agents are also negatively impacted by the actions of amcs.
It is a fact, appraisal management companies cannot exist without appraisers. We have already seen mergers, bankruptcies and appraisers being left unpaid. At what point do you say no more and take back your business, your profession and your integrity. Where is your “no more” point?
By By Milton P, Certified Residential Appraiser