The End of AMCs?

Wells Fargo & Inflated Appraisal Fees: The End of AMCs?

Wells Fargo has agreed to a $50 million settlement over inflated appraisal fees.

Think about this for a minute…..

The people bringing the lawsuit (the “Plaintiffs”) claim that Wells Fargo violated Federal law by charging homeowners more than the amount Wells Fargo paid for Broker’s Price Opinions (“BPOs”) and improperly concealing these “marked-up” charges. So, Wells Fargo was charging customers more for BPO fees on defaulted loans than the actual fees charged by the vendor. Is this any different than the use of an AMC?

From the case:

“Wells Fargo does not identify any provision in any of the numerous mortgage forms it puts in front of the Court that would authorize a mortgage servicer to charge borrowers an undisclosed mark-up on the BPO fee.”

Read the story here. Read the court case here or below.

VaCAP needs your help…

Have you filed a complaint against an AMC? If you have filed a complaint with DPOR or any of the Federal agencies against an AMC, contact VaCAP confidentially. We want to hear from you on the progress.

Things to Ponder about…..

How much risk are you exposed to when including E&O information in an appraisal report? Who sees your report after it leaves your hands? Is there personal information on the Declarations Page? Dave Towne just wrote about this topic. See what he has to say here.

What are your business hours? Do you respond to AMC requests after business hours? What impact does it have on your personal life? What about the look you get from your spouse or significant other when an AMC calls or texts at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning?

What about those text messages the AMCs send out? Are they after business hours? Do you even respond? Have you blocked the AMC from sending text messages? Do you have a personal and business cell phone? Do you use the AMCs proprietory app? Are you sure it is secure and USPAP compliant?

Do you blindly agree to all vendor agreements? Do you read them? Do you understand all the terms? Is the agreement in compliance with Virginia Law?

What are the real consequences of accepting low fees from AMCs? Are you setting a precedence for lower customary and reasonable fees? What are your services and experience worth? Are you charging accordingly?

Are you an active participant in the industry? Are you a member of a professional organization? Do you regularly read industry blogs? Listen to podcasts? Attend State Board Meetings? Do you regularly talk with colleagues?

What about CE Classes? Do you take them on line? In a classroom? Is the best education in a CE class coming from your peers? Can you truly get that experience sitting in front of a computer?


VaCAP Board
Image credit flickr - Becker1999
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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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Jeanie says:

    “Among those services are Broker’s Price Opinions (“BPOs”), which are informal appraisals that Wells Fargo ordered when borrowers went into default on their loans.”

    Informal appraisal? WTH is that?

    • Avatar bill johnson says:

      If the powers that be don’t understand that only an appraiser can complete an appraisal, then how are they ever going to solve our lengthy list of issues? A BPO, a zestimate, a value pushed out via an AVM, an agents opinion, etc., is NOT AN APPRAISAL. This information has been picked up by many outlets, and to those who only read the headlines, they will falsely see appraisers, inflated, and overcharge. We didn’t do the work but our profesion will get the blame.

    • Avatar Dan says:

      I think they meant BPOs. Per the article the actual cost was $50 or less. Had to be a BPO!

      “You gotta keep em separated!”


  2. Avatar GAPeach says:

    One more reason to separate the appraisal fee and AMC fee on the HUD-1…but who’s listening

  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    If they were not offshoring the majority of the risk via fdic and taxpayer backing for the next inevitable bail out or bail in, they would have no problem writing off the appraisal as a legitimate business expense. More reasons to wind down FNMA. It is relieving that junk fees are still not allowable for bpo’s, but the class action suit is missing the presence of about 80,000 residential appraisers, or there abouts. The 50m equates to a sliver of allowable business expense write offs and nobody will even get probation.


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The End of AMCs?

by VaCAP Board time to read: 2 min