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TOPICS, COMMENTS OR CONCERNS OF THE APPRAISAL INDUSTRY

April 4th, 2018 7:43 PM

Originally posted on AppraisersBlogs 04/04/2018

Front and Center

Remember those dreaded book reports in grade school? Remember the oral presentations in front of the class? We did not think much of it then, but this was the beginning of public speaking.  Fast Forward to today:  Our appraisal reports are similar to those dreaded book reports except there is no oral presentation, no public speaking. No way to BS your way through it because you only read the Cliff Notes, not the actual book itself.

We have come a long way and today we write reports that speak to the reader.  No Cliff Notes, no text to highlight, but reports created by us based on our observations and research of the market. The standard forms do a simple basic function that are nowhere near adequate to tell our story, so appraisers expand to addendums, charts, graphs, photographs, etc. Appraisers tell the story of the property and the neighborhood. 

When USPAP was revised a few years ago requiring appraisers to disclose prior service, the software venders all came out with a USPAP Identification page. I, like many others, chose not to use this form and simply place my disclosure of prior service elsewhere in the report. After all, our reports were long enough.  Last week, The Appraisal Foundation issued a Q & A on this very topic. I actually took the time read this one as there were discussions on this very topic recently in some forums and there was definitely a division of opinions. 

Well, I must thank the Appraisal Foundation for clarifying what is expected and required. Not because I discovered I may not be in compliance by not having my disclosure as a signed certification, but I discovered a missed opportunity; a missed opportunity to tell another story.  A Story that has absolutely nothing to do with the value of the property; the story of my fee!

Many states require the appraiser to disclose the fee paid within the report.   I now use the USPAP Identification page for the prior service disclosure. I also utilize this page as my fee disclosure.  You see the center portion of this page clearly states:

 

“Comments on Appraisal and Report Identification”

Note any USPAP related issues requiring disclosure and any State mandated requirements

 

Well my State requires I disclose the fee I was paid for the completion of the appraisal.  Not only is my fee disclosed in this section, it is highlighted in BOLD type and is a larger font size.  This page is now the very first page in my report!

My fee is Front and Center on the very first page. The story of my fee has told to the consumer, not buried on page 26.  

 

TJ Elliot, Certified Residential Appraiser


Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on April 4th, 2018 7:43 PMLeave a Comment

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March 24th, 2018 9:34 PM
AppraiserFest Update: 
Registration is now open! New Information has been released, Early Registration Discounts, Hotel Room Blocks and Speakers have all been added.  There is more to come but take a look at all the details thus far here.

Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on March 24th, 2018 9:34 PMLeave a Comment

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March 24th, 2018 9:32 PM
The Appraisal Subcommittee wants to hear from appraisers on Tristar Bank's request for appraisal waivers.  The comment period is open until April 9, 2018.  VaCAP has previously participated in a group letter with other organizations and expressed our concerns on this topic. We will once again be part of a group letter as well as send in our own comments. 

It is important for every appraiser to submit comments on how this is a dangerous slippery slope if the waiver is granted. Consumer protection is the issue and the door will be open for others to follow and this could really snowball, impacting non rural areas as well. See the  previously sent letter here

To post your comments, follow this link to the Federal Register for instructions. 

Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on March 24th, 2018 9:32 PMLeave a Comment

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The Appraisal Subcommittee Meeting scheduled for April 12 has been changed to April 23rd. Please make every effort to attend. Attendees must register prior to the meeting. See all the details here.




Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on March 24th, 2018 9:28 PMLeave a Comment

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November 28th, 2017 9:25 AM

A single voice can easily be ignored while many voices with a single message cannot.  Representatives of organizations, coalitions, etc. tend to have greater opportunity to present their message to those in positions of power.  A coalition gives its appraisers with similar problems, issues or concerns a better chance to have their voice heard and heeded.

The Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals is an active group with presence and participation in:

 Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board Meetings
Network of State Appraiser Organizations (NSAO)
Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO)
The Appraisal Foundation Advisory (TAF) Committee Meetings

We are active with State legislation impacting appraisers.
Some legislative issues we introduced/supported and lobbied at the State Capital include:

AMC Regulations
Customary and Reasonable Fees
AMC Surety Bonds 
30 Day payment from initial delivery

We introduced legislation prohibiting the use of staff appraisers by AMCs to complete Appraisal Reports and more recently spoke to the Virginia Housing Commission concerning the SB1575, which would eliminate fees paid to the appraiser by AMCs from the C&R calculations. 

VaCAP needs your support to continue to speak for all appraisers in Virginia


 Donations - Membership - Volunteering
 
 
Please Support VaCAP! 


To volunteer your time, click here

To make a monetary donation, click here. 

To join VaCAP, click here

 
to mail a donation to VaCAP: 

VaCAP 
 P.O. Box 42314, 
Richmond, VA 23242 

Thank you for supporting VaCAP!




Copyright © 2016 Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
P.O. Box 42314
Richmond, VA 23242
804741-4968
All Rights Reserved.

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Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on November 28th, 2017 9:25 AMLeave a Comment

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July 14th, 2017 9:40 AM

We have all heard the term “Fake News” by now.........We now have “Fake Foreclosures”

According to a local TV station in the Grand Rapids Michigan area, Zillow is falsely posting homes were foreclosed on, when they were not.  Are these posting an honest mistake? Or are they a planned maneuver to overtake the Real Estate Industry.  Regardless of the answer, the owners of the property have been harmed and Zillow should be held accountable.  See the story here.

In Virginia, foreclosure and title transfers are public record. This information is available for everyone to see. However, just because information is available to the public, should it be advertised in a public forum?

This is a very interesting story and is just another eye opener to the industry Zillow is out of control and needs to be stopped.  VaCAP sent out an article on Monday, Zillow, The First “Agent Management Company” (AMC) for the Real Estate Agent and can be found on our website blog.

Others that are talking about Zillow: 

Phil Crawford:         www.VoiceofAppraisal (Podcast E162)
Ann O’Rouke:          Appraisal Today
Appraisersblogs:      Appraisersblogs

If you have not visited the StopZillow.com you should definitely take a look and sign the petition. The petition has gained 8,000 signatures since Monday! 

Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on July 14th, 2017 9:40 AMLeave a Comment

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July 14th, 2017 9:38 AM
Summer is suppose to be a time for vacations, rest and relaxation. This summer, it appears something is always happening to detour us. 

VaCAP learned yesterday, U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey of the Northern District of West Virginia has ordered Quicken Loans to pay $11 million in damages to 2,770 residents of West Virginia for attempting to influence the appraiser.  The news was released by The Intelligencer: Wheeling-News Register yesterday.  Quicken Loans has a history of providing a suggested value to the appraiser which is a violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

There are some pretty awesome quotes in the article from the Judge's order: 

“Quicken has to this day never offered any legal or industry source that would indicate that suggesting values to appraisers was considered a best or even valid lending practice."

“Quicken’s uniform practice of providing estimated home values to appraisers constituted unconscionable conduct under the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.”

"motivated by greed.”

“truly egregious, in that it flew in the face of prudent lending practices for the benefit of Quicken’s bottom line, and at the expense of each borrower’s right to a fair and unbiased appraisal"


Something to think about.... if each borrower has the right to a fair and unbiased appraisal, are the property waivers by Fannie and Freddie legal? 

See the entire article here

Back in April, Appraisersblogs published an article entitled 
I Must Apologize; I Got it Wrong…
The article is about Quicken Loans and many of their other indiscretions.  This is an interesting read. See that article here.




Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on July 14th, 2017 9:38 AMLeave a Comment

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Zillow, The First “Agent Management Company” (AMC) for the Real Estate Agent

 

Brokers and Agents, welcome to the appraisal world. Zillow is the first “Agent Management Company” (AMC) for your side of the Real Estate Industry. Yes you read that correctly. Zillow’s actions have many similarities to Appraisal Management Companies, so it is fair to say, they are the first “Agent Management Company”

 

“Zillow is hurting the people you are licensed to protect”

 

Doesn’t that sound very familiar to what appraisers have been saying about Appraisal Management Companies?  On the website www.stopzillow.com, Greg Hague, a Real Estate Attorney, Broker and Huffington Post writer, describes Zillow’s actions as “deceptive, defective, and a glorified lead gen scam.” 

 

According the website, Zillow’s “Instant Offers” helps sophisticated investors buy homes from unknowledgeable consumers at thousands below market.   In contrast, Appraisal Management Companies have been selling appraisals to unknowledgeable consumers, hundreds above market.

 

According to the website, Zestimates have misled consumers for years regarding their homes value. Zillow continues the program as they profit from the sale of leads back to the agent. In contrast, Appraisal Management Companies have misled lenders on the value of their services. They continue as they profit from taking a percentage of the appraisers fee.

 

And the kicker in all of this, the website is a petition for the National Association of Realtors to take a stand and force Zillow to stop. It has over 33,000 signatures.  In contrast, Appraisers have been asking the Appraisal Institute and National Association of Realtors to take a stand and put a stop to Appraisal Management Companies abuses.

 

And now we have silence from the two largest National Trade Organizations…..

 

In the article  Zillow Doesn’t Even Own the Photos it Threatened to Sue a Popular Blogger Over  by Nilay Patel, posted on theverge.com on 06/27/2017, Zillow attempts to brow beat an independent blogger for copyright infringement for photos they do not even own. In contrast, The FTC, encouraged by AMC’s, filed action against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board for enforcing The Dodd-Frank Federal Law. 

 

There is a quote on the website www.stopzillow.com by Margaret Mead,

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful

committed citizens can change the world;

 indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

 

 

Join your state coalitions.  Make a difference in your future.

 

Please share this with your Brokers and Agents. 


Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on July 9th, 2017 11:23 PMLeave a Comment

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October 4th, 2016 10:46 PM

Fellow Appraisers,

A few Weeks ago VaCAP sent out an open letter to the AMCs. This letter was republished by many coalitions, and appraiser groups across the country; liked and shared on Facebook and broadcast on several industry blogs.  VaCAP received an overwhelmingly positive response from the letter.  We even heard from several Realtors applauding our efforts! Activity is still ongoing with comments.  Click here to see the letter.

VaCAP heard you loud and clear......

The letter can now be signed by individual appraiser on AppraisersBlogs. We will gather signatures and submit the signed letter to the FDIC, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board

Note: To protect the appraiser identity from retaliation, only the initial of your last name and state will show on line. The copies sent to the FDIC, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board will have the your full name.

VaCAP also authorizes anyone to use the letter. Several appraisers have asked to send our letter in response to AMCs soliciting them for fee and turn time. Please feel free to customize the letter as you see fit.

 

To sign the letter, click here.

 

VaCAP wishes to thank the staff at AppraisersBlogs
for their support in hosting the letter signing.

 

Thank you for supporting VaCAP!


on 


Copyright © 2016 Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
P.O. Box 42314
Richmond, VA 23242
(804) 741-4968
All Rights Reserved.

 


Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on October 4th, 2016 10:46 PMLeave a Comment

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August 20th, 2016 9:55 PM


An appraiser who will remain anonymous tells us …………

“within the last week, I have had two issue of concerns with “UAD” compliance and ACI Sky Delivery ( I can hardly write that; as, it is a significant source of stress when I have to deal with it). I have tried to submit reports, with issues that prevented the upload (no surprise with “Sky”). The first involved the 1004MC form. The comparables that were available for the subject were extremely minimal – something like 4-6. The last period only included 1 comparable (no valid data). The trend indicated “increasing”. However, in our area, the trend is really demonstrative of “stable” at this time. The trend on page 1 of the U.R.A.R. indicated “stable”. There was explanation on the 1004MC form as to why the trends did not match. The representatives of the company associated with the order indicated that they had to “match”. I related that they did not, based on minimal data for comparables specifically, with an explanation as to why they didn’t necessarily match. As, page one represents the subject’s area market, and 1004MC is representative of comparable specific data. They insisted that I just use general market data for the 1004MC, so that they would match. In order to be compliant for USPAP and not be misleading, I included two 1004MC forms, with an explanation of why two were associated. However, they insisted that I remove the comparable specific form. In the end, I did not and they finally processed it. This brings up concerns, as noted, in that “conforming” to these processing software systems will, in a lot of cases, be misrepresentative, and ultimately we are appraising to the review/processing systems and not necessarily a true representation.

The second scenario was with an REO property. The “as is” value + the estimated cost for the repairs was not equal to or greater than the “as repaired” value. Well, no kidding. This is often the case, depending on what the repairs are, etc. It would not go through the system on this basis. Ultimately, I did not change the report. However, it is an ongoing concern with regard to what is happening by these software review processing systems and the insistence that we conform to “make it work”.

This appraiser goes on to say “ACI Sky is a delivery system for AMC’s. I work with several who use this system. It provides the companies ‘pre-screening/review’ for reports being submitted. The point here is that anyone that encounters this system will have the same responses. I have had other companies indicate that page 1 of the URAR and the 1004MC have to match. But, again, this is not always the case in reality.

I am not concerned with being compliant with USPAP, because I either do not comply with what they are requesting, or at least make a disclaimer in my report regarding the factors associated.

I am concerned with how many appraisers out there may be giving in to the system? More and more AMC’s are utilizing the ACI Sky delivery system; and, there are other systems that cause similar upload issues. These systems cause immense frustrations, as they prevent uploads multiple times, and don’t always give the same error each time. As one of my colleagues related, dealing with these systems mke you want to throw your computer across the room”.

……so appraisers, the question is are you having similar difficulties with ACI sky ? If so, please comment and we will contact them and advise them of these issues.

ACI is “a leading innovator and provider of software solutions in the valuation industry for thirty years, has brought advancement and technical achievements to mortgage servicing that led to the complete automation of many paper-intensive reporting processes” and are coincidentally NOW owned by First American / Corelogic.



                      

Posted by Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals on August 20th, 2016 9:55 PMView Comments (2)

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