Appraisal News and Business Tips

Background checks

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Another AMC/client issue is requiring background checks. Some AMCs are asking for them and some are not. If one of an AMCs clients’ asks for a background check, it is easier just to get one from the AMC’s appraisers so that it is in the AMCs files if they need it.

I’m working on an article for my paid Appraisal Today newsletter about this issue, including what the AQB advises and where to go to get one you can use for multiple AMCs. There are some good reasons why clients (and state regulators)

want them. I got a background check when my license 20 years ago and have never gotten another one. And some bad reasons – privacy invasion, cost, hassle, etc.
I’m working on a series of articles on AMCs for my paid Appraisal Today newsletter, including trying to find out about these background checks.

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15 Comments
  1. A client we have worked with for at least 5 years now asked us for a background check in order to continue to receive work. They were paying so I had no real issue with this. During the process I was asked for the usual SS#, Driver’s license #, etc., PLUS actual scans of my passport, SS Card, birth certificate., etc. which I refuse to do. This client would not take a recent background check from another AMC. The background check company also has a disclaimer that they cannot guarantee their website is secure!! Background checks are only a marketing tactic for the AMC because they are well aware that our licensing boards run checks every year, and while I understand the AMC needs to be able to market their appraisers are “100% verified” there are limitations that I am quite sure no one at the AMC would submit to.

  2. This guy also put forward LIVEVALMAG, which was the mohcupiete of the amc industry. They censored open reader posts, and it was largely a manufactured journal with a singular purpose. I like the Appraiser Blogs much more, and the blogs are much more reliable and informative. It had to be the guy who ran livevalmag . Coincidence? Why are amc’s trusted with the appraisers paycheck again? Do they also handle the paychecks for the lenders employees? I’m confused as to why the amc is an all in one, when they really only have a single duty which is to assign orders in an unbiased fashion. Most amc’s missed the mark entirely.GD Star Ratingloading…

  3. Just about a year ago, I was asked by an AMC (which was owned by one of the three “BIG” banks) to do a background check. I did as they wanted because I wanted to keep doing work for them. It was a business decision on my part, and nothing else.

    But I also agree with Andrew, unless they want to prepay, it should be mandatory that all owner’s in an AMC must provide or publish their own background check on their website so we can decide if we want to work for someone who, for instance, might have been convicted of fraud in the past.

    And I also agree with Charles — the state appraiser agencies can do a background check as part of the renewal process.

  4. I would like them to submit to me, evidence of background checks on the persons that get our W9 tax forms and social security numbers.

  5. Doctor, Heal thyself first !

  6. I believe the States run a person’s identity through their computers before issuing a license. It is an insult to the States to request this. In fact, on the applications, most have to sign a statement about criminal background and child support.

  7. I recently was confronted with this. The AMC required that I pay for the background check. I see this as creating a situation of the appraiser now paying a fee in order to receive work which has potential USPAP issues. An employer would not require an employee to pay for background check. Typical backwards state of our industry which puts these burdens on the appraiser rather than the lenders or AMCs. Here in Massachusetts licensing is tied to criminal convictions. I understand a criminal background check to prevent liability of sending a potential violent person into someone’s home but requiring the appraiser to pay for it is backwards. Credit and other issues which are sometimes part of a background check is none of their business. I asked what their background check entailed and security of information and never heard back. I respectfully instructed them to remove my name from their list.

  8. A criminal back ground check okay. But if you have a record that is old or new is this going to cause issues. A financial back ground check No. I had financial issues due to not getting paid by the AMC’s. If you do have a financial issue or criminal back ground are they not going to let you work for them. I haven’t heard if you have filed for bankruptcy or have a criminal back ground if you can’t work for the AMC. I don’t recall any information about this.

  9. Our firm of 11 appraisers recently completed background checks for one AMC. We paid for them. We did this because we thought we could use the very comprehensive background checks for other AMCs who request them. I tried to get another large AMC to use the ones we already completed and they would not even look at them. We chose not to work with this AMC.

  10. Timely post! I currently received an order from an AMC. They called me looking for an appraiser. In their paper work I read that they would require a back ground check. I asked about it and was informed that they would pay for it and that it was required. At first I said yes but after thinking about it I realize that it feels like an invasion of my privacy. I had a back ground check to obtain my license…that should be enough in my opinion. I’ve decided NOT to agree to the back ground check.

  11. My reply is that I think background checks could be done by the state appraisal boards, maybe during our license renewal once a year, of which the appraiser would receive a copy. I do thnk they have their place in this day and age and more particularly when doing assignments for govenment agencies like Board of Prisons or FBI relocations. I have been requested by numerous AMCs to provide one when I just had one completed for another company and they won’t accept that one.

  12. Background checks are a good thing. But when an AMC/client requires one from “their background company” only and will not accept from reputable other companies- then the cost, hassle and potential loss of identity becomes a problem.

  13. More importantly, get a background check on the AMC!

    How many appraisers have they stiffed? How much in debt are they?

    How many months does it take them to pay?

    AMC business is a loser business, too many deadbeat AMCs.

  14. More importantly, an appraiser should get ask for a background check of the AMC!

    How many appraisers have they not payed in the last year? How far are they behind in paying current appraisers? How much in debt are they now? How many people do they owe? How many months does it take for them to pay an appraisers?

    AMC work is a waste of time and money. You would have to be desparate!

  15. How about a background check on these AMC’s since I have to extend credit to them monthly and they have been known not to pay? Also, here in California we do livescan and a full background. What do they think they will find that the DOJ and FBI didn’t?

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