Appraisal News and Business Tips

Appraisers warned us about the crisis but we didn’t listen

By William K. Black

Excerpts:

On July 9, 2013 I participated in a radio interview with a lobbyist for the 100 largest financial firms.  The San Francisco radio program host asked me what question I would ask the lobbyist and I said that any discussion should begin with allowing him to state his view of what caused the crisis.  In the course of his explanation, he bemoaned the fact that there was no warning about the crisis.

I found this ironic because I had just published that morning an article about how the appraisal profession warned us that the senior officers controlling the mortgage lending firms were engaged in pervasive “accounting control fraud.”

Note that the appraisers’ petition began in 2000 and was public.  When the regulators and prosecutors did nothing in response to the appraisers’ warning the appraisers delivered it to government officials to ensure that no one could say they were not warned.  What tends to be forgotten is that the mortgage industry’s leaders did nothing to restrain the fraud epidemic and a great deal to expand it.  A finance industry representative claiming in 2013 that no one warned the industry of the coming crisis when the warnings began no later than 2000 epitomizes the industry’s death of accountability, integrity, and candor.

My comment: Worth reading. Appraisers got what they wanted – freedom from mortgage broker pressure. But, at a huge cost – low fees and incredible scope creep. Fees are up now, but will go down when lending slows down. Maybe lenders will figure out that scope creep doesn’t help anyone and slows down appraisal production.

http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2013/07/housing-appraisers-warnings-fraud-crisis.html

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12 Comments
  1. Every appraiser must have the details of the market, so to follow them is much advisable.

  2. Yeah it the routine as there is always a risk of the crisis in the appraisal services, and to avoid to get affected you need to be active.

  3. Things were still peachy in July.
    After it has slowed it is back to fee cuts.

  4. My fees have increased to over $385 for a cookie cutter appraisal…no complaints. Ask for a fee increase. The number of appraisers has decreased…supply and demand.

  5. You can stick any kind of fork in me to ‘change’ this or that, or modify or clarify, but after 30 years, “I’m done” and no one is coming behind me. Maybe a “new” citizen can be convinced to do work no one else will do!

  6. Matthew…right on! After 40 years in this industry and earning an SRA designation that means nothing (except the dues I pay), I am heartsick over what has become of my profession. Today I was lectured by some foreign speaking Landsafe AMC employee because I hadn’t updated the site with what was going on regarding my appointment so the lender could know. All the lender NEEDS to know is that it has been assigned with a promised due date. I had it handled with what was a complicated arrangement for access, no need to involve anyone until the date is set. (actually not even then). I’m so tired of this micro – managing of MY BUSINESS. Let’s agree upon a due date and I will make it or let them know if there are problems. I don’t need to be lectured and managed.

  7. Amen. I personally played golf on occasion with my Congressman and told him many times exactly where we were headed and in particular told him that to dissolve the FHA fee would play a big part in appraisal fraud and help to over inflate the market. I wrote many letters to many in the Congress and Senate warning them of what was coming to no avail.

  8. Regarding scope creep and unrealistic turn times: I purposely ignore non-homogeneous requests and non-error stip requests (that greatly reduce my profitability) to slow down the report delivery turn-times. I know there are limited appraisers in my area (if not ALL areas) and I am certain (based on conversations with processors) that I am not the only one “missing” these guidelines and requests. I started this about a year ago and have already seen reduced guidelines such as lists of non-used sales (CMAs), comp field photos and a tendency for me to be able to set delivery times (although in order to get business I have to state unrealistic TATs, then I run into “problems” that slow delivery down). We may not have a union, but in many areas we can act like we do (work slow downs, stoppages, ignoring requests, etc.)

  9. This pig can be painted up to look pretty in any number of ways. Fact of the matter is the AMC related appraisal industry has been cheapened to the point that appraisers are nothing more than cheap, over worked, data entry people for the lenders and AMCs. Or own data I being stolen, only to be use against us.

    This industry used to be reputable and something I was proud of… No longer.

  10. AS President of the American Guild of Apprasiers AFL_CIO we had meetings with Fannie, Freddie, HUD,Federal Congressman, and large banks as early as 2000. Chase being one of them.
    We warned them what was going to happen and withdrew union funds from Fannie and Freddie. No avail. The banks were more interested in profit, then doing the right thing. Fast forward 10 years, the banks are doing the same thing, thru AMCs, still controling the market and profit. Appraisers doing more for less.
    One day the appraiser community I hope will wake up and work together for the common good, but I would be surprised.
    William Sentner
    PNP AGA AFL-CIO

    • This pig can be painted up to look pretty in any number of ways. Fact of the matter is the AMC related appraisal industry has been cheapened to the point that appraisers are nothing more than inexpensive, over worked, data entry people for the lenders and AMCs. Our own data is being stolen, only to be use against us.

      This industry used to be reputable and something I was proud of… No longer.

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