This article reminded me how the appraisal industry is self-destructively meek – a bunch of sheep (aka scapegoats). Three plead guility in $8 million real estate ‘flipping’ scheme involving Decatur, Springfield [HR].

An appraiser was part of a 3-way flipping scheme involving 150 properties and about $8M yet…

While Ciota and Knox got profits from the transactions, Wiese received only his standard appraisal fees

The scheme would not have been possible without the appraiser yet he did not see the value of his crime. That means one of two things:

  • A: The appraiser did not see his actions as criminal or did not know better.
  • B: There were plenty of other appraisers in the area who would have gladly worked for the same fee preventing the appraiser from receiving a higher fee for his services.

I’m banking on B.

With the daily reports of mortgage fraud, I don’t think I have ever seen an appraiser who got a piece of the action or an inflated fee in one of these mortgage fraud scams. Isn’t that amazing?

This seems to correlate with past patterns of meekness in the appraisal industry. I am not suggesting anything criminal, just the fact that the whole world walks over us and its mainly our own fault.

  • There is no separation between the sale and underwriting function in many lending institutions allowing loan reps to directly pressure appraisers to “make the number.” Many succumb to the pressure.
  • Field reviews are a way to “get your competitor off the approved list of your client.”
  • There is no real review function any more so quality is not much of a concern and speed is readily quantifiable and rewarded (absent of quality reviews).
  • National appraisal management companies see appraisers as form-fillers.
  • The appraisal review function is performed by inexperienced, young entries in to the professional responsible for large swaths of the country.
  • Appraisal trade groups were asleep at the wheel during the licensing law process in 1991.
  • Appraisers are used as a scapegoat by some lenders to explain to the applicant that they were turned because of a low appraisal when the loan turndown was for poor credit (this one drives me crazy).
  • Appraisers were scapegoated for the S&L crisis in the late 1980’s.
  • Appraisers are being squeezed out of the lending process as banks seek to commoditize the reports down to the level of a flood cert.
  • USPAP is out of sync with real world business practices.

These are the real crimes here…

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.