11th October 2011

Appraiser Loft closes its doors – FINALLY!

posted in Appraisal Management Companies, Dodd-Frank C&R Topics |

On Friday employees were notified the company was out of business and insolvent.

They were told they would be paid later. [CEO] Aman [Makkar] told them at lunch they will get paid next week, and they won’t

Appraiser Loft has been known by appraisers for a long time now as not being expediant when paying their invoices. I have had numerous appraisers call and ask me how they should go about collecting appraisal fees from Appraiser Loft.


I have done some Appraiser Loft work in the past, but luckily was paid within 30 days. But I have attempted to contact them on behalf of other appraisers that were not getting paid. No emails or calls were ever answered and I suggested following up with the BBB.

It is great to see low paying AMCs go out of business, but it hurts when they owe appraisers thousands of dollars in appraisal fees and just close their doors and shut off their phone lines.

We can only hope more AMCs that do not pay customary and reasonable fees will follow in their footsteps.

I have noticed quite a few AMCs raising their fees in response to customary and reasonable as well as UAD compliance. That is a nice trend I hope to see continue.

If you are interested in finding the companies that make my top 40 list, make sure to check out my Appraisal Management Company Directory.

Thanks!
Bryan Knowlton

UPDATE 10/13/2011:
I have received quite a few responses from appraisers regarding AppraiserLoft and how to collect debt they might have with you.

One appraiser suggested going after the homeowner who will pressure their mortgage company or the actual lender to make the payment. This sounds like a good idea but I received a new response from an appraiser with an even better idea.

AppraiserLoft must get bonded in each state that they do work in, you can put a lein against their bond in that state for payment.

I would suggest first contacting appraiserloft and if that does not work, you may be able to contact your state licensing agency and find out who they are bonded with. It seems the bond information can be found at the states Division of Finance & Corporate Securities division.

Another great tip:
In the State of Louisiana, the Office of Finance states that no appraisal fee should be outstanding beyond 60 days or the broker can lose their license.

Some of the other states may have similar laws that appraisers may not be aware or knew existed. When I send a demand letter to the lender with a copy of the form provided by Office of Finance, I get my money immediately.

If anyone has any further ideas, please post them using the comments section below.

There are currently 35 responses to “Appraiser Loft closes its doors – FINALLY!”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 /*On October 11th, 2011*/, Rob Case said:

    At least I only had 1 order with them, and wow i was just thinking it was time to call and insist on getting paid -imagine the audicity of that…

  2. 2 /*On October 11th, 2011*/, Bryan said:

    I was told by another appraiser to go after the homeowner. Once the home owner starts complaining to their lender or mortgage company, they will usually pay the fee.

    “JUST GO AFTER THE HOME OWNER FOR THE MONEY. IT JUST TAKES ONE LETTER TO A HOMEOWNER OR BUYER WHO IMMEDIATELY GOES AFTER THE LOAN COMPANY. NEVER HAVE I HAD TO GO TO COURT TO COLLECT. THE LOAN COMPANY WHO IS REPRESENTED BY THE A.M.C. IS ALWAYS GLAD TO PAY UP TO GET THE HOMEOWNER OFF THEIR BACK.”

  3. 3 /*On October 11th, 2011*/, Chris Hogue said:

    They promised to pay me what they owed $4000 and sent me a check for $2000. Then 5 months later when they now owe $5000 they close shop…..I’m sure they got paid for our appraisals after we spent the time, cost of business(Gas, mileage, insurance, MLS dues, etc.)….so we lose not only in their fees but we also lose the work that we did not accept because we were doing AppraiserLofts orders…..This is a shame….We need to get in touch with some senators/congressman and explain that $0 for an appraisal in normal and reasonable fees. Isn’t that why they passed FRANK-DODD? Did they just give these AMC’s a ticket to steal from appraisers? Where is the enforcement. We get skrewed again….If anyone knows how to get paid from these deadbeats please let me know.

  4. 4 /*On October 11th, 2011*/, sandiegohelp said:

    I was told by another appraiser to go after the homeowner. Once the home owner starts complaining to their lender or mortgage company, they will usually pay the fee.

    “JUST GO AFTER THE HOME OWNER FOR THE MONEY. IT JUST TAKES ONE LETTER TO A HOMEOWNER OR BUYER WHO IMMEDIATELY GOES AFTER THE LOAN COMPANY. NEVER HAVE I HAD TO GO TO COURT TO COLLECT. THE LOAN COMPANY WHO IS REPRESENTED BY THE A.M.C. IS ALWAYS GLAD TO PAY UP TO GET THE HOMEOWNER OFF THEIR BACK.”

  5. 5 /*On October 12th, 2011*/, Haynes said:

    So, would you guys suggest going after the Homeowner, the Lender or both? do you think a simple letter stating that i havent been paid?

  6. 6 /*On October 12th, 2011*/, Haynes said:

    update: I have almost 10k in open invoices

  7. 7 /*On October 13th, 2011*/, Laurie Richards said:

    I called the loan company…their phone is disconnected too.

  8. 8 /*On October 13th, 2011*/, Nathan Bernhardt said:

    STATE OF OREGON: AMCs are regulated through the Division of Finance, some states they may be regulated by the Appraisal Board. At one of these places, they will have the actual copy of the bond with the insurance company name, the policy number, and the phone number.

    GO after the bond first, then do everything else, and your odds will increase. There is only so much money in each bond, first come/ first serve…

  9. 9 /*On October 13th, 2011*/, George A. Pope said:

    Well, something happened to this company right after the first of the year. Prior to that, payments were 30 days and emails and phone calls were always responded to. After the first of the year, it was like a whole diiferent company, late payments, no responces to emails or phone calls, absolutely insane. It looks like this company is privately owned, perhaps some direct action against the owner is possible. I was told in a rare conversation with one of their employees just last week, prior to the closing, that there was fraud of some sort related to their bank account…likely story but who knows. I am in contact with an attorney to see if a lien against the properties is an option. But basically, I am looking at this as a bad experience and write off. Hard to swallow but it is what it is.

  10. 10 /*On October 13th, 2011*/, LAappraiser said:

    In the State of Louisiana, the Office of Finance states that no appraisal fee should be outstanding beyond 60 days or the broker can lose their license.

    Some of the other states may have similar laws that appraisers may not be aware or knew existed. When I send a demand letter to the lender with a copy of the form provided by Office of Finance, I get my money immediately.

    Has not failed me but once –in that case, the lender was not even supposed to be operating as Office of Finance had already revoked their license.

  11. 11 /*On October 13th, 2011*/, GAP said:

    Hey, some good ideas here…I like the Bond thing and letter to homeowners…my sympathy goes out to all the people who lost their job at A.L. At least we are still working.

    Good Luck

  12. 12 /*On October 13th, 2011*/, GAP said:

    P.S. attorney says a lien is not an option becuase to place a lien on a property, there has to have been an improvement to the property involved. Like windows, roofing, plumbing, etc.

  13. 13 /*On October 14th, 2011*/, Jglynn said:

    I guess I am fortunate that they only owe me $1360.

    I read a article where the CEO said the reverse mortgage orders paid them in 90-120 days which is why they were slow in paying appraisers. I have done over 120 reports for these people and only a handful were actually reverse mortgages and maybe 20% were FHA. Makes me wonder who actually ran off with the money.

  14. 14 /*On October 18th, 2011*/, AZappraiser said:

    1. The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, ADFI, oversees banks and lenders in Arizona . It the regulator of banks in Arizona much like the Arizona Board of Appraisal regulates appraisers. Threaten the bank that you will take your complaint to the ADFI if they don’t pay soon.
    If the money is owed by a lender directly, the ADFI can help also help.

    2. For an appraiser, if the money is owed by an AMC and it is over 45 days due, then a complaint can be filed with the Arizona Board of appraisal to get the money.

    3. If the money is owned by a private individual, then consult a collection agency.

    4.If a check bounces, tell the writer of the check that in Arizona, it is considered “theft of services” and if not paid, you will report them to the attorney general (It have been done and folks have got their money.)

  15. 15 /*On October 18th, 2011*/, GAP said:

    The Illinois Department of Fiancial and Professional Regulation states the the AMC is an “agent” of the lender and that the lender is responsible for the action or lack of action of the agent and is liable to the appraiser for payment should the assigned agent default. I don’t know that the Department would assist in collections but the direction appears to be clear. The bond issue is mute because it doesn’t cover fees to appraisers in Illinois. As far as who ran away with the money, if any one knows, perhaps the owner could answer that question. However, going after Appraiser Loft for money they apparantly do not have, well, seems like a waste..The lender will hopefully pay up. Worth the effort depending on how much you are owed.

    Good Luck

  16. 16 /*On October 19th, 2011*/, Charlene said:

    They owed me over $7500.00 Three weeks ago I booked a ticket to CA and told them I would be there on Monday morning and to call the national guard because I was not leaving without my money and ALL of it. That was on a Wednesday by the next day I had Fedex bring me a package with ALL my money I then called back Jetblue and canceled my flight. These companies have no clue what our expenses are and how much time it takes to deliver a report. Only to have them nickle and dime us. Now I noticed that they LOVE to send a report card with preformance put under a miscroscope. I have had enough I am out of this business and just trying to collect all the money I have outstanding and look into a new avenue. The appraisal world has changed and not for the better.

  17. 17 /*On October 21st, 2011*/, John Center said:

    Appraiserloft finally sent us our check and it bounced and now we owe the bank money…5 months of work down the drain. I don’t think NY has any rules or laws to protect appraisers. Can’t seem to find any or anyone to help with this fraud.

  18. 18 /*On October 22nd, 2011*/, salvo said:

    Appraiser Loft screwed me for over $5,000. Although the money is important and well needed, how it was done is what made it worse. I had been given the shift since june 2011 by Annette from AL accounting dept. Every week I called for payment and was told bluntly the check is in front of her and will be processed next week, or the processing dept was behind, or they lost the check and are cutting a new one…on and on…Until I picked up the phone the day after columbus day to hear they are no longer taking orders.. the disgusting part is till the last day they were still sending appraisal orders to appraisers. This was complete fraud. The company took advantage of as much money as they can possibly get and then closed the doors. The ceo should be in jail just as any other ponzi scheme or mortgage fraud case. As appraisers, we were independent at one time, took our payments up front to avoid this kind of situation. Unfortunately, we have been ripped of our independence, and are now dependent solely on Appraisal Management Companies trust to earn a living and hopefully get a check in the mail. I blame this on coumo, congress, and all others whom were associated with the hvcc rule implementation.

  19. 19 /*On October 28th, 2011*/, Andrew said:

    Charlene, you were paid after they closed their doors? This is interesting to me. I am owed roughly $14,000 for approx. 2 months of work. They have always paid me in the past although sometimes was late as many are reporting here. My local bank that contracted them said that they are putting pressure on appraiserLoft and also that appraiserLoft is NOT closed down. I told the local bank that the local news has been contacted at that I am not going away anytime soon (I even have people that are willing to move their money out of this bank). That is just a start for me. The local bank said that is fine, we have our attorney’s and they say this is contract law and your contract is with AL. What I found to be interesting is when I called AL today, their message was different stating it was after business hours. This is clearly different from the earlier message that they are no longer accepting orders. I think the new message has changed so that they can salvage clients as this “so-called” merge/purchase with Settlement One happens. Can you please confirm Charlene that you were paid, and the check cleared AFTER they reportedly closed their doors on 10/18? Thanks

  20. 20 /*On October 31st, 2011*/, Kyle said:

    Owe a bunch of people ALOT of money?……….
    Just file bankruptsy, they dont need there money anyways.
    REALLY this is how this country works just file some papers (make sure u pay there court fees) and they can dust there hands free of there debts?!?!?!?!?

    Im owed $11,450.
    Just shake every goverment offical’s hand u see and thanks him for not only taking all the clients u spent years to build a relationship with. also for creating wonderful companys that took a third of your pay, and then gives these companies the ability to walk away at anytime with your money in the pockets. Think im just gonna sell drugs so i can focus on makein business grow and not what new 48 rules just came out to make my job harder.

  21. 21 /*On November 1st, 2011*/, Mike W said:

    Thanks for the posts. According to Dodd Frank Rules that were published on 10/28/2010 vol 75 No 208, an Appraisal Management Company is a agent of the creditor. That is clear. Also it is states in the rules that a creditor and its agent are to pay a fee appraiser at a rate that is reasonable and customary. The fee can be argued but no fee is illegal. I am not an attorney, but contrat law probably will not apply to this problem. There is too much money for some class action law firm not to get involved.

  22. 22 /*On November 13th, 2011*/, Mark A Gonzalez said:

    AppraiserLoft owes me over $7,000. We need to join and have one voice. Everyone who is owed money can send me their contact info so that we have one voice. You can reach me at signatureappraisals@cox.net AppraiserLoft needs to be made an example of for other AMCs thinking of screwing around with appraisers. Appraisers, we need to unite and take back our profession.

  23. 23 /*On November 13th, 2011*/, GAP said:

    I sent invoices to all of the lenders involved. No payments, no reply. I plan on a follow up in a week or so but I am not holding my breath for a check. I would be happy with a reply. I sent one major lender a copy of all the appraisals and guess what, they forwarded them to Appraiser Loft…:) They just don’t get it.
    As far as a contract with Appraiser Loft, I don’t think it is anything more than an agreement, not really a contract. I could be wrong but lets face it, the law has many loop holes and the big companies can afford to find them.
    We can learn a lesson and not let the AMC’s get too far behind in payments, even if it means rejecting a few orders. Best if we could get paid up front like many of them do. However, that takes leverage which we do not have. I love what I do and that’s the only thing that keeps me going. All the comments are infornmative.

  24. 24 /*On November 17th, 2011*/, K.L said:

    I am working with Colorado appraisers to get paid and I believe a key to our receiving payment it through the lender who hired their “agent” AMC. We need to find language of a finding that binds the lender to the actions or inactions of their agent. The above post # 15, cannot be found.. Interagency Guidelines from the OCC, requires the lender to be veru careful in selecting and supervising the AMC. Many more requirements to include “Due Diligence”. The Loft is probably gone but the lenders are there so it they hired these thiefs without doing what was required they could be liable. So lets get organized and find a number of attorneys who like issueas well as continue to pressure the lender . I have an attachment but it appears I cannot attach it here.

  25. 25 /*On November 17th, 2011*/, Pete C said:

    We have been trying to collect from AppraiserLoft too and unfortunately it looks like we are going to have to write this off as uncollectable. This sounds awfully familiar to several years ago when many of our lender clients closed shop and owed us thousands too for appraisal services. The longer I’m in this business the longer I see that nothing has changed. Unfortunately, it sounds like the only people who may actually make out in all this are the lawyers.

  26. 26 /*On December 2nd, 2011*/, Ray Stark said:

    We have identified numerous appraiser in Colorado who are owed over $100,000 in fees for appraisals completed for Appraiser Loft where Bellco is the lender. If we can find all of Bellco’s appraisers, we can get a class action suit going against Bellco for their refusal to take responsibility for their agent. This could ultimately benefit appraisers nationwide. However, we need to find these appraisers. Please contact anyone you think might be interested and ask them to email their contact information to stopfeetheft@gmail.com.

    Thanks

  27. 27 /*On December 6th, 2011*/, Debbie H said:

    3 of the 12 invoices that I had outstanding from Appraiserloft were orders from Generations Mortgage. They contacted me to do a final on a very old one and I told them that I had these outstanding invoices. They asked me to send them copies and I got my check today. At least there is one company out there with some integrity. I’d suggest that anyone owed by them try to contact them. Has anyone been paid by American Internet Mortgage aka aimloan.com? Most of mine were for them and they told me “oh well, sorry, we already paid AL”.

    laura.troy@generationmortgage.com
    Phone: 404-995-5491
    Toll Free: 866-790-6151
    Fax: 404-995-5346

  28. 28 /*On December 7th, 2011*/, joseph chandler said:

    I’m from Oklahoma and appraiserloft owe’s me almost $2000, if anyone has any knowledge of how to get that payment in this state i’m all ears.

    The Oklahoma Real Estate Appraiserboard told me that you are not required to be bonded in this state to be an AMC, can you believe that. I’m beginning to think i have no recourse.

  29. 29 /*On January 9th, 2012*/, Diana said:

    I feel for all above, I am in the same group. What sickens me is I worked with them for 5 years with no problems. For the last year I would have to call and complain (got to be several times a day), in order to get paid. To boot the accounting dept was making it sound like I was the problem, I caught a lot of attitude. They got me for about $3,000 this was a mortgage payment, I was counting on the money. I am a 1 person operation this was a month worth of work lost. They told me that a check is being cut and that is the last I heard from them. They sent me a order I guess right before they closed. The homeowner wasn’t getting back to me then finally did, thats when I found out. Thank you guys for sharing, I am going to look into the bond too. My husband is in insurance maybe he will be useful. His first reaction was that of one of the posts above, get on a plane and knock on the doors until he is paid, I will leave off the rest of his remarks they were not very nice. I hope we get something, we can’t just sit on our hands. I will post if I get anywhere, Im located in NY.

  30. 30 /*On February 14th, 2012*/, paul said:

    BLACK FRIDAY…I am glad for Bryan Knowlton and others that have figured out a way to make a profit in such an exploited industry. It is time for Appraisers to unite as one and to show our strenghth.

    I propose that on March 2nd, 2012 that;

    ALL APPRAISERS IN AMERICA WOULD NOT ACCEPT OR DELIVER ANY APPRAISAL WORK ON THIS DAY.

    Imagine what would happen, our voice about fee’s and prompt payments WOULD BE HEARD.

    MARCH 2, 2012…………C’mon, together we can!

  31. 31 /*On February 27th, 2012*/, Jim Stevens said:

    I suggest making it public that these guys started a new company already called carzy.com

  32. 32 /*On February 27th, 2012*/, Jim Stevens said:

    Scott Stokis and Aman Makkar

  33. 33 /*On March 23rd, 2012*/, Scott said:

    Mike W, Can you pin point where in Dodd Frank vo, 75 no 208 it states that thge Appraisal Managment Company is an agent of the creditor?

  34. 34 /*On March 28th, 2012*/, John Center said:

    What is the company Aman Makkar has started? How is he not in jail????
    I am also owed money. Metlife is the only bank that has agreed to pay.
    centerappraisals@live.com-if anyone has any information!
    Thanks

  35. 35 /*On May 16th, 2012*/, previous victim said:

    They also sold all of your invoices to a 3rd party.. They got paid for money they owed you AND they still wouldnt pay you. Aman isnt in jail because of his father… Narander Makkar.. They own a few homes in San Diego… Besides the previous Federal charges againt Aman for a Ponzi scheme.. He and his wife are habitually horrible people..they were the perfect arranged marriage.. They both would sexually harass employees.. And then fire them for objecting… Overall.. They would and will screw over anyone that has a penny.. I did not work for them long.. Thank God… But my heart does go out to all of the appraisers that they screwed over… Karma travels.. The US.. India… One day Karma is going to shove his Bentley where it counts!!

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