Stiffed Appraisers Go After Chase
by Isaac Peck, Associate Editor WorkingRE.com
In January, Evaluation Solutions/ES Appraisal Services (ESA) declared bankruptcy, leaving thousands of real estate appraisers, agents, and brokers with unpaid invoices for work performed. With close to nine million dollars in unpaid invoices for appraisals and broker price opinions (BPOs), it is the worst of a growing number of appraisal management company (AMC) failures that have left appraisers stiffed and steaming.
The fallout has been extensive. According to the bankruptcy documents filed by Stutsman, Thames and Markey P.A., the law firm handling the bankruptcy proceedings, over 10,000 individuals and firms are listed as debtors, making it the most devastating and farthest reaching AMC bankruptcy in recent history.
Since Working RE first reported on this in early 2013, the appraisers and agents affected have been pressuring Chase, the lender who hired ESA for most of work, to make good on the AMC’s unpaid debts. Many appraisers have filed complaints with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). So far, regulators have been indifferent to the problem.
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