28th August 2013

Where has the AMC work gone?

Hope everything is going well out in appraisal land! I know for me my AMC work has steadily declined over the past few months.

What about you?

Since work has been so great and plentiful over the past couple years I rarely found the time to update my profiles on numerous AMC websites so when a few of my top vendors started hiring in house appraisers, my AMC volume went from 40 requests a week down to about 10.

Now I am lucky if I can accept 2 orders a week from the AMCs. Luckily I have a fair amount of non-lender work due to some recent advertising campaigns, but I still count on a fair amount of AMC work to make ends meet.

What are other appraisers seeing out there with AMC work? How many orders do you do a week now compared to 3 months ago?

I would really appreciate your feedback, please leave a comment below.

BTW – I have started updating all my profiles with the other 250 AMCs I have registered with in the past. I will keep everyone that posts a comment below updated on how that goes.


posted in Appraiser News | 0 Comments

21st August 2013

Why Are Appraisers Furious at Fraud by Their Peers While Corporate Lawyers Are Complacent?

William K. Black – Assoc. Professor, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City; Sr. regulator during S&L debacle

I have done a series of articles about the efforts of honest appraisers (which began in 2000) and loan brokers to alert the lenders, the markets, and the government to the twin fraud epidemics (appraisals and “liar’s” loans) committed by lenders’ controlling officers that drove the financial crisis.

Honest appraisers could have profited greatly by becoming dishonest appraisers who would be given the lucrative assignments by fraudulent lenders’ controlling officers and their agents. Instead, honest appraisers suffered serious losses of income because they refused to succumb to the extortion efforts of the fraudulent lenders and their agents. A national survey of appraisers in early 2004 found that 75 percent of them reported that they were the subject of attempted coercion designed to inflate the appraisal during the past 12 months. A follow-up study in 2007 found that percentage rose to 90 percent and that 67 percent of appraisers reported losing a client and 45 percent did not get paid their fee because they refused to inflate the appraisal during the past 12 months. Many honest appraisers were driven out of the profession by the blacklists the fraudulent lenders’ controlling officers and their loan brokers used to deny business to honest appraisers.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Why Are Appraisers Furious at Fraud by Their Peers While Corporate Lawyers Are Complacent?

posted in Appraiser News | 2 Comments

20th August 2013

Owed by ES Appraisal / Evaluation Solutions? – This website can help

Running $$$ Total as of 05/14/2013
$9,349,612.97 (per Bankruptcy Records)

If you are owed money, please visit this website. Great information.


My prior posts about this problem:



posted in Appraiser News | 0 Comments

20th August 2013

US Appraisal Group – about to go bankrupt?

Dianna Stieri the prior owner of US Appraisal Group sets the record straight.

After posting that a possible bankruptcy was looming for US Appraisal Group, I received calls from the prior owner and their Legal team in regards to my post. Dianna has advised that there is pending litigation in regards to the information that has been sent out.

She also stated that Appraisers have been contacted due to a billing dispute between a couple clients with US Appraisal Group and that appraisers were being requested to negotiate instant payment or set up a payment plan to receive payment.

She also stated most appraisers were owed between $250 – $400 each and that the total amount owed was not in the millions. (I didn’t ask a specific $).

At this time the company has been acquired by another AMC and all inquiries are being forwarded to their accounting department.

Bryan Knowlton

posted in Appraiser News | 8 Comments

19th August 2013

Having problems getting paid by LCAM or Lenders Choice Appraisal Management?

Anyone having problems getting paid by LCAM or Lenders Choice Appraisal Management?

We have been notified with payment problems on open appraisals from LCAM/Lenders Choice Appraisal Management.

Before it becomes a big problem and appraisers are stiffed with millions in unpaid invoices, we thought we would reach out to other appraisers first and finally follow up with the AMC in question.

Please post your feedback below.

Bryan Knowlton

posted in Appraiser News | 0 Comments

9th August 2013

JPMorgan faces criminal probe over mortgage bonds


NEW YORK — The U.S. Justice Department is investigating JPMorgan Chase over mortgage-backed investments the bank sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The New York-based bank said in a regulatory filing that it is responding to investigations by the civil and criminal divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California. In May, the civil division informed JPMorgan that it had “preliminarily concluded” that the bank had violated federal securities laws in connection with certain mortgage-backed investments it sold from 2005 to 2007.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.

The disclosure is just the latest in a swirl of mortgage-related lawsuits and investigations that have hammered big U.S. banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The banks have been accused of improperly foreclosing on homeowners, discriminating against others and knowingly making loans to people who couldn’t afford them. Other probes, including the one disclosed by JPMorgan, have focused on mortgage-backed securities, where the banks bundled together their mortgages and sold them in slivers to investors.

JPMorgan didn’t give details on what the Justice Department is investigating. But previous lawsuits and investigations, against both JPMorgan and other big banks, have said that the banks misled investors about the quality of the loans they were buying. When the real estate bubble burst, many of the mortgage-backed securities soured and the investors who bought them lost billions.

If the investigations result in criminal or civil action by the Justice Department against JPMorgan, it would be the most high-profile government move against the bank to date. JPMorgan, which came through the financial crisis stronger than most of its competitors and was lauded for wise risk-management practices, has lately faced a slew of sanctions by federal regulators.

In January, regulators ordered the bank to take steps to correct poor risk management that led to a surprise trading loss last year of more than $6 billion. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency also cited JPMorgan for lapses in oversight that could allow the bank to be used for money laundering. Last month, the bank agreed to pay $410 million to settle allegations by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it manipulated electricity prices in California and the Midwest.

An investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the trading loss is nearing final stages with civil charges possible, according to news reports Thursday. The SEC is seeking an admission of wrongdoing from JPMorgan in a settlement, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the case.

That would be a departure from the SEC’s traditional policy of allowing most companies and individuals agreeing to settlements to neither admit nor deny wrongdoing. It would be a major application of a new policy announced recently by SEC Chairman Mary Jo White that calls for requiring admissions of wrongful conduct in some significant cases.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined comment on the reports.

The newly disclosed Justice Department investigations are not JPMorgan’s first legal headaches over mortgage-backed securities. It has settled charges from the SEC over mortgage-backed investments it made in the run-up to the financial crisis. It’s also facing lawsuits from the New York Attorney General’s Office and the National Credit Union Administration over the securities.

JPMorgan is fighting the attorney general’s lawsuit, which focused on investments sold by Bear Stearns in 2006 and 2007. JPMorgan bought Bear Stearns in 2008.

JPMorgan made the disclosure about the Justice Department investigations in a quarterly regulatory filing late Wednesday. It came a day after the U.S. government accused Bank of America of civil fraud, saying the company failed to disclose risks and misled investors in its sale of $850 million of mortgage bonds during 2008. The government says that the bank failed to tell investors that more than 70 percent of the mortgages backing the investment were written by mortgage brokers outside the banks’ network.

Bank of America has disputed those allegations, saying the investors who bought the securities had “ample access” to data about the mortgages.

“We are not responsible for the housing market collapse that caused mortgage loans to default at unprecedented rates and these securities to lose value as a result,” the bank said in a statement this week.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. slipped 47 cents, to close Thursday trading at $54.83. The stock has traded between $36.40 and $56.93 in the past 52 weeks, and remains up 25 percent since the start of the year.

AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.

posted in Appraiser News | 0 Comments

9th August 2013

Illinois Cracks Down Further on AMCs

Illinois Cracks Down Further on AMCs
Mon, 2013-08-05 17:11 — Robert Ottone

As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, many individual states are requiring appraisal management companies (AMCs) and their employees to register with their domicile state in order to continue operation. While not necessarily a bad thing, the costs associated with obtaining additional licensing is forcing many smaller AMCs to band together, while others are being forced out of the industry entirely.

In January 2010, AMCs didn’t require licensing of any kind. States didn’t particularly regulated AMCs, either, which, although potentially problematic, was business as usual. Fannie Mae then began issuing rules in the form of Appraiser Independence Regulations (AIR).

“Over time, through a flurry of complaints from consumers, realtors, lenders and other industry professionals; pressure was put on the states to begin regulating this market segment,” said Kevin Marconi, COO of United Fidelity Funding. “Legislation was being passed by each state to regulate these AMCs and impose annual fees and bonds to help legitimize this type of business.”

One of the latest states to begin imposing Fannie Mae’s AIR guidelines is the state of Illinois. As this is a Dodd-Frank requirement, the lenders are ultimately responsible for properly vetting all vendors, because an illegal or improper loan is their responsibility.

“The state-by-state rules have also challenged lenders who are now legally responsible for the actions of their third party vendors, including AMCs. Recently we reviewed a spread sheet that cross referenced the number of AMCs that were licensed in all states and the number was shockingly low,” said Aaron Fowler, president of United States Appraisals. The irony here is that lenders hire AMCs to be the appraisal expert, however; lenders now need to audit their AMCs.

While the number of states requiring AMCs to regulate is on the rise, this isn’t a particularly surprising move. As illustrated above, individual states are merely following rules put in place by the United States government. Appraisers remain up in arms over nebulous state laws and what their typical fines could be. With fine totals numbering in the thousands of dollars, AMCs should look to find themselves in compliance sooner rather than later.

posted in Appraiser News | 2 Comments

7th August 2013

Appraiser Wins “AMC-Agent” Judgment Against One-West Bank

Appraiser Wins “AMC-Agent” Judgment Against One-West Bank
by Isaac Peck, Associate Editor

The appraiser community is still reeling from the decision of a Florida bankruptcy judge to absolve JPMorgan Chase of all liability in the case of Evaluation Solutions/ES Appraisal Services (ESA) bankruptcy case.

Over 10,000 real estate appraisers and agent/brokers were left unpaid by ESA, an Appraisal Management Company (AMC) that procured valuation reports on behalf of Chase. The judge in the ESA bankruptcy case ruled that ESA was not Chase’s agent, and consequently, Chase is not liable for the debts of the AMC.

The court decision has raised many questions within the appraiser community. Namely, who is the client? And are AMCs really the agents of the banks as required by federal law?

…continue reading the rest of this post: Appraiser Wins “AMC-Agent” Judgment Against One-West Bank

posted in Appraiser News | 0 Comments

2nd August 2013

New Book & Directory – No More Middlemen – Full Fee & Appraisal Management Free

2013 Appraiser Marketing Guide and List of 3400+
Direct Lenders, Credit Unions and Bail Bond Companies

No More Middlemen

Have you noticed a significant decline of lender work over the past few months? Do you want to learn how to get more appraisal orders and finally get off the Appraisal Management Company roller coaster ride for good?

Like many appraisers I have seen a very significant decline in AMC orders over the past few months. I have been kicking myself in the butt for not getting started on my marketing to Attorneys, bail bond companies and credit unions prior to the interest rates going up.

Luckily I have a steady stream of attorney work that keeps me busy due to having a good contact management system in place and a steady client base of bail bond companies that refer their customers to me.

In this book I have detailed the steps that I take to create an inexpensive mailer to get more work from credit unions, attorneys and bail bond companies as well as the systems I use to continually get more referral work from all my past clients.

This is an incredible resource to those appraisers that are really looking to learn how do market your appraisal company and build up your client base so you don’t have to deal with seasonal and economic slow downs. This kind of work never goes away!

Possibly one of the most valuable aspects of this book is the spreadsheets that include:

2500+ Credit Unions
550+ Bail Bond Companies
300+ Direct Lenders

Chapters Include:

  • How To Use the Spreadsheets Included With This Book
  • Will Rising Interest Rates Affect Your Appraisal Business?
  • Getting Off The Appraisal Management Company Roller Coaster Ride for Good
  • How to Market to Attorneys, Bail Bond Companies, Direct Lenders and Credit Unions
  • Step-by-Step Instructions to Make a Postcard Mailer From Card Design to Mailing
  • How To Get Low Cost Mailing Lists Made Targeting Local Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • Tested Methods on How To Get More Referral Work From Past and Existing Clients
  • How to get a FREE Local Listing in Google and Optimize it for Best Results

  • You are going to especially love the Bail Bond marketing information. These orders are amazing and I have been focusing a lot of my efforts to getting more of their referrals. Why?

    When I am referred a customer, I quote 3 fees. I base my first fee off of complexity of the appraisal. Lets say it is a standard tract home in San Diego. I quote them $400 and will inspect within 2 working days and have the appraisal report back to them within 2 days. The second fee is to inspect within 24 hours and have back within 24 hours for $800, and finally a same day inspection and deliver of the appraisal is $1200.

    Which one do you think the client wants when they are trying to get a loved one out of jail? 75% of the time it is the $1200 fee for a simple tract home appraisal.

    But you do have to follow up to keep these clients, and I have listed all the techniques I use to stay in contact with these clients so the work doesn’t go away.

    This resource is jammed packed with information and the spreadsheets are 100% sortable by state to make it easy to create your postcard and do your mailing as noted in Chapter 5: Step-by-Step Instructions to Make a Postcard Mailer From Card Design to Mailing

    The next chapter lays out the steps I use to get a massive list of Attorneys in my market area by an inexpensive virtual assistant.

    Take the time today to order my New Book & Directory – No More Middlemen – Full Fee & Appraisal Managment Free : 2013 Appraiser Marketing Guide and List of 3400+ Direct Lenders, Credit Unions and Bail Bond Companies and finally get off the crappy appraisal management company roller coaster ride for good!

    Click Here To Order

    Bryan Knowlton
    Appraiser Income

    posted in Appraiser Marketing | 0 Comments

    2nd August 2013

    Housing Shifts Into Reverse

    Housing Shifts Into Reverse

    Here are a few headlines you might want to mull-over before you plunk 20 percent down on that $500,000 Tudor in Rancho Mirage:

    “Mortgage Applications Drop for Seventh Straight Week”, “Homeownership slides to 18 year low”, “Investors start to move out of housing”, “Sellers Worry Rising Rates Will Lower Demand”, “PE Scrambles To Exit Housing Market”, “Higher mortgage rates lead to softer home demand, Beazer exec says.”

    Of course, all you’re reading is stories about the 12.2% year-over-year price surge that’s started the buzz about the next housing bubble. And it’s true too, housing prices have gone up. Financial manipulation and corporate propaganda DO work, even in an no-growth, high unemployment economy where half the college graduates under 30 are shackled to loans they’ll never repay, where one-in-six people scrape by on food stamps, and where “four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives.” (AP News) Hurrah, for the American Dream! Hurrah, for propaganda!

    …continue reading the rest of this post: Housing Shifts Into Reverse

    posted in Appraiser News | 0 Comments

    3 Steps to get
    More AMC Orders
    We hate spam just as much as you do. If not more!