I received an email from Spot Value regarding the need for appraisers to join their panel by “invitation only” last month. Since I sign up to all the AMCs out there to test them and see if they are a good fit for the Appraisal Management Company Directory that I publish annually, I started the process and stopped immediately when they asked for payment.
ANY COMPANY THAT ASKS FOR $ TO JOIN THEIR PANEL IS A SCAM!!!!
After further research, I came across an excellent post I found over at AppraiserBlogs. Beware of Spot Value Solicitations was republished with permission from AppraisersBlogs below.
Many appraisers have gotten invitation letters in the mail from Spot Value to join their panel. The letter states that the appraiser was recommended by one of their clients and that their panel is by invitation only!
They have a website which makes them look legit. Their address at 2601 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614 is to Century Centre building but they do not provide a suite number. The domain is registered to a Michael Miller who is also the CEO and sender of the invitation letters. We were unable to reach Michael Miller at 919-404-4889. Their greeting message is computer generated and there is no voicemail setup to leave a message.
We researched the name Michael Miller and found the following:
“Mehdi Moarefian, also known as “Michael Miller,” 37, Irvine, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to 52 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in an extensive mortgage loan modification scheme. Moarefian also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,390,496.59.”
Per HousingWire, he was the ringleader of a massive mortgage modification fraud scheme.
..falsely purported to provide home mortgage loan modifications and other consumer debt relief services to numerous homeowners in Connecticut and across the United States in exchange for upfront fees…Homeowners were charged fees that typically ranged from approximately $2,500 to $4,300 for their services.
In order to induce homeowners to pay these fees, the group made a series of false representations, including: stating that the homeowners already had been approved for mortgage loan modifications on “extremely favorable” terms;
If this is the same person as the CEO of Spot Value, then it is clear that he is using the same type of tactics to scheme appraisers.
Spot Value appears to be operating as a portal, meaning they just provide a central repository of appraisers the lenders can access.
Per Spot Value website:
Spot Value makes the appraisal process quick and efficient. Appraisal orders will be assigned via email and text message and based on your member profile coverage areas and good standing within our performance rating system. You may accept or decline appraisal orders as your schedule allows, but we will continually expect a high standard of quality and timely work.
Appraiser fees: Spot Value operates with full transparency and with an ethical business model: Cost Plus. 100% of the appraisal fee goes to the appraiser, who completes the assignment. Spot Value charges a separate fee to the client for using our uniquely developed SaaS (Software as a Service) platform . Each appraiser is required to enter the fees for areas and products and are paid that amount for each order completed.
Application Fee: The application processing fee is $39.00. Application processing fee is a one-time fee for processing your application and checking against our customers blacklist. Please note that we will not review your application until your application processing fee is received.
Not an AMC: platform as a non-biased means to introduce appraisers to lenders and facilitate the flow of information and files between them.
Sounds like another pay to pay scam. Beware!