One of the biggest complaints we hear from appraisers is about revision requests. We thought it would be a good idea to host a webinar for appraisers so they can better understand the reasoning behind such request and what can be done to avoid them. We've assembled an appraiser, an AMC representative, and a Lender representative to give us their point of view on this process. Our appraiser is Alan Hummel, SRA of Forsythe Appraisals. Our AMC representative is Kevin Lahr with Digital Risk. And finally, Beth Hoffman of Progress Bank is our Lender representative.
There are very few industries quite like the appraisal industry. An appraisal office is predominantly a small business in terms of size and volume that is heavily regulated. We always think of appraisers as individual islands in the valuation space. What if there was a place an appraiser could go to get that precious bit of information that could change their business. Possibly make them more efficient? Allow them to provide their client with a better product? A place where they could learn some of the insider secrets in the industry? But the source would have to be reliable.
I remember writing essays on historical figures for school when I was younger. I would spend hours in the library going through the card catalog using the Dewey decimal system to find the material I needed to complete my assignment. Once I had gathered all of my information, I could complete my report based on my opinion of the information I had gathered. If the teacher wanted to validate any of my findings, they would need to go through the same painstaking process I had gone through, although, they would at least have the page numbers.
Some appraisers are now being targeted in lawsuits by an entity named "Mutual First, LLC." It has filed about 40 lawsuits within the last year -- 17 within the last two weeks. Mutual First is not a bank, credit union or any kind of regular financial institution. It's an entity aiming to make money by suing appraisers. Based in Texas, it acquires foreclosed loans, mostly seconds, for small fractions of the original principal amounts.
I watch with much interest as everyone is attempting to write automated review tools. Millions of dollars are being invested in the technology. Microsoft Word can tell me when I have a misspelled a word and sometimes correct a grammatical error. But it can't tell me when I have written something that is idiotic or not factual. The same would be true of automated review tools.
Recently Allterra Online launched the online continuing education class "A Practical Guide To Appraisal Review" which is taught by the instructor Greg Stephens Chief Appraiser, SVP Compliance at Metro-West Appraisal Co., Inc. We were lucky enough to sit down with Greg and ask him about the new course and the industry in general.
Buzz: Tell us a little about yourself and your history in the appraisal industry.
I am, and always have been a bit of a movie freak. So you will notice from time to time, when I am not busy interviewing myself, I will refer to a great line from a movie or steal a title. Today, I am stealing the title and the plot. The tag line for Victor Victoria was "A woman pretending to be a man impersonating a woman".
When is an appraisal firm an AMC pretending to be an appraisal firm? And even wilder when would an appraisal firm actually pretend to be an AMC? Who are these imposters and why?
Technology is changing the way business is done across the world. More and more people are able to do their jobs completely through their mobile devices. Like it or not, appraisers need to learn to keep up with the changing times. Most appraisers have made the leap by now to a tablet or smartphone because of the need to stay connected to the office. We put together a list of some apps to help appraisers do their jobs on the go.
At the core of the US financial collapse was the lack of an objective standard of safety and soundness in mortgage underwriting and collateral risk assessment. Opaque information regarding these risks meant that homebuyers, lenders, investors, insurers, regulators, and policymakers had neither incentives nor information to moderate the bubble.
There continues to be a lot of misinterpretation of the UAD condition ratings resulting in inconsistent application of the ratings. Much of the misunderstanding seems to be a carryover from the days when everything was "average". In some cases it is the persistent belief that the definitions are relative, in others it seems to a belief that applying the C3 rating will require fewer comments, even if the home is nearly new.