When you get a call and you see it’s the state’s real estate investigations department, for most of us I’m sure, it’s the last call you want to see coming in. Markets have made such large swings, rules and regulations have changed so much. It leaves even the best appraiser wondering which report will come back to bite us one day. So many states are understaffed and underfunded, it may take years to work through all of the complaints. With no one at the wheel, sadly there are complaints on the books with good appraiser’s right next to the bad ones.
I have spoken with many appraisers, attorneys, and borrowers and the things I’ve heard are surprising and quite shocking. I have been told that when a borrower submits a complaint to the state, it is treated the same way as though a lender submits a complaint against an appraiser. In most cases, a borrower will file a complaint against an appraiser if the value is below what they needed for their loan, while a lender will typically submit for something more substantive or egregious. Of course this does not apply in all cases but more often than not.
If states looked at each complaint differently, say weighted them… I think they would process these much quicker, more effectively, and more efficiently. Complaints by a borrower accusing an appraiser of not hitting a value should be looked at more swiftly. If deemed accurate, they should close the case out immediately. More time should be spent on files in which fraud is evident and prosecution needs to occur.
State boards need to realize who good appraisers are and when a complaint is filed it needs to be reviewed quickly and closed out. We have seen and heard of decent appraisers on occasion losing their licenses. I have heard on all too many occasions where a good appraiser has had a complaint filed against him/her with little to no basis but the state keeps it open for months if not years. This is uncalled for. Time to make change for the better!