Saturday, February 27, 2010

AMC Bill continues to move ahead!

Just to make sure everyone knows, the Senate DID pass the AMC bill out of the Labor/Commerce Committee and on to the Senate Ways & Means Committee yesterday afternoon…. we keep moving forward… Ways & Means Committee members for the Senate are shown below. Contact them, please, and ask that they support this bill and pass it on to Rules.

So far, I do know that Sens. Karen Keiser and Jeanne Kohl-Welles are solidly in support of our bill, as I also believe that Phil Rockefeller and Debbie Regala are, too. Regala is my Senator, and I have been in touch with her about the bill. If I recall correctly, Barry indicated that the Committee Chair, Margarita Prentice, is in his District. Rodney Tom is usually supportive of our efforts, and TK has a good rapport with him. Sen. Kline is on the Labor/Commerce Committee, which just passed the bill out to W&M. D’s outnumber R’s by 14 – 8 on this committee, so I think we are good for this to continue to Rules.

Feedback I have received from national sources indicates that our bill is receiving very positive reviews! Many feel it represents a very good model to work from….it should, we have certainly put enough time and effort into it thus far!

Thanks to everyone for continuing efforts to get this bill passed! Just a few more steps to go…. From W&Ms to Rules, then to Senate floor vote, then back to the House for reconsideration as amended (remember, it passed the House first time 98 – 0!), and THEN, finally, to the Governor! ...whew!!!

Stan Sidor
President, ACOW

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rainier Pacific goes down

"Rainier Pacific Bank, Tacoma, Washington, was closed today by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Umpqua Bank, Roseburg, Oregon, to assume all of the deposits of Rainier Pacific Bank.

"The 14 branches of Rainier Pacific Bank will reopen during normal business hours as branches of Umpqua Bank. Depositors of Rainier Pacific Bank will automatically become depositors of Umpqua Bank. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers should continue to use their former Rainier Pacific Bank branch until they receive notice from Umpqua Bank that it has completed systems changes to allow other Umpqua Bank branches to process their accounts as well.

"This evening and over the weekend, depositors of Rainier Pacific Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

"As of December 31, 2009, Rainier Pacific Bank had approximately $717.8 million in total assets and $446.2 million in total deposits. Umpqua Bank will pay the FDIC a premium of 1.04 percent to assume all of the deposits of Rainier Pacific Bank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits, Umpqua Bank agreed to purchase approximately $670.1 million of the failed bank's assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

"The FDIC and Umpqua Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on $578.1 million of Rainier Pacific Bank's assets. Umpqua Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share transaction is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The transaction also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers."


WA Senate Ways & Means Committee

Committee Members




Prentice, Margarita (D) Chair

JAC 303

(360) 786-7616

Fraser, Karen (D) Vice Chair, Capital Budget Chair

LEG 404

(360) 786-7642

Tom, Rodney (D) Vice Chair, Operating Budget

JAC 220

(360) 786-7694

Zarelli, Joseph (R) *

INB 204

(360) 786-7634

Brandland, Dale (R)

INB 203

(360) 786-7682

Carrell, Mike (R)

INB 102

(360) 786-7654

Fairley, Darlene (D)

JAC 227

(360) 786-7662

Hewitt, Mike (R)

LEG 314

(360) 786-7630

Hobbs, Steve (D)

JAC 213

(360) 786-7686

Honeyford, Jim (R)

INB 107

(360) 786-7684

Keiser, Karen (D)

JAC 224

(360) 786-7664

Kline, Adam (D)

JAC 223

(360) 786-7688

Kohl-Welles, Jeanne (D)

JAC 219

(360) 786-7670

McDermott, Joe (D)

JAC 230

(360) 786-7667

Murray, Ed (D)

JAC 215

(360) 786-7628

Oemig, Eric (D)

LEG 416

(360) 786-7672

Parlette, Linda Evans (R)

LEG 316

(360) 786-7622

Pflug, Cheryl (R)

LEG 415

(360) 786-7608

Pridemore, Craig (D)

JAC 212

(360) 786-7696

Regala, Debbie (D)

JAC 233

(360) 786-7652

Rockefeller, Phil (D)

JAC 218

(360) 786-7644

Schoesler, Mark (R)

INB 110

(360) 786-7620

*Ranking Minority Member

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Regarding Desktop Appraisal Orders

North Carolina Board Guidance Concerning Desktop Appraisal Orders

A new desktop appraisal product was released in February 2010. The Appraisal Board has received numerous telephone calls and emails about this product and others that are similar. Although the Board does not approve or prohibit specific forms or software used to deliver appraisal results, the Board does have several concerns about this type of assignment.

An assignment is an agreement between an appraiser and a client for a valuation service. Once an appraiser accepts an assignment, USPAP applies to the appraiser’s actions. Even if an appraiser ends up not completing the assignment or does not get paid, the appraiser must still comply with USPAP. If an appraisal report is created and sent to the client, a workfile must be produced and maintained. USPAP requires that the work file must contain enough information to produce a summary appraisal report from the workfile contents.

This is a valuation service regarding the subject property that would have to be disclosed under the 2010 change to the Conduct Section of the Ethics Rule of USPAP, even if no report was transmitted and/or no payment was received. According to the instructions for this product, if an appraiser accepts an assignment to do this type of appraisal but subsequently discovers that the subject property does not meet minimum requirements, the appraiser will not get paid. This is referred to as a “no-hit”. Since an assignment that results in a “no-hit” may not be tracked in invoicing software, the assignment would have to be entered into some other type of tracking software to make sure one complied with the new disclosure requirement in USPAP.

The Scope of Work Rule of USPAP states that the appraiser, not the client, must determine the scope of work necessary to develop credible assignment results. In addition, the Scope of Work rule states that “An appraiser must not allow assignment conditions to limit the scope of work to such a degree that the assignment results are not credible in the context of the intended use.” There are several assignment conditions in this product that are referred to as “appraisal report minimum requirements”. Some may be unacceptable.

This product requires appraisers to use MLS as the primary data source. In many areas of our state, MLS is not available or is unreliable. A better source of data might be the county tax office or a private data collection system. The product also requires that appraisers must use a minimum of three closed comparable sales and a comparable listing and/or pending sale. At least two of the comparable sales must be less than 120 days old, and at least two must be located within one mile of the subject. The GLA of the comparable sales must be within 20% of the GLA of the subject. Appraisals of condominiums with more than 15 units must include at least two comparable sales from the development within the last 12 months and at least one comparable listing and/or pending sale from the development. Condominiums with 15 units or less must include at least one comparable sale from the development within the past 12 months and, when available, a comparable listing or pending sale from the development. This product does not allow the appraiser to use the best data available and may well limit the amount of work performed to such an extent as to violate the Scope of Work Rule.

Of major concern is the assignment condition that the appraiser will not receive a fee if the appraiser cannot meet all the product requirements. As noted above, this is referred to as a “no hit”. “No-hits” are produced when the appraiser cannot produce a credible value due to insufficient subject data, the subject is an ineligible property type, the appraiser cannot meet all of the minimum report requirements, the subject is zoned commercial/industrial, or the subject is not at its highest and best use.

It appears that the assignment conditions may violate the Management Section of the Ethics Rule. For example, if the appraiser searches for comps but discovers there have been none within the last 120 days, the appraiser will not get paid. If the subject is located in a transitional area and the highest and best use would be as an interim or commercial use, it is a “no-hit” and there is no fee. The fee for the assignment is contingent on a predetermined result - the reporting of comps that meet certain criteria, or a finding that the subject meets the product requirements. This type of assignment may result in the loss of objectivity. An appraiser may be tempted to use sales that he or she would not otherwise use, or to simply concur that the current use is the highest and best use, in order to receive a fee. The fact that an appraisal may not be completed (a “no-hit”) is irrelevant. The Ethics Rule prohibits accepting such an assignment.

There are appraisal products on the market now that allow or even require the appraiser to choose comparable sales from a database maintained by the software vender or client. Most of the comps in those systems are datamined from other appraisal reports. These services are not connected directly to a local MLS system. Sometimes an employee of the software company may contact local real estate brokers to obtain comparable sales. If an appraiser uses this database for sales, the database must be listed as the source for comparable sales, with MLS or another source used for verification of those sales. In addition, if the appraiser is given comparable sales by the client or vendor, the appraiser must disclose that he or she received significant assistance in choosing comparable sales.

Some of these products give an appraiser a discount if the appraiser voluntarily “contributes” appraisal reports to the software database so that subject and comparable information can be mined. Keep in mind that doing so is a violation of the Confidentiality Section of the Ethics Rule of USPAP, as assignment results are also communicated to the database.

A final note – the low fee paid for this assignment does not in any way lessen the appraiser’s legal requirement to comply with USPAP.

Stan Sidor
President, ACOW

Update on status of WA AMC Bill (ESHB 3040)

Hello all.

Thought I would give you a thumbnail update of the AMC legislation continuing to make its way through the WA legislature:

This bill (ESHB 3040) was heard by the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, and Consumer Protection on TU afternoon. There was no opposition. The bill seemed to be well-received, in particular by the chair (Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and especially by Sen. Karen Kaiser, who met with me afterwards and voiced her strong support for the bill!).

Now, if they adopt the further, minor amendments and pass it today (there is an Exec Session by the committee this afternoon on the bill), this bill will then go to Senate Ways & Means, and will have to pass before next Monday. If it passes Senate Ways & Means, it will then be referred to the Senate Rules Committee (SRC). SRC will have to vote to put it on the Senate Floor Calendar for a floor vote. If it passes the Senate it has to go back to the House Floor for concurrence on the Senate amendments. All of this will likely occur within about the next WEEK! ….whew!

Most of recent amendments suggested have not come from either me (ACOW) or the AMCs, but rather predominantly from House and Senate legal staff, DOL, and/or the AG’s office, who have read and re-read the bill drafts, and it seems each time someone looks it over they either find a meaningless element (such as a definition that no longer fits after original Section 15 was removed), a confusing one (does not make sense or they do not know how to interpret or potentially enforce), one that conflicts with another section or another law, or one where some further element (timing, cycle period for renewals, and such) was needed, so we have had to admit that ‘yeah, this needs some more tweaking’…. That has been the problem with trying to rush to put a bill together and get it out without sufficient time to really vet it to everyone who may be able to provide perspective on language, provisions, etc.

Overall, I think it is a good bill, and it appears that it has a very good chance of being adopted into law …. No apparent major obstacles at this point. Will continue to monitor (TK Bentler, our lobbyist, is keeping me apprised with regular updates), and will let you know.

ONE MORE APPEAL TO APPRAISERS IN WA STATE: Call and/or email your Senator, at this time, and ask that he/she support ESHB 3040 as amended!

Thank you.

Stan Sidor
President ACOW - Appraiser's Coalition of Washington

ACOW Board Meeting - 3/10

Based on feedback from most board members, it now appears that the next best date to have an ACOW Board meeting would be Wed, March 10. Please put it on your calendars, and plan for it. I will get an agenda out soon, but we need to think about at least the following and be prepared for some discussion:

- ACOW At The Summit: when (August 20 – 21?), where (same place as usual, at the Snoqualmie Summit, or….?), and topics (assuming our AMC bill passes in this legislature, we could spend at least an entire day going over it, and making sure appraisers understand what it WILL do for them, and what it WON’T do….)

- Budget for 2010, and how do we reach out to more unaffiliated appraisers and get them to join?

- Do we take a position on (support for or not) the Exposure Draft on Consistent Disciplinary Action as promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation

If you have any other items you want to make sure are on the agenda, please advise.


Stan Sidor

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ACOW Board Meeting - 3/3, 3/10?

While the agenda will not come out until later this week, I wanted to just put out a reminder to everyone now to plan on an ACOW Board Meeting next week. If you have any items you want to ensure are on the agenda, please let me know.

I have been “reminded” that some board members have conflicts right now for Thursday eves, and thus this may not be the best night for a board meeting. Also, on TU eves I have a prior commitment all through mid-June.

Would a Wed eve work ok for everyone? If so, which would be better: 3-3, or 3-10? Let me know.


Stan Sidor

Weekly Legislative Report


Here is the most current weekly report on bills in the WA legislature.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

To All FHA Roster Appraisers

It is important for FHA Roster Appraisers to monitor the FHA Roster Appraiser web page periodically, at

  • For appraisal policy updates
  • Find answers via FAQs and FHA’s Knowledge Base
  • Update contact information
  • At license/certification renewal time
  • Check roster status
  • To access Mortgagee Letters and handbooks
Before accepting and performing an appraisal for purposes of FHA-insured financing, all FHA Roster appraisers must ensure that their name is listed on the Appraiser Roster. An appraisal performed by a FHA Roster appraiser who is not listed on the Roster at is not active on the Roster and the appraisal will be rejected. It is the appraiser’s responsibility, as well as that of the lender, to make this determination.

Implementation of Mortgagee Letters 2009-28 and 2009-51:

Enactment of ML 2009-28 Appraiser Independence and ML 2009-51 Adoption of the Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report was effective February 15, 2010. You may read these and all other FHA Mortgagee Letters online at:

(From Ralph Birkedahl)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AMC Bill Senate Hearing Set!

The AMC Bill is now scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee next TU, 2-23 – the hearing begins at 1:30 pm. I will be attending, and will speak in favor of the bill on behalf of WA appraisers as Pres. of ACOW. There is not a Senate Bill No. for this bill, as it was not originally introduced in the Senate. The bill is identified as ESHB 3040 (or Engrossed Substitute House Bill, for those who would like to know what these initials mean….).

While we will eventually (assuming the bill passes from this committee) want ALL appraisers to contact their state Senators and ask them to vote in favor of this bill, what we really MUST focus on right now is getting it THROUGH this committee…. So, PLEASE FORWARD TO YOUR MEMBERSHIP, and ask appraisers to check and see if any the senate committee members shown below is THEIR Senator, and IF SO to then ask that they contact their Senator and ask for his/her “support for this bill, and to move it out of committee.” They may want to note/mention that “this is a bipartisan bill, and passed the House by a vote of 98-0.”

Here is some additional information about each Senator – his/her District, and the approximate areas included in each District (click on their name in the box below should take you to their legislative website, and you can also then pull up a map of each District and their EMAIL):

Kohl-Welles – 36th, includes Queen Anne/Magnolia areas

Keiser – 33rd, includes areas of Kent, Des Moines, Normandy Park, and SeaTac

Holmquist – 13th, areas include Ellensburg, Moses Lake, and parts north of Yakima

Franklin – 29th, includes parts of So. Tacoma, Lakewood, and Parkland

Honeyford – 15th, includes parts of SW WA including Goldendale, Sunnyside, and area south of Yakima

King – 14th, includes Yakima and areas to the west of

Kline – 37th, includes Beacon Hill area of Seattle, portions of So. Seattle and towards Renton

Thanks to everyone who has been diligently working on this effort! I am sorry that this process requires so many email reminders and requests for appraisers to contact their reps, but this is what it takes to get a bill through the legislature.

The effort to ultimately get this bill passed into law still has a few more hurdles to overcome … more committee hearings (Senate), and then a full vote by the Senate. We will also be asking the Governor for her support.

Thank you.

Stan Sidor
President ACOW

ESHB 3040 Committee Members

Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee



Kohl-Welles, Jeanne (D) Chair

(360) 786-7670

Keiser, Karen (D) Vice Chair

(360) 786-7664

Holmquist, Janéa (R) *

(360) 786-7624

Franklin, Rosa (D)

(360) 786-7656

Honeyford, Jim (R)

(360) 786-7684

King, Curtis (R)

(360) 786-7626

Kline, Adam (D)

(360) 786-7688

*Ranking Minority Member

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nominees Sought for 2011 AI Leadership Positions

The nominations and elections process is underway for 2011. There are open positions for Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, two Directors, two Regional Representatives, and general and residential Associate Member Liaisons. Members (except for Temporarily Non Practicing Designated, and Non Practicing Associate Members, Affiliate Members, and Honorary Members) are strongly encouraged to nominate themselves for positions for which they are qualified.

All potential candidates must be members in good standing, current in the Appraisal Institute’s continuing education requirements (for Designated Members), have not been subject to a publishable disciplinary action by the Appraisal Institute within the five (5) years prior to the election. Branch chapter members can run for any office.

Vice President (one-year term) may be a Designated or Associate Member of the Appraisal Institute, preferably one who has previously served as a director, secretary, or treasurer, and has a history of service to the Chapter. The Vice President will also act as president-elect and will automatically become President in the following year, provided he or she is a Designated Member at that time.

Secretary and Treasurer (each one-year term) may be a Designated or Associate Member, preferably one who has prior service as a Chapter officer, director, or committee chair.

Director (Three-year term) May be a Designated or Associate Member. Prior service as a committee chair or committee member, and a history of service to the Chapter is preferred. No member can serve consecutive terms for this position.

Regional Representative (two-year term) may be a Designated or Associate Member It is desirable for Regional Representatives to have prior service as a Chapter committee chair or board member. No member can serve more than two terms as Regional Representative.

General and Residential Associate Member Liaisons (one-year term) must be Associate Members, preferably ones who actively participate in Chapter events and wish to represent the Associate Member viewpoint to the Board of Directors. Associate Member Liaisons must have been in good standing with the Chapter for at least one year, and have taken the Standards of Professional Practice course and passed the corresponding examination. No member can serve more than two consecutive terms as an Associate Member Liaison.

Your 2010 Nominating Committee Chair is Mel Morgan Jr., MAI. The Nominating Committee is currently searching for candidates. If you are interested in serving the chapter in one of these positions, or have any other questions about the process or positions, please contact Mel as soon as possible at (206) 382-0825 or by email at

Thank you!

Seattle Chapter, Appraisal Institute
6351 Seaview Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107-2664
ph: 206.622.8425
fx: 206-623-4474

Thanks to Our Reps!


It would be a very good idea to thank the co-sponsors of HB-3040 - the AMC Registration Bill, and the subsequent ESHB-3040.

Here are clickable links to the HB-3040 co-sponsors from TK Bentler. You can send them an e-mail, or call their offices:

Representatives Conway, Wood, Appleton, Rolfes, Sells, Sullivan, Finn

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HB 3040 Passed the House of Representatives,,,

98-0! Great news!

Now, we need to continue our work to get it passed in the senate. Information will be posted as it becomes available!

Re: SHB 3040, the Amended AMC Registration Bill

All appraisers,

When you contact your Representative, please ask for support of the "Conway & Condotta Striking Amendment". This will be voted on today in the House.

To view the striker click 3040-S AMH CONW H5228.1

Thanks for your continued assistance!


On Tuesday February 16, 2010, the full House will be prepared to vote on a striker amendment for our AMC Registration Bill, SHB 3040 by or before 5pm, the deadline for all bills to be voted on in this session in their respective houses.

Please contact your representatives, if you have not yet done so, and ask them to vote FOR this bill.

Also, if you know appraisers who live in the Queen Anne-Magnolia areas of Seattle – the 36th District – ask them to contact Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, if they have not yet done so, and ask that she support this bill (assuming it passes the House) when it comes to her committee in the Senate.

Thank you.

Stan Sidor

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Recent appraisal rules open door to shady middlemen

Many appraisers are familiar with poster boy of AMC criminality, Larry Holzer. Larry is barred from appraising in Florida, but not from opening an AMC, and capitalizing on the enormous opportunity HVCC has created for fraud.

"In 2007, Florida regulators permanently revoked Holzer's appraisal license because he had approved an error-filled appraisal done by a trainee under his supervision. The report didn't even have photos of the correct house.

"The revocation barred Holzer himself from appraising property in Florida. But it didn't keep him from starting an appraisal management company, Global Appraisal Solutions, that could do business in Florida and every other state."

According to his victims, Global collected fees from borrowers and then stiffed the appraisers. After sufficient pressure built up, Holzer simply dropped Global and opened another business,

"Appraisal Mediation Solutions, which boasts that it 'is one of the most trusted providers of real estate valuations in the nation.' State records show it was incorporated in October but no officers were listed, which is unusual. The address is 140 Island Way, Clearwater No. 245 — a $15-a-month box at a UPS store near Holzer's waterfront condo.

" 'There should be a regulatory board that keeps an eye on these companies [AMCs], because basically what they are is a shakedown middleman,'' says appraiser John Viscusi, one of Holzer's victims. 'All they do is collect a fee to channel an appraisal to an appraiser.' "


Appraiser calls for regulation of middlemen

Appraisers nationwide are petitioning lawmakers to regulate AMCs. An example from Pueblo, CO:

"Pueblo appraiser Ivor Hill on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to adopt standards and regulate appraisal management companies.

"Appraisal management companies capitalized on the new standards, geared at buffering unethical dealings between mortgage lenders and appraisers, by marketing themselves as required by the HVCC, when in fact they are not.

"Other real estate professionals joined Hill in criticizing how appraisal management companies operate. Hill testified that the companies charge mortgage lenders excessive fees to act as middlemen, then solicit bargain-basement appraisals to turn a profit, often at the expense of the borrower and the quality of the appraisal.

"That was verified by Erin Toll, executive director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate, who said appraiser license renewals are down in part because of the low-ball fees being brokered by the companies. Consequently, she said, experienced, knowledgeable appraisers are leaving the field because they are being priced out by less experienced appraisers whose work is not of the same standard. Hill pointed to Equifax, an appraisal management company that just this week sent out e-mails to appraisers stating that the fees it offers would be cut by 10 percent.

" 'The type of appraisers that will work for that kind of money is the first-time appraiser with no experience,' Hill said. 'Quality of appraisals suffer.' "


Friday, February 12, 2010

Action Alert: AMC Registration Bill - SHB 3040

ACOW continues to need your assistance to keep the AMC Registration Bill moving in the legislature.

SHB 3040 is now scheduled in the House for its second reading. A third reading will be necessary if it survives the 2nd Reading.

Today is the critical time for you to contact your Representative, and ask for support of the AMC registration bill, SHB 3040.

Use this link to find your Representative. If you don't know who your Representative is, use the “Find your Legislator” link just below the District Numbers.

Your message should include something similar to this:

“Please support SHB 3040 when it is presented for the second reading in the House.

This SHB 3040 AMC registration bill is a compromise bill supported by the Appraisers Coalition of Washington, and the AMC companies it will regulate.

Thank you for your support.”

If SHB 3040 is passed in the House the bill will move to the Senate.

Your support is critical to this process.

HB 3040 is on the House 2nd Reading Floor Calendar


Representative Troy Kelley
from the 28th legislative district pulled HB 3040 last night from the Rules Committee. Please call or email thanking him for pulling HB 3040 to the Floor, especially if you are in his district.

Stan Sidor

More "Conflict of Interest"

This AMC loses independence by acting as a front company for a lender and providing loans:

"Coester Appraisal Group a nationwide appraisal management company is proud to announce it has secured three warehouse lines for cornerstone clients totaling over 100 million."

And all of it presented under the banner of "HVCC compliance."


Thanks to Richard Hagar.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Questions from Sen. Regala re SB 6426

Stan [Sidor],

Thank you for contacting me. I need to know more about this commission.

What does the Real Estate Appraiser Commission do? How often do they meet? What is the budget?

What are the main expenditures?

Thank you,

Debbie Regala
State Senator – 27th District

[Senator Regala,]

The Real Estate Appraiser Commission typically meets quarterly. It serves as a key link between, and a liaison with, the appraiser community, the Dept. of Licensing, and the national Appraisal Subcommittee as established by the Appraisal Foundation under US Title 11 (FIRREA).

The commission provides a mechanism for the Appraisal Subcommittee to report to Congress on the health of the real estate mortgage lending industry in the state of WA, as required under Title 11.

The commission also makes recommendations about and to appraisers and/or the DOL, and/or hears recommendations from appraisers or the DOL, as to issues impacting the appraisal profession.

They have a nominal annual budget (around $3,000, mainly for some in-state travel, in order to accommodate meeting in different parts of the state so that they can hear from as many appraisers as possible, along with certain reporting requirements to the Appraisal Subcommittee), which is paid entirely from a Dedicated Fund of the Real Estate Program paid into from appraiser licensing fees, fines, etc., to the DOL.

There are NO impacts to the State’s General Fund – this is a self-supporting dedicated fund account/program.

I hope this helps.

Thank you very much!

Stan Sidor
President, Board of Directors
ACOW - Appraiser's Coalition of Washington

SB 6426 - Elimination of Boards/Commissions

All appraisers!

See my email below that I sent to my State Senator. Please send a similar email to your State Senator (though, of course, delete the reference to being the ACOW President!).

Dear Sen. Regala:

I understand that Sen. Honeyford will be offering an amendment to strike the language from SB 6462 that now provides for the elimination of the Real Estate Appraiser Commission.

As your constituent, and also as President of the Appraisers’ Coalition of Washington, I am asking if you would join with Sen. Honeyford in supporting this amendment to strike out that provision, and to retain this commission.

Thank you.

Stan Sidor
President, Board of Directors
ACOW - Appraiser's Coalition of Washington


According to TK Bentler, ACOW lobbyist, our bill to require the licensing of AMCs (SHB 3040, which stands for “Substitute House Bill” 3040) has passed from the House General Government Appropriations Committee to the House Rules Committee.

We now need all appraisers, especially those whose representatives serve on the House Rules Committee (shown here under "Committee Members") to contact their representatives and relay the following:

“Please pull out SHB 3040 from the Rules Committee.”

If you want to add your own comment in support of this bill, and/or provide any reasons why, background on AMCs, etc., feel free to do so, of course.

Thank you.

Stan Sidor

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tired of working for an AMC?

I know.... it's a stupid question. However, since you're tired of being pushed around by an AMC and working for 1/2 of what you were a couple of years ago - fight back. If you want to be successful in increasing your business, it's imperative that you understand your opposition - the AMC.

Here's what you can do:

#1 The Hagar Institute along with the Appraisers Coalition of Washington (ACOW) are offering a CE class: How Appraisers Can Protect Themselves When Dealing With AMCs

The class will show you :

  • How most AMCs operate (this will scare you)
  • Their goals (Profit of course but from the appraisers expense)
  • How you can increase your profits, not theirs
  • How to protect yourself along with dozens of other helpful tips
This class will point out some of the major problems you must know if you want to survive this AMC mess.
  • Do you understand the employment contract you have between you and the AMC? Have you even read the darn thing?
  • Are you aware that one of the largest AMCs is owned by a company out of India, others are owned by ex-convicts?
  • Have you heard about the Portland based AMC that has failed to pay their appraisers hundreds of thousands of dollars and are under criminal investigation?

The last two class are this Tuesday in Tacoma and Thursday in Wenatchee. Sign up here.

#2 We are attempting to license AMCs. ACOW will discuss the pending legislation and how YOU can help get the AMC problem under control.

We need you to attend, learn and help. This is your chance to make a change for the better.

Let us show you how to survive ... and thrive.

Sign up and get CE credit, learn about the AMC mess and how you can make a change for the better

Thursday, February 4, 2010

AMC - First America

Any who work for First America may want to see what the job description is for those who are responsible for assigning your orders:

"...selection of one that meets the company standard turnaround time, profitability requirements, and quality standards."

Note quality as they define it, is the least important requirement, trailing fastest & cheapest.

" is important for PAs to attempt to place the order to an appraiser with the lowest fee to maintain our profitability."

Note that profitability is the only parameter of judgment.

The whole complete truth about the HVCC - a must watch video

Finally, the whole complete truth about the HVCC – grab a fresh cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage), turn up the speakers and kick back for a moment of truth…..

Thanks to George Nervik of National Property Service, who reminds us that "There is nothing in the universe more damaging than the truth told by the right person at the wrong time."

...and most of these lenders used an AMC

Appraisal Institute Analysis Shows Two-Thirds of Failed Banks Cited for Appraisal Problems

An analysis conducted by the Appraisal Institute of failed banks shows that nearly two-thirds had been previously cited by federal bank examiners or had ongoing appraisal administration problems, highlighting a significant weakness in many struggling financial institutions.

Of the 35 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Inspector General Material Loss Reviews of failed banks nationwide, 22 contained concerns or unheeded recommendations from previous reviews, regarding the appraisal practices of the banks, according to the Appraisal Institute. These results were analyzed from Material Loss Reviews conducted by the FDIC Inspector General in 2009 and 2010. Examples of such concerns include: “Failure to obtain current appraisals or perform adequate appraisal reviews”; “Bank frequently relied on stale appraisals”; “Inadequate control of the lending function, including appraisals”; and “Poorly explained upward adjustments to the appraisal values.”

“The findings of the Material Loss Reviews illustrate that many institutions have not adequately invested in critical risk management functions like appraisal administration and oversight,” said Bill Garber, director of government and external relations of the Appraisal Institute. “Moving forward, if we are going to have any success in stabilizing mortgage markets, preventing mortgage fraud and kick-starting the secondary markets, bank examiners must place more emphasis on risk management, mitigation, meaningful oversight and enforcement of these critical issues.”

[So by utilizing an AMC..... your bank will likely fail. Oh yeah.... let's leave the AMCs unlicensed and running wild. - RH]

Please call State Reps RE: SHB 3040

Additional facts to present to your State Reps:


Passage of this bill would increase the tax base of the state without costing our citizens a penny. With the advent of the AMC system, 50% of the taxes, formerly paid by in state appraisers, are now being siphoned off by out of state companies.

Appraisers pay B&O tax on their income. If their income is slashed by 50% then their B&O contribution is also cut. Most of the AMCs are not registered to do business in this state so they are not paying B&O taxes..... or any of the other required taxes. WA is on the short end of the stick while the AMCs function out of low tax based states.

Washington's tax revenues are being diverted by big out of state companies. With the passage of this bill, the companies that are skimming off these tax dollars will licensed and have to report the revenue to the State. This is a perfect way to regain our tax revenue while not costing our citizens anything more.


No one knows the numbers or ownership of these AMCs. We are aware that many AMCs are under criminal investigation, are owned by ex-convicts (people convicted of financial crimes) and have been directly involved with the failure of several Washington State Banks (due to poor appraisals). By licensing these entities we are trying to gain control of a situation before it gets worse.

Richard Hagar SRA

Please call State Reps RE: SHB 3040 - AMC reg. bill

WA State appraisers……

I’m a former radio announcer/copy writer. I wrote the following message – which takes 55 seconds to read over the phone – which you may use to call the reps below. Their hearing is Thursday morning, Feb 4, 8am.

You can call overnight (as I have done) and leave a message, or early on Thursday. (Enlarge the font, then print it to paper…will make reading easier.)

"This is a message for Representative ________ concerning your hearing on Thursday Feb. 4 about House Bill 3040, for which I would appreciate your support. My name is ______________. I am a Washington State [Licensed / Certified / General] Residential Real Estate Appraiser. [Use your correct license title.]

House Bill 3040 concerns the regulation of Appraisal Management Companies by Washington State . Presently many AMC’s are causing great harm to appraisers in this state due to their business practices.

House Bill 3040 will put an end to improper AMC activity, especially relating to usual and customary appraiser compensation and other practices that impact impartial appraisals on real estate in Washington State .

I ask you again to support House Bill 3040. Thank you."

NOTE… if you modify this, do so to P#2 & 3 only. Keep your message short and to the point. This message repeats request for support twice and repeats the bill number four times.

Dave Towne

Contact numbers

Wednesday, February 3, 2010



ACOW’s House Bill 3040 that will require the Licensing and provides for the regulation of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) has PASSED out of the House Commerce & Labor Committee, and now is headed to a hearing TOMORROW MORNING (Thursday, Feb 4) 8 AM with the House General Government Appropriations Committee.

Please read ALL of the following FIRST, then decide what you feel you can and are willing to do NOW, and then please ACT! For your reference, I am attaching the ORIGINAL Bill, the current Substitute Bill (which we yet hope to amend, but had to take out some provisions just to ensure it got out of the initial committee), and my original remarks to the House Commerce & Labor Committee. Feel free to add whatever you feel is pertinent…your own comments, recommendations, stories, etc.

Thank you.

Recommended ACTIONS:

1) Please contact (phone call first, email second) any of the Representatives shown below (you can click on their names, which will link you with their websites) if they are YOUR House Representative that SPONSORED HB 3040, and THANK THEM for sponsoring this bill! Ask the sponsoring reps for their continued support of this bill! I am noting the Legislative Districts by number for the sponsoring reps. If you do not know your district or representative….go to the WA State House of Representatives website and look them up, and make a note somewhere to remind yourself!

2) Please contact (phone call first, email second) any of the House Commerce & Labor Committee members (shown in a chart that follows below) who are YOUR House Representative that VOTED FOR SHB (Substitute House Bill) 3040 (shown in bold – note: all Democrats – bill passed purely on PARTY LINES), and THANK THEM for VOTING FOR this bill. Ask them for their continued support/vote for of this bill! If your rep is an “R”, and did NOT vote for this bill, ask them to RECONSIDER their vote!

3) Please contact (phone call first, email second) as many of the House General Government Appropriations Committee members (shown in a chart that follows below) who are YOUR House Representative, and ask them TO VOTE FOR SHB3040 that will be heard in committee tomorrow morning! (Two of these committee members were also on the Commerce & Labor Committee, and voted FOR this bill – again, thank them!). Let the reps know that, even though there is a fee associated with licensing the AMCs, the fees will be paid by the AMCs, this is intended to be a self-supporting program (dedicated fund, NOT GENERAL FUND monies), and that it is critical for consumer protection and appraiser independence that this bill/law ultimately pass!

These actions will be CRITICAL to the continued support and movement of the AMC licensing bill. If you WANT AMCs to be licensed/regulated in this state, please Take Action NOW!, and watch for further announcements in the coming days. I know this is time-consuming and perhaps a bit tedious, but NO ONE ELSE will act on behalf of appraisers…it is up to US!

Also, please be aware, this bill is being opposed by large national AMCs such as RELS, Landsafe, ClearCapital, LSR/LSI, and even perhaps BOEING!

Do not hesitate to send your AMC “horror stories” on to your legislator!

Thank you!

Stan Sidor
President, Board of Directors
ACOW - Appraiser's Coalition of Washington

HB 3040

Regarding the licensing of appraisal management companies.
Sponsors: Representatives Conway, Wood, Appleton, Rolfes, Sells, Sullivan, Finn

Conway – Dist 29
Wood – Dist 3
Appleton – Dist 23
Rolfes – Dist 23 (same as Appleton)
Sells – Dist 38
Sullivan – Dist 47
Finn - Dist 35

HB 3040 Contact Information

Commerce and Labor

Telephone: (360) 786-7125
Fax: (360) 786-7018
Toll-Free Legislative Hotline:

John L. O'Brien Building
Room JLOB 208-A
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600

Committee Members




Conway, Steve (D) Chair

JLOB 307

(360) 786-7906

Wood, Alex (D) Vice Chair

LEG 437B

(360) 786-7888

Condotta, Cary (R) *

LEG 122B

(360) 786-7954

Chandler, Bruce (R)

LEG 427B

(360) 786-7960

Crouse, Larry (R)

LEG 425A

(360) 786-7820

Green, Tami (D)

JLOB 327

(360) 786-7958

Moeller, Jim (D)

LEG 436A

(360) 786-7872

Williams, Brendan (D)

LEG 132F

(360) 786-7940

General Government Appropriations

Telephone: (360) 786-7204
Fax: (360) 786-7018
Toll-Free Legislative Hotline:

John L. O'Brien Building
Room JLOB 220-A
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600

Committee Members




Darneille, Jeannie (D) Chair

LEG 436B

(360) 786-7974

Takko, Dean (D) Vice Chair

JLOB 323

(360) 786-7806

McCune, Jim (R) *

JLOB 413

(360) 786-7824

Armstrong, Mike (R) **

LEG 426A

(360) 786-7832

Blake, Brian (D)

JLOB 331

(360) 786-7870

Crouse, Larry (R)

LEG 425A

(360) 786-7820

Dunshee, Hans (D)

JLOB 239

(360) 786-7804

Hudgins, Zachary (D)

LEG 438A

(360) 786-7956

Kenney, Phyllis Gutierrez (D)

JLOB 428

(360) 786-7818

Klippert, Brad (R)

JLOB 436

(360) 786-7882

Pedersen, Jamie (D)

JLOB 318

(360) 786-7826

Sells, Mike (D)

LEG 132B

(360) 786-7840

Short, Shelly (R)

JLOB 422

(360) 786-7908

Van De Wege, Kevin (D)

JLOB 316

(360) 786-7916

Williams, Brendan (D)

LEG 132F

(360) 786-7940

*Ranking Minority Member **Asst. Ranking Minority Member