Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ACOW at the Summit XIV

Washington State Appraisers

We hope you'll consider ACOW at the Summit this year for a portion of your license renewal CE. And this annual event is an excellent way to meet more of your peers!

Good seminars …. good camaraderie .… good food ….All at a lower price for a second year in a row!

This year, the Thursday evening Dinner is an optional item based on prior requests to do it this way again. But...we need to have 25 minimum diners. Note that the dinner tax and tip IS included. We do NOT 'mark up' the meal cost.

Thursday – you can take one or both seminars for separate CE and add dinner if desired. Note the options on the reg form. 6 hrs CE. The dinner on the pool deck with peers from around the state is always a highlight of the Summit event!

Friday – an all-inclusive day, including the REAC meeting, lunch, DOL and FBI presentations, and an afternoon seminar. 7.5 hrs CE.

Due to the hotel advance food ordering requirement, the deadline to receive your registration is Aug. 10.

For questions contact Dave Towne 360-708-1196 or dtowne@fidalgo.net

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Please Contact Your Senator on HB 2566

HB 2556 is stuck in the Senate Rules Committee and has not been pulled to the floor.

This bill provides that an applicant for licensure as an appraisal management company must file and maintain a surety bond of at least $100,000. There has been no opposition testimony on the bill. The reasons it has not yet been pulled to the floor for a vote are unclear, but we only have until Friday night to get it pulled from Rules and voted out of the Senate.

This is the bill information if needed: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2566&year=2011

Please contact your WA State Legislature Senators and Senate Rules Committee - you can do this either via their office phone numbers or the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000, or by using their email.

Please ask them to "Please pull HB 2566, An act relating to maintenance of a surety bond for appraisal management companies, from Rules Committee and vote YES on the Senate floor."

A Senator can also be asked to "include the bill within a package pull.” (That is a group of bills all pulled from Rules to the Senate floor at one time.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Call to Action

Greetings Appraisers,

Please contact your Senator and Representatives today, especially if they are on the Rules Committees, and ask that SB 6306 and HB 2566 be “Pulled” to the next level and from Rules Committee to the Senate and House Floors for a vote.

If you are uncertain about who your Senator and Representatives are, please visit the following website and type in your address, http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx to find your district.

The Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000 is also available for leaving messages.


As Reported by Senate Committee On: Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection, January 30, 2012
Title: An act relating to maintenance of a surety bond for appraisal management companies.
Brief Description: Increasing the penal sum of a surety bond required to be maintained by an appraisal management company.
Sponsors: Senators Conway, Keiser, Kline and Kohl-Welles.
Brief History:
Committee Activity: Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection: 1/23/12, 1/26/12, 1/30/12 [DP, DNP].

Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Kohl-Welles, Chair; Conway, Vice Chair; King, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Keiser and Kline.
Minority Report: Do not pass.
Signed by Senator Holmquist Newbry, Ranking Minority Member.
Staff: Mac Nicholson (786-7445)

Background: Appraisal management companies are entities that perform appraisal management services. Starting January 1, 2012, appraisal management companies who contract with appraisers for appraisal services in Washington State must be licensed by the Department of Licensing. As part of the licensing process, appraisal management companies must file and maintain a $25,000 surety bond. The bond can be used by the state and any person having a cause of action against the company to recover all monies that may become due and owing to the state or the person.
Summary of Bill: The amount of the appraisal management company surety bond is increased from $25,000 to $100,000.
Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: The 2010 legislation that created the licensing scheme for appraisal management companies was a compromise bill between the companies and appraisers. Over the last two years, companies have gone bankrupt leaving appraisers without payment for services rendered. There have been a number of appraisal management companies that have collected fees from the clients, ordered appraisals, and not paid the appraisers for their services. The increase in bond amount would help some appraisers get paid for their services. The increased bond amount will help vet the appraisal management companies and make sure they are financially sound, well capitalized, and run by reputable individuals.

Persons Testifying: PRO: T.K. Bentler, Stan Sidor, Appraiser Coalition of WA.
Senate Bill Report - 2 - SB 6306

The House bill is the same.

Bob Taylor 509/884-3033

T.K. Bentler
Public & Governmental Relations
1601 Sylvester Street SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Cell: 360-789-1176

ACOW President
Justin Slack, SRA

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Re: AMC’s Filing Complaints Against Appraisers.

From ICAP - the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals

"Good afternoon ICAP’ers,

I am writing to our residential members regarding a growing problem that ICAP is concerned with regarding lenders and AMC’s filing complaints against appraisers.

THE SETUP: You receive a call from a lender or an AMC who wants to talk to you about an appraisal assignment you recently completed for them. The call usually comes from the QC Department at the post closing stage of the loan. They start questioning you on your line item adjustments. All the comparables are on smaller lots then the subject property and they feel your adjustment for lot sizes seems a bit high. You want to be a good little appraiser and not upset your client so you agree that pe rhaps they could have been a little lower. While they have you on the phone, they also ask you if you think your time adjustments were a little aggressive. Again, not wanted to upset a good client, you tell them that maybe you were a little aggressive (even though you really don’t think you were…you’re just trying to appease them), and you state that you will try to find another public data source in the future that is more conservative. Your client thanks you and even tells you to have a nice day. You hang up the phone thinking you handled that rather well. (The following is simply a hypothetical situation used to get a point across)

FAST FORWARD: A month later you receive a letter from the Department of Professional Regulation – Appraisal Division. Your great client filed a complaint against you stating that you openly admitted to them in a phone conversation that you falsely inflated the value of your appraisal by using inappropriate site adjustments. You also stated that you often use non-traditional data sources to intentionally report market trends that are lower than normal to arrive at higher value conclusions. YIKES!!!

THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION: This is really happening to appraisers and since the Dodd-Frank Act more and more lenders and AMC’s are sending in complaints on appraisers.

MORAL OF THE STORY: There is no question that the appraiser is getting slammed here for trying to be a “stand up” guy, attempting to clear up gray areas in their report. They’re engaging in what they perceive to be an honest dialogue with the QC department (long after the loan has been funded). Unfortunately, at the post-closing stage, the lender isn’t looking for you to have a change of heart on your final opinion of value. There are no changes that should be made, but now you have given the QC department ammo for a state complaint.

Also, you should never change parts of your appraisal because you think it will make your client happy. They don’t drive the process. Perhaps you don’t even realize that you are giving someone a reason to file a complaint against you when you agree to the slightest alteration or allow someone elses opinion to dictate how you will complete your assignment. In the meantime they are on the other end of the phone writing down everything you are saying as they prepare to turn you and your report into the state.

DISCLAIMER: I certainly am not telling you to ignore errors and omissions on your reports when I client discovers them and asks for corrections. Nor am I telling you to be unethical. But by trying to be accommodating you could be creating a problem for yourself where one never existed.

I can assure you that the state is receiving these types of complaints. I can’t tell you what lenders or AMC’s are filing these complaints. Also, I am not saying that all lenders and AMC’s support this type of practice.

It’s getting pretty scary out their folks. We don’t have to make it harder on ourselves by reverting to a submissive position every time an angry client calls. We are appraisers not pacifiers!"