Today – the media is on full alert for instance of mortgage fraud and many real estate professionals are looking over their shoulders and peeking into shadows to try to avoid any allegations of wrong doing.
This of course is good to help the public wake up, but any of you who have been around long enough to remember why President Carter was bad for the economy can appreciate that none of these so-called fraud schemes are new. Due diligence by a real estate professional has always been required. Appraisers who investigate the market, without bias, who report their analysis without an agenda, and who draw conclusions based upon the preponderance of market evidence have always been backbone of sound financial decisions.
The real concern should be who has taught the last several decades of people who market themselves as real estate appraisers. I can no longer count the number of people I have come across during my career who sincerely did not know that we appraise real estate, not real property. That we are to act in manner that is independent, impartial and objective, not as an advocate to any party of a transaction.
The attempt to regulate appraisers is not a bad idea, but the people that are in charge are not the answer. A recent post on the mortgage fraud blog on Linkedin suggests that Frank-Dodd only served to further buffer the lender from the appraiser, not the other way around. The appraiser is now isolated from all contact and if they wish to work they align themselves with AMC’s who are placed in a position to decide their fate. Now if an appraiser upsets a client they are facing the loss of several streams of business from one AMC instead of one lender at a time.
America is supposed to be a country where a person is innocent until proven guilty and has the ability to face his or her accusers and yet, we as appraisers are now facing AMC reviewers who have the power to decide our fate and if we are removed from a panel there is no notice, no chance for rebuttal or appeal.
This is wrong and needs to be changed… ok I have said my piece for now.
See you around the water cooler!