I know many Appraisers blog, and whine, and whine then blog... This is just a blog, no whining as I am not currently a contractor with any First American AMC's.. And after today I suppose there is little chance I ever will be. :-) But there is just so much in their open content, Public News Releases and emails to Appraiser Vendors that it has become impossible to ignore. To stay still... To remain quiet.... I am thankful my business has been successful without having to work for vendors such as these. So I write this blog to inform you. My comments I hope will provide an Appraiser's perspective, without the whining.
This blog is set to three parts. The first are FirstAm job postings. I have not reblogged them the links are included. The second is for a press release which is located on their site. The last are two are back to back emails that FirstAm sent to their Appraiser vendors, which I have included in the blog.
Please take note of each one individually and then as a group. The first will spell out how profit to First American is their first goal. It goes downhill from there, at least for their Appraiser Vendors. You decide for yourself. But when you finish ask yourself if you see where FirstAm's vendors or clients are considered.
1) Quantrix Job Offers
a) - Suggest Profit is their only motive in placing orders Appraisal Coordinator Click for link
b) - Offer for entry level person to value commercial real estate http://jobs.firstam.com/jobs/208542-Associate-Commercial-Evaluation-Analyst.aspx
2) National news - New review process where by they use Appraisers to review BPO's.
Why is this bad? It is more difficult to sue a Realtor for a BPO. Appraisers can be easily sued AND Appraisers have E&O insurance. Why not use Appraisers in the first place.??. Duh! Appraisers cost more, take more time and and are bound by HVCC. We HAVE to we have to follow USPAP! We have to do our due diligence. I have a REO in the area of which received a short sale offer of $84,500 Dec 13th, but the foreclosure auction took place Dec 14th. What was the BPO? $45,000. Nuff said.
3) Emails to Appraisers. There are two recent emails to Appraisers that should cause you concern.
a) - Preset Appointments.
TO: Quantrix Valuation Chase Appraisers
FROM: Quantrix Valuation Panel Management
DATE: February 8, 2010
RE: Automated Telephone Order Notification
Starting Friday, February 12, 2010, Quantrix Valuation is providing a new opportunity to accept Chase orders via telephone.
Appraiser Receives Phone Call from Quantrix Valuation
- Auto Call will notify Appraiser that there is an order available and will provide
- Property Address
- Appraiser Fee
- Appointment Date and Time
- Auto Call will ask if Appraiser ACCEPTS or DECLINES the order
- If the call is not answered or the call is dropped or disconnected, Auto Call will roll to next Appraiser - THERE WILL BE NO OPPORTUNITY TO RECOVER THE ORDER
To ACCEPT order, Say "YES"
- Borrower's First and Last Name is provided as well as spelled out
- Order information is also included in the Assignment Notification email like all other orders
- Appointment Date and Time is included in Auto Call and in the Special Instructions in the Quantrix Order form
- Appraiser is transferred directly to the Borrower's phone to confirm Appointment Date and Time
- If Borrower or voicemail do not pick up, the call will be dropped and Appraiser must follow up with borrower to confirm Appointment Date and Time
- If the call is dropped or disconnects AFTER the order is Accepted, or if the automated system is unable to reach the Borrower, Order and Borrower information may be obtained at www.QuantrixVendorServices.com.
To DECLINE order, Say "NO"
- Auto Call disconnects
- Order will be offered to next Appraiser
- THERE WILL BE NO OPPORTUNITY TO RECOVER THE ORDER
Please contact 866-284-2189, option 1, then option 2 and option 1 again if you have any questions.
*Calls may be recorded to help improve quality and service
Are we Independent contractors or Employees (perhaps the IRS should be looking at this)? [<Sarcasm/>This should stop those pesky Appraisers from wanting more $$$ for complex assignments. Wait!! They won't even know if it is a complex assignment ,or one that they are competent to accept the order until they accept it!. Yup that's the ticket! Mu ha ha ha ha!!!! ]<End Sarcasm>
So if the LOCAL Appraiser doesn't pick up the phone the next one is called, from where 150 miles away?
b) - Email to Appraisers 2: You must use ACI software.
Why you ask is this a problem? Because you must submit your report to them in its native format ACI whereby they may strip all data from it and sell it back to the Appraisers and Realtors of whom produced the work...
TO: Quantrix Appraisers
FROM: Quantrix Valuation
DATE: February 9, 2010
RE: Appraiser Communication
ACI Software Requirements
As a reminder, Quantrix Valuation requires the use of ACI by all appraisers performing appraisal assignments for PNC Mortgage. Effective February 19, 2010, in order to be eligible for future appraisal assignments, you must be utilizing ACI for submission to Quantrixand be current on all service agreements and updates. If you have allowed your subscription to lapse and/or will be upgrading your software to become EDI compliant, please contact Panel Management and notify in order to be eligible for appraisal assignments.
New Quantrix QC Process
Quantrix is initiating a new QC procedure that will be implemented within the next few weeks. This QC process will help to insure that PNC underwriting requirements are addressed prior to delivering completed appraisal products to PNC.
This new process will require all appraisers accepting appraisal assignments from PNC to have an updated version of ACI rules files. Once the ACI update is available, Quantrix will post a communication as well as instructions on our website notifying appraisers to update their rules through ACI.
Once the new process is implemented, all appraisers will be requiredto run an ACI review master file named Quantrix PNC PAR Logic Rules on all PNC appraisals prior to uploading.
FHA Requirements and Guideline Reminders
Quantrix requires that the appraiser abide by all FHA requirements based upon the 4150.2 FHA handbook, posted mortgagee letters and all other applicable FHA supplemental information.
- Verify and state if the report is in compliance with FHA requirements set forth by the 4150.2 FHA handbook.
- Confirm whether public water/sewer is available. If so, comment on the feasibility of hook-up. Also please comment that HUD's minimum distance requirements for well/septic are met.
- All completed FHA appraisals must include the lender provided FHA case number on all pages of the report before uploading.
- Appraiser must state within the appraisal if all utilities including water were on and working at the time of inspection. FHA requires utilities to be on regardless of winterization for the appraisal to be completed.
- Appraisers uploading FHA reports without the case number are in violation of FHA policy.
- Subject photos must be taken of the front and rear at opposite angles to show
all sides of the dwelling.
- MLS photographs are unacceptable per FHA. Current and actual photographs must be provided within the report.
Additional photos are required for any improvements with contributory value that are not captured in either the front or rear photograph (Detached garages, Outbuildings) as well as any deferred maintenance.
As you can see the Appraisers lack of cohesiveness has continued to cause a decline in their profession, incomes and talented members. How long will the more talented continue to take this abuse? What will be left? I hate to ask.
Is First Am best serving their clients needs when FirstAm's profit is their first goal? You decide.