Bad Appraisal? Don't Get Scammed! Appraiser from outside the area?
On May 1st 2009 when the Home Valuation Code Of Conduct was implemented by Fannie Mae it sent waves of appraisal orders to third party middlemen. These middlemen sliced the appraiser's fees and imposed Draconian completion deadlines on appraisers forcing many out of the business and causing others to cut corners, or in some cases engage in scams. The proliferation of the use of unlicensed property inspectors has exploded since then and so has the numbers of disgruntled agents and homeowners seeking fair and accurate appraisals. Many agents have lost income and homeowners have lost their homes.
The way the scam works is that an unlicensed individual inspects the home but the appraisal report is signed by a licensed or certified appraiser who has never set foot in the home. Often times these are appraisers of dubious reputation who are from distant areas or even out of state who have no or little knowledge of the subject neighborhood.
When meeting an appraiser you should request his business card if it has not been offered to you, AND a copy of is ID. Appraiser's state licenses and certifications all come with a wallet sized ID card. In the absence of a copy of his or her wallet state appraiser's ID look at their license and match the name to the business card.
You can go to the Appraisal Subcommittee website (ASC.gov) or specifically the following search page and enter the appraiser's name to find out if they are legitimate:
If you find that you have been scammed you should contact the lender and the New Jersey Board of Appraisers:
Board of Real Estate Appraisers, P.O. Box 45032, Newark, N.J. 07101, (973) 504-6480