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Archive for July, 2012

Reader Rants About AMCs

July 30th, 2012

A Special Week

Last Wednesday, I became a grandfather and Sean became an uncle for the second and third times with the birth of my son William and daughter-in-law Danielle’s second and third girls.  Emily Paige and Abigail Morgan Collins join their 3-1/2 year old sister Ashley Elizabeth on the short list of people most important in our lives. 

It is a good week to turn the newsletter over to the readers and spend some time with our expanded family.

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Comments From Readers About Our Report on AMCs in Previous Two Newsletters

Maine appraiser Dudley Tyson writes: “I appreciate the info on AMCs and their fees. I have two thoughts:
 1.  It’s a free country. AMCs have the right to offer payment they see fit. By the same token, appraisers have the right to refuse any assignment for any reason.
 2. If the AMC in question publishes its rationale for compensation, I don’t see why its name should be withheld. Two possible reasons. Either the story was made up (for some perverse reason) or the appraiser who is reporting this doesn’t have the backbone to name the company in question. It’s this same lack of backbone that keeps the AMCs who don’t pay proper fees in business. Whoever reported this should have just deleted the request and moved on to a request with a reasonable fee. Six months of request deletions and the AMC in question will be no more”.

 California appraiser Everett Clark offers his thoughts: “C&R fees are still the joke of the day, as is proven by the article you posted from the appraiser. AMCs are still making up their own list of fees, claiming a history of data for lowball appraisals that many took before the Dodd-Frank act was implemented. As long as there is no enforcement of the C&R fee stipulation of the act (I haven’t heard of any, at least), the AMCs will continue to squeeze every last penny they can out of an appraisal.

Whenever I get a broadcast appraisal request, I note what I consider is the C&R fee in the form, and I make a quick note in the comment section that the fee I have quoted is considered customary and reasonable for this area for this type of assignment, and that the AMC is required to pay at least the C&R fee for this assignment. I have yet to receive an order through the broadcast system, which indicates to me that the AMCs really don’t care about C&R fees”.

Another California appraiser, Fred Rowland, has this to say: “I would like to comment regarding the unnamed AMC that has decided to try and skirt the law in regards to paying “reasonable and customary” fees. I also receive requests from this lender. I recognize the disclaimer and unreasonable fee. I do not do ANY work for them!

 I know there are a few appraisers out there who must accept these fees because they are so poorly educated, poorly trained and generally incompetent that no decent lender will hire them but the vast majority of appraisers are not like this. They are very good at what they do and charge accordingly for their professional services. I want the incompetent slobs to continue to accept appraisals for $225 because all they are doing is slowly putting themselves out of business.

For the rest of the appraisers please understand this; in any city, region, county or state there is a limited and finite number of appraisers. If WE-RIP-U-OFF AMC cannot get any of the appraisers in a certain area to accept their borderline criminal fees the AMC will have one of two options, pay whatever the “reasonable and customary” fee is for that area or go to their lender clients and say “sorry but we cannot get any appraisals done in this area because the appraisers are sick and tired of the lousy fees we pay and they are insisting we pay them a living wage.

Appraisers – wake up!  We, not the AMC’s are in the driver’s seat. All we have to collectively say is “enough is enough!  You will either pay me a reasonable wage or I will not work for you”. At this point the AMC’s will have no option other than to pay reasonable fees. By the way, my minimum fee is more than double what this AMC pays and I am so busy I turn away more business than I accept”.

Texas appraiser Gary Voit writes: “Sorry, but you lose all credibility when you make accusations and not name yourself and the company you are talking about.  IF there was any truth to this story the names of all parties should be stated. Sorry, I’m calling BS on this one”.

One more California appraiser, Jonell O’Day, writes: “QUESTION – if you are going to print and inform the reader WHY wouldn’t you NAME the AMC noted in the article?
The AMC should be named!!!”

We received the following email from a Massachusetts appraiser who we are leaving unnamed: “Why would an appraiser leave a bottom feeding AMC like the one in your article unnamed?  You should be shouting their company name from the rooftops!  I’m sure I know who they are but send me their information and I’ll have a nice chat with them”.

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The Unnamed Appraiser (Partially) Comes Out of the Closet

His first name is Peter and he has been an appraiser in New York for more than 30 years.  He declines to give his last name due to his concerns that other AMCs, who pay fees that are more “customary and reasonable”, may withhold appraisal assignments for him out of concern that they will receive bad press if he is dissatisfied with any of their actions.

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

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Final Thoughts From Appraiser News on This Matter

Peter is a real appraiser and his concerns are something that we hear on a daily basis from appraisers around the country.  Appraisers are in a difficult situation and we understand that individual circumstances cause appraisers to deal with the problem in different ways.

The AMC that Peter talked about is real and the scenario he describes is accurate, I know this because I have also received similar appraisal requests from this firm.  When I have received such requests, I phone the AMC and explain how this practice is wrong in so many ways (which we have discussed frequently in this newsletter) and tell them what my “customary and reasonable” fee is.  This AMC chooses another appraiser every time. can be more effective in bringing about needed change by allowing appraisers such as Peter to describe the abhorrent practices of some AMCs without “naming names”.  This particular AMC does several other things well, all of which are over-shadowed by this terrible manner of selecting appraisers.

Question: Do the clients of this AMC (many of whom are large banks) have any idea how this AMC is obtaining the appraisers for their assignments?  

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Rates & Dates

Mortgage interest rates mostly reached or remained at historic lows in the weekly reports issued by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

On July 29th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined from the previous week’s rate of 3.53% to 3.49%, a new historic low.  They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 4.55%. 

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released July 25th for the week ending July 20th, reported that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) remained at the previous week’s historically low rate of 3.74%.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased slightly from 3.98% to 3.99% and the average rates for FHA backed mortgages fell to 3.52% from 3.55%, the lowest in the history of the survey. 

In their press release of July 25th, the MBA reported an increase of 0.9% in mortgage applications.  Refinance applications represented 81% of all applications, an increase from 80% during the prior week.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers build their practices. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we have to offer.

The All New, Fully Revised Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is now available for download! Please visit our website to learn more. Current members of our Appraiser Directories are eligible to receive their copies FREE!

Ask Angie

This Weeks Questions:

1. Who said: "It is no small thing that they, who are so fresh from God, love us."

a) Charles Dickens
b) Emily Dickinson
c) Mother Teresa
d) William Shakespeare
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

a) Carl Sagan
b) Albert Einstein
c) Stephen Hawking
d) Sheldon Cooper
e) None of the above

3. Who said: "Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching."

a) Satchel Paige
b) Mark Twain
c) Bristol Palin
d) Sheryl Sandberg
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on

A Free Copy of the NEWLY RELEASED 2012 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies!

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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