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Appraiser News 11/17/15: Should 60 Minutes Investigate AMCs?

November 17th, 2015

Should 60 Minutes Investigate AMCs (Appraisal Management Companies)?

We asked this simple question last Friday on Twitter (@AppraiserNews) and Facebook (Facebook/AppraiserNews).  The results were not surprising: in our one day, quickie Twitter poll 72% of our poll takers answered “Yes, long overdue” while 28% answered “No”.  On Facebook, 185 people answered in the affirmative by liking the post with many offering enthusiastic support. This is not a shock considering the makeup of our followers, a large percentage of whom are appraisers with a smaller percentage affiliated with AMCs.


We have been considering this question for some time.  On June 18, 2012 we published a “spoof” (, ’60 Minutes’ Exposes AMCs).  Since then, we have seen increased regulation of AMCs and the “wild west” days of AMCs such as Appraiser Loft are somewhat in the past.

While much has improved, the appraiser/AMC relationship is akin to a master/slave relationship in the eyes of many appraisers.  And some large banks (they know who they are) still utilize AMCs that engage the cheapest (not the best) appraisers and order BPOs…practices that threaten the integrity of the appraisal and mortgage lending process.

We hesitated to ask this question for several reasons, most notably the fact that there are many professionally run AMCs with competent employees.  But the system although improved is still broken and shining the spotlight on the business model of AMCs offers the possibility of movement towards change.

It also offers the possibility of a good story for 60 Minutes with the hero appraisers (attractive, intelligent, ethically and morally upstanding) going up against the big, bad AMCs.

A show not to be missed!

Here is a link to our spoof (“60 Minutes Drops in on Two AMCs”) of three years ago:

Click here

Today is (National) Entrepreneurs Day.

One year ago, discussed the generally entrepreneurial appraiser lifestyle (Appraisers as Entrepreneurs, November 17, 2014).  We think it is important to remind appraisers of some points we made one year ago:

The first National Entrepreneurs’ Day was announced by presidential proclamation in 2010 and a movement has begun to pass H. Res 401 which would make the third Tuesday in November an official holiday to celebrate successful entrepreneurs and provide support to aspiring ones.

Earlier (February 11, 2014, “Older Appraisers as Entrepreneurs”) we noted studies which indicated that half of the appraisers in the country were between the ages of 51 and 65.  In the article, we cited a study by the Kauffman Foundation and Legal Zoom “…which reported that 20% of all new businesses were started by entrepreneurs between the ages of 50 and 59 with 15% of new businesses created by those over age 60”.  In addition, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity was found in the 55 to 64 age group.

In a posting on last year, Stephen Key noted these “5 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs” which we think appraisers should keep in mind in conducting their appraisal (and other) businesses:

1-“An unwavering passion”: Commitment and dedication are a fundamental requirement for success.

2-“Open-mindedness”: Be flexible, ask for advice, learn from others.

3-“The desire to be an expert”: Staying in the same field, even through difficult times, can help you in building relationships that will allow success in future ventures.

4-“A forward-looking approach”: Establish a roadmap of clearly stated goals which may evolve over time but will help keep you moving ahead and on track.

5-“A constant flow of ideas”: Successful entrepreneurs always ask “what’s next”.  Mr. Key notes that “being a successful entrepreneur is a lifestyle choice, not a destination”.

While many appraisers have not consciously thought of themselves as entrepreneurs or sought out an entrepreneurial lifestyle, guess what? They are.  And the success of their appraisal practices and other ventures will depend upon their passion, vision, dedication and flexibility in dealing with the myriad of challenges that they are confronting now and in the future.

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.

RedStone Advanced Analytics from Bradford Technologies

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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AnchorAppraiser Help’s 2015 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is Now Available!

To help appraisers evaluate how AMCs will work for their appraisal practices, we have compiled this expanded directory of over 275 AMCs and National Appraisal Companies, listing complete, contact information and other details for each company.

If you’re looking to maintain or expand your mortgage appraisal practice, our Directory of Appraisal Management and National Appraisal Companies is a great place to start. Order it today for $79.99 and download it immediately!

Please visit our website now to make your purchase securely or contact us at (877) 434-2825 for more information on this comprehensive directory!

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) and HSH Market Trends all reported rising mortgage interest rates last week.

In their survey on November 12th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped from 3.87% to 3.98%.  They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was 4.01%.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, was quoted as saying that:

“A surprisingly strong October jobs report showed 271,000 jobs added and wage growth of 0.4 percent from last month, exceeding many experts’ expectations. The positive employment reports pushed Treasury yields to about 2.3 percent as investors responded by placing a higher likelihood on a December rate hike. Mortgage rates followed with the 30-year jumping 11 basis points to 3.98 percent, the highest since July. There is only one more employment report before the December FOMC meeting, which will have major implications on whether we see a rate hike in 2015.”

The MBA reported on November 11th (for the week ending November 6th) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) moved up from 4.01% to 4.12%.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased significantly, from 3.90% to 4.04% while rates for FHA backed mortgages also rose, from 3.81% to 3.87%.

Mortgage applications fell 1.3% from the week before.  Refinance applications as a percentage of all applications declined slightly from 59.8% to 59.7%. The FHA share of applications increased to 14.1% from 13.2% and the VA share declined, moving to 10.9% from 11.9%.

On November 13th, Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates moved upward from 3.96% to 4.06% while rates for FHA-backed mortgages also increased notably, from 3.76% to 3.84%.

HSH projected in the news release that:

“The small bump in rates does seem likely to continue to trim demand for refinances; to that end, and to the effect that supply and demand (and the impending holiday slowdown, too) play on mortgage pricing, we could see a little (lack of) demand-led easing in rates as a result of this rise over the next couple of weeks. It seems contradictory that a rise in rates could help foster a fall in rates, but there is at least some minor impact of a slump in demand on the price of a given good or service.

We always caution folks that mortgage rates always rise more quickly than they fall, and the events of the last few weeks bear that out quite well”.

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

Additional information from HSH can be found by going to: HSH.Com

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Appraiser Help has Released its 2015 Directory of AMC’s and National Appraisal Companies. Click the link above to learn more and to download your copy today!

Ask Angie

Angie would like to congratulate the winner of her last contest: Arizona appraiser Scott Hamilton. He was the first to answer correctly that T.S. Eliot or George Eliot was the author of the quote “An election is coming.  Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry”; Lindsey Nelson quipped that “If the World Series runs until Election Day, the networks will run the first one-half inning and project the winner”; and Jay Leno noted “If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates”.

Today’s Questions:

1.  Who said: “I didn’t get old on purpose, it just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you”.

a) Andy Rooney

b) George H.W. Bush

c) Lindsay Lohan

d) None of the above

2.  Who said: “We need people who can actually do things. We have too many bosses and too few workers”.

a) Andy Rooney

b) Donald Trump

c) Bernie Sanders

d) None of the above

3.  Who said: “Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter”.

a) Andy Rooney

b) Dick Cheney

c) Sarah Palin

d) 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 2015 Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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AnchorTell 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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AnchorWe 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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