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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If you are a real estate professional, please read this, especially if you fear your own business is being damaged by all of the new regulations designed to “help” the real estate industry recover.

Imagine you, a hardworking, law abiding taxpayer, are sitting at home one evening watching television when there is a knock at your door. Somewhat surprised by the late hour of the visit, you get up and open the door and three IRS agents barge into your home and declare, “We are from the IRS and we are here to help.” I think it’s safe to say you would be both...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Here on the FREA blog, we recently ran a two-part series on blacklisting that brought to light the serious and long-term ramifications of being placed on a “do not use” list by big banks and AMCs. In response to Part 1 of the series, we received an email from a FREA member who expressed his concerns with the changes and trends taking shape in the appraisal industry. With permission, we’ve reprinted his exclusive letter to the editor, in which he further explains the underlying issue of being denied access to client communications, relates the struggles of today’s appraisers, and suggests a call to action...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

This article will provide an overview of what to expect when the unthinkable happens and you have been sued. Each specific lawsuit is different, but this will provide general parameters of what you can expect and what your obligations are.

                              

Don’t Ignore the Summons

In order to initiate the lawsuit, the plaintiff will serve you with a Summons and Complaint. The Summons alerts you to the fact that you have been sued and the Complaint contains the allegations against you and any other parties named...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In September of 2013, Joe Appraiser (not his real name) was notified by one of the big banks that he had been placed on ineligible status due to an incorrect review. Immediately, Joe contacted the bank regarding his placement on the “do not use” list believing this was all a simple mistake. In hopes of reversing his eligibility status, Joe submitted a detailed rebuttal where he provided a line-by-line response to each alleged deficiency in his appraisal report.                                                   

In part 1 of our series on blacklisting, we talked about the process Joe Appraiser went through to be reinstated using his FREA Professional membership...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When a lending institution loses confidence in an appraiser’s work, the bank or AMC will put them on a “do not use” list, also known as a blacklist.

In some cases, this means an appraiser has made a costly mistake. However, some banks are taking blacklisting to an extreme by treating appraisers as guilty until proven innocent without cause or reason why.

If unchallenged, this practice can be devastating because being blacklisted even once can have permanent detrimental effects on an appraiser's career, income, and reputation.

By engaging in blacklisting lenders are trying to insulate themselves...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Recently it has come to our attention a firm called Savant Claims Management from Plano, Texas is mailing letters to appraisers alleging damages from old (2007 and older) residential appraisals. The claim letter is being sent on behalf of an alleged investor called First Mutual Group, LP which claims to be the successor in interest to one or more failed lenders. The letter is not signed by anyone and gives no contact name whatsoever.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

We recently spoke to an adjuster for a homeowner’s insurance company that is asserting a subrogation claim against the inspector's E&O policy. In our opinion the adjuster is trying to squeeze some money out of the inspector’s E&O carrier because the  insurance company the adjuster works for had to pay a claim made by the homeowner.  What makes this claim so crazy is that the inspection report in question wasn’t even written for the homeowner that reported the claim. The inspection was for an entirely different potential buyer who elected not to move forward and walked away from the deal.

Subsequently, another potential buyer appeared and was...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In helping real estate professionals find the right professional liability (E&O) insurance policy, one of the most common issues we come across is whether someone you hire to help with your intermittent workload is an employee, a subcontractor, or an independent contractor.

The IRS perspective vs. the insurance perspective

This is often confusing because what you intended to do may not be what you actually end up doing. There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the fact the IRS will view this question in a different way than the insurance industry will. So, even if you get solid tax advice about which...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When we were younger we were all taught to look for who, what, when, where, why, and how in everything we read. By being able to answer these six questions, we were told we would better understand what we read and then be able to explain it to someone else. Today, the same is true and especially so if you are a home inspector or an appraiser. Your report needs to provide simple, clear, and direct information to your client so the client can answer all of these questions once they finish reading your report. If they cannot, you have what is called a failure to communicate....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Does this sound familiar? If so, I hope it’s because you watch a lot of shows like Law & Oder on television and not for any other reason. If this doesn’t sound familiar, it is one part of the Miranda warning police must give to criminal suspects before questioning them. How does that apply to you? Well, it can have equally negative consequences in a civil case (insurance claim) also. 
 
To see if you need to read any further, take this short quiz. If you answer “yes” to any one of these questions, you’d better read it all. 
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