The anxiety of working with the new crop of appraiser management companies (AMCs) springing up since HVCC, expressed here by a long-timer reader, underscores why so many states have passed or are considering legislation to regulate AMCs. Appraisers need to know who they are dealing with and so does the public.
“One AMC I am dealing with sent my last check two months ago. I didn’t think that much of it and continued to work their assignments but now they owe me over $7,500 and they are not responding to my phone calls or emails,” said appraiser Mike Read in Oregon. “It seems to me that these unregulated AMCs should be required to keep appraiser fees in a trust account and not be able to use them in their general fund for business operations. I have a feeling that my fees are being used to float the AMCs during periods of low business activity. I fear that many AMCs are turning out to be scams.”
Read is not alone. To the OREP/Working RE HVCC Appraiser Talkback Survey question: “Do you have trouble getting paid by the AMCs you work with?” Appraisers answer: always 5%; often 12%; sometimes 45%; never 38%. (Over 3,700 appraisers have participated in the survey as of this writing. For more, see HVCC Survey Results: Appraisers Still Feel Pressure)
Many appraisers also express frustration at dealing with personnel at AMCs who are not appraisers. “There is a great deal of difficulty and confusion dealing with reviews and reviewers when working through an AMC, especially when the AMC has a non-appraiser staff acting as ‘middlemen.’ It makes the review process unnecessarily drawn out and difficult. Some AMCs have their own reviewer who may pass your reviewed report to the lender. Then they get it back from the lender and restart the review process for a second time,” Read said.
To the survey question: “Are the personnel at the AMCs you work with knowledgeable and competent?” Always 2%; Often: 14%; Sometimes: 60%; Never: 24%.