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June 3, 2003 Freab Meeting

Discussion in 'Florida' started by Francois K. Gregoire, May 18, 2003.

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  1. Francois K. Gregoire

    Francois K. Gregoire Senior Member

    0
    Jan 14, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Hi All,

    Just a reminder - the next meeting or the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board will be June 3, 2003. If all goes well, and the Governor signs CS 2238 into law, there will be some discussion of the new Florida Appraisal Certification Law. In addition, the recent meetings of the Appraiser Qualfications Board, the State Regulator Advisory Board and the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials will be reviewed.

    There are a number of interesting cases. The one I'm in the middle of reviewing now is actually seven or eight complaints against one appraiser. Many, many, many interesting allegations against this certified residential fella with several registered assistants. He has asked for an informal hearing. It should be worth watching.
     
  2. Judy Whitehead (Florida)

    Judy Whitehead (Florida) Senior Member

    0
    Jan 20, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I really, really hate it that my Water Board activities always fall on the same days as the FREAB meetings. Glad to have you all keep us updated, however.
     
  3. Wally Jones

    Wally Jones Senior Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Okay, keep in mind that, being a typical male animal, I'm not going to, like, make a commitment, or anything, but............I plan on being at the meeting on Tuesday. Is it still at 404 W. Robinson at 8:30?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Francois K. Gregoire

    Francois K. Gregoire Senior Member

    0
    Jan 14, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Wally,

    Meetings are at

    400 West Robinson Street
    Orlando, FL

    FREAB now meets in room N902. Ninth Floor, North Building.

    Frank
     
  5. Wally Jones

    Wally Jones Senior Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Thank you, Frank. I look forward to meeting you.

    Wally
     
  6. Pamela Crowley (Florida)

    Pamela Crowley (Florida) Elite Member

    5
    Jan 13, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Breaking free and I'm on my way to Orlando!!! Yippee!!!!!!

    See you there!
     
  7. Wally Jones

    Wally Jones Senior Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    This was my first appraisal board meeting.

    I take horrible notes so I don't have a lot of details to report. My main observation is that I hope to never have the opportunity to sit in the "hot seat" in front of the board! There were several interesting cases heard during the day. Everything from USPAP violations, burglary, a drug addict, a sweat shop guy and it even turned risque with lewd and lascivious conduct (no, not the board members)!

    With the cases involving infractions of appraising, I noted two recurring themes: poor training/supervision and sloppy work (which is directly related to the first theme). Most of the defendants problems seemed to stem from trainees doing inadequate data research, poor technical property inspections and then simply "form filling" instead of applying any analyses to their work. The problems were then compounded by their "supervisors" simply giving the reports a cursory review (maybe ran a spellchecker?), signing them and sending them to unsuspecting clients. As Frank very eloquently pointed out to one respondent, many certified residential appraisers take on trainees not fully realizing what it really means to be a supervisor. It means training them adequately to do the job, actually going with them on every inspection to ensure they learn what to do, instructing them in how to craft a proper report after considering all the data and taking responsibility for all of the above.

    One case involved a convicted felon and the board had the unenviable task of figuring out what to do with him. His only appraisal related offense was in not notifying the board that he had been convicted of a felony, although, even this had some extenuating circumstances. Apparently, the fellow has done a credible job as an appraiser, despite a long history of substance abuse and, more recently, some burglary and theft work. The main concern of the board was for public safety in allowing a convicted burglar to retain a license that would give him access to homes. This one was complicated.

    Another case concerned a report done by a registered assistant which contained several errors, the most serious of which was identifying the subject zoning as residential instead of commercial. The subject was apparently not in the greatest of shape and the report mentioned several repair items. The report was signed by the appraiser's supervisor and forwarded to an apparent management company where a state certified appraiser reviewed it and faxed back instructions to change the wording of the subject's description to "soften" the effect of what repairs were needed. Unfortunately, the report was changed, thus creating a misleading idea of the subject's condition. All three appraisers, the assistant, his supervisor and the "reviewer" received fines and continuing education.

    The worst of the lot was a state certified appraiser with four or five registered assistants who for about a year cranked out a couple of hundred reports a month. I think there were close to 90 counts against this guy of which he agreed to plead guilty to 17. To me, as I listened to the charges and heard his testimony, two things seemed apparent. First, I don't think he had a very good grasp of the fundamentals of appraising. Second, I felt his main motivation in having an appraisal business and hiring trainees was to make as much money in as short a time as possible. Eleven of his firm's reports were reviewed by investigators, each with so many problems that it took the board's prosecuting attorney the better part of an hour just to read the charges. The common practice in his office seemed to be that anyone could sign anyone's report. The work files were either incomplete or didn't exist. The reports themselves were all textbook examples of how NOT to complete an appraisal report. He has since moved his appraising business to Tennessee and is apparently also licensed in Georgia. As of yesterday, he will never be licensed again in Florida.

    It was an interesting and educational day. I plan to make these meetings part of my schedule. It helped confirm that I'm doing things correctly and made me think twice about some of my practices.

    Best of all, I got to meet fellow Forum members Dan, Pam and Frank!
     
  8. Dale Smalley

    Dale Smalley Senior Member

    53
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Great Job Wally

    This is what we really need to know. The states newsletter never really makes any sense what actually went on.

    Thanks

    Sounds like a good witch hunt :twisted: How many licenses were burned at the stake? :eek:nfire:
     
  9. Wally Jones

    Wally Jones Senior Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Dale,

    I'll try to take better notes next time so I can give better details. I'm like you, the newsletter only tells us what statute was violated but it would really be helpful to hear a description of exactly what was done.

    Only one license was revoked and, in my little opinion, rightfully so.

    Since this was my first meeting, I didn't know quite what to expect concerning the attitude of the board towards violators. I've heard rumors that they do nothing except slap wrists and that if you're a "good ole boy" you have no worries. I've also heard that they make the Spanish Inquisition look like a picnic.

    What I found (again, my opinion) was a group of seven individuals who take their job as board members very seriously. At no time did I feel they were engaged in a witch hunt or were out to "get" somebody. Each case was considered on its own merit and the discussion seemed to present a very balanced concern for the consumers of Florida, the appraiser who had a problem and the appraisal profession. A lot of care seemed to be taken to ensure the penalties imposed were appropriate to the offense. I was very impressed with the board's performance.
     
  10. Pamela Crowley (Florida)

    Pamela Crowley (Florida) Elite Member

    5
    Jan 13, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    From all the FREAB meetings I've attended over the past 3 years, I've never seen a witch hunt mentality (unless it was mine :p with a couple specific ones I have personal knowledge of in my area!).

    I'm impressed with 2 of our new board members that are trying very hard to clean up without going overboard. The 2 other new members are on a 'wait and see' basis right now.

    What I have learned from being there so often is patience and to listen to all sides - which is exactly what our board members do. The legal staff puts out the facts and will state how a respondend interacted with them with suggestions for leniency or otherwise, including any mitigating circumstances. Registered trainees are disciplined, but not as much as their supervisors! We do have a great board that very judiciously considers all facts and circumstances and come to realistic determinations. Sometimes I would like to see higher fines, etc, but the board doesn't take discipline or taking away an appraiser's license and livlihood lightly, and that is good.

    For those that pay attention, attending a FREAB meeting will take away any fears of being the victim of a 'witch hunt' and let you know how important paying attention to details really is. Well worth attending!!!!! 5 CE credits, too. I have never regretted attending and will continue to be there.
     
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