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Old 01-24-2008, 02:55 PM
Lawrence R.'s Avatar
Lawrence R. Lawrence R. is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winchestertonfieldville
State: South Carolina
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 3,571
Default Senator Martin Introduces Appraiser Independence Bill

Please support this any way you can. Contact your state Senator and encourage them to pass this legislation.


SENATOR LARRY MARTIN INTRODUCES APPRAISER INDEPENDENCE BILL

January 23, 2008 - SCPAC is proud to announce Senator Larry A. Martin has introduced S.1018 - The Appraiser Independence Bill this afternoon. “This legislation is designed to strengthen the integrity of the real estate appraisal profession,” according to Senator Larry Martin. “The appraisal is a very important part of the real estate and lending industries in our state. It deserves our best effort to ensure that we maintain the highest ethical standards so that consumers are protected,” said Martin. A copy of the bill can be reviewed below.

South Carolina Professional Appraisers Coalition President Ed Carter added, “We are proud to be working with Senator Martin on this important initiative. There are already State and Federal statutes in place to punish appraisers when they succumb to coercion, engage in fraud or lack the competence to complete an assignment. The appraisal profession is heavily regulated to ensure appraisers provide reliable services for their clients. However, there is no accountability for clients who seek to coerce apprasiers into unethical practice. This legislation is long overdue. SCPAC members are committed to the elimination of coercion from the profession.”

“Appraisers are frequently subjected to undue pressure from clients to inflate value estimates. Left unchecked, this unethical practice results in disastrous economic consequences for lenders, investors, consumers and the community. The appraisal is the foundation upon which every party to a real estate transaction calculates the risk and value of their investment. Everyone benefits when appraisers can provide unbiased evaluations. Everyone suffers when they can not. Protecting appraisers from coercion also protects consumers,” said Deborah Tripp, SCPAC Vice President.

The legislation applies to any party to a real estate transaction in South Carolina. Violators will be subject to penalties under the Unfair Trade Practices Act. The bill also includes stiff penalties for civil action by an individual and automatic reimbursement of attorney’s fees and court costs.

When asked about opposition, Carter added, “Why would anyone oppose a bill that protects consumers from fraud? Only a group who benefits from coercing appraisers is likely to oppose this bill.”

To learn more about SCPAC, please visit our website at www.scpac.net.

S. 1018 - APPRAISERS INDEPENDENCE BILL


TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 39‑5‑43 SO AS TO MAKE IT AN UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE FOR A PERSON WITH AN INTEREST IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION INVOLVING AN APPRAISAL TO COMMIT ANY ACT THAT IMPAIRS THE INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT OF THE APPRAISER IN CARRYING OUT THE APPRAISAL ASSIGNMENT, TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR A CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION INCLUDING THE AWARD AND ATTORNEY’S FEES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR REVOCATION OF PROFESSIONAL LICENSES OF OFFENDERS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 5, Title 39 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 39‑5‑43. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) ‘A person with an interest in a real estate transaction or the financing of a loan secured by real estate’ means, without limitation, a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, or mortgage originator; real estate broker, real estate agent, or real estate salesperson; attorney; client; appraiser; landowner; or any other person who is a party to or has a pecuniary interest in the transaction or financing.
(2) ‘Blacklisting’ means placing on a list of persons to be barred from employment.
(3) ‘Boycott’ means preventing dealings with a person as a means of coercion or intimidation.
(4) ‘Bribery’ means offering something of value to gain an illicit advantage.
(5) ‘Coercion’ means using force or intimidation to obtain compliance.
(6) ‘Comp checking’ or ‘preliminary appraisal’ means a value indication by an appraiser of a property before completing the work required to render a reliable value conclusion.
(7) ‘Extortion’ means extracting unjustly by misuse of authority.
(8) ‘Intimidation’ means forcing or deterring some action by inducing fear.
(9) ‘Threat’ means declaring intent to inflict some injury in retaliation for some act.
(B) It is an unlawful trade practice, pursuant to Section 39‑5‑20, for a person with an interest in a real estate transaction or the financing of a loan secured by real estate, which real estate is located in this State and which transaction or loan involves an appraisal assignment, to commit an act of blacklisting, boycott, bribery, coercion, extortion, intimidation, threat, or another act tending to result in the improper influence and impaired independent judgment of a real estate appraiser in the development, reporting, review, or result of his appraisal assignment including comp checking. These unlawful acts include, but are not limited to:
(1) withholding or reducing, or threatened withholding or reduction, of a payment of the appraisal fee based on the opinion, conclusion, or valuation of the appraisal report including comp checking;
(2) conditioning payment of the appraisal fee on the outcome of the opinion, conclusion, or valuation of the appraisal report including comp checking; or
(3) requesting that the appraisal report including comp checking result in a predetermined opinion, conclusion, or valuation.
(C) This section does not prohibit a person from requesting that the appraiser:
(1) consider additional appropriate real estate information;
(2) provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the opinion, conclusion, or valuation; or
(3) correct errors in the appraisal report.
(D)(1) Each real estate property transaction or loan subject to a violation of this section is a separate offense.
(2) The remedies provided in this article are cumulative and are in addition to other remedies at law and equity.
(3) A person who is injured by a violation of this section has a right in action, other than a class action, to recover from the party charged with the violation actual damages and also a penalty in an amount determined by a court of competent jurisdiction of not less than one thousand five hundred dollars and not more than seven thousand five hundred dollars for each offense. A person may not bring a class action for a violation of this section. A person may not bring an action for a violation of this section more than six years after the violation occurred. This section does not bar a borrower from asserting a violation of this section in an action to collect a debt which was brought more than six years from the date of the occurrence of the violation as a matter of defense by recoupment or set‑off in the action.
(4) In an action in which it is found that a party charged with a violation has violated this section, the court shall award to the plaintiff the costs of the action and to his attorneys their reasonable fees. In determining attorney’s fees, the amount of the recovery on behalf of the debtor is not controlling.
(E) In addition to other penalties, if it is found by a court of competent jurisdiction that a person charged with a violation has violated this section, the court shall give written notice to the appropriate professional licensing agency of that person, if any, and the professional license of a third and subsequent offender must be revoked. The names of those persons whose licenses are revoked pursuant to this item must be accessible by the public.”

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor
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Last edited by Lawrence R. : 01-24-2008 at 03:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2008, 01:36 PM
Debij310 Debij310 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
State: South Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 72
Default

Larry -

Who will be enforcing these new laws? Will it be the compliance officer who is currently monitoring the number of trainees each person has, monitoring education requirements and investigating complaints for south carolinas 3000+ licensed appraisers? Seems like a pretty big job for one person. I think this bill won't even put a dent in the problem because no one will enforce it.

dj
  #3  
Old 02-12-2008, 01:48 PM
Lawrence R.'s Avatar
Lawrence R. Lawrence R. is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winchestertonfieldville
State: South Carolina
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 3,571
Default

Welcome to the Forum!! This is the first time I have seen you post, I think.

My guess would be the Dept of commerce, or some Banking Dept. Not our illustrious board. They are way to busy to deal with that.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2008, 01:54 PM
Debij310 Debij310 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
State: South Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 72
Default

I love the people at our board office, but how realistic is it that one person can monitor 3000+ appraisers?
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