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Appraisal for Officer of the Law

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Jungle Boy

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
Florida
I accepted a residential appraisal assignment (FHA).

As I'm inspecting the property, I learn that the borrower (a police officer) patrols the exact neighborhood I live in. He gives me both his cel and office number as I'm leaving his house, and tells me to call him with any problems we may have.

He also tells me where the number has to be for the loan to work for him, and asks me whether it's gonna make it. I tell him that it's too early to know that. He has a questioning look on his face. At this point, I'm thinking that this property may not appraise (the loan officer sent me an appraisal report of the property which was completed 2 months earlier) for his desired value.
I don't tell him a value opinion - I'm being very careful.

After driving by the comps (mostly the same closed sales as 2 months earlier in the other appraisal report), and also looking at the current listings (which indicate a lower value than the closed sales), I've come to the conclusion that the value may be/could be lower than the desired amount. But it's close enough that maybe, just maybe it'll make it.

You all know what I'm talking about - it's probably a few percent below, but close enough. However, I really don't know until I complete the report. I've been wrong about these things before, so I really don't know at this point - this is also the law, I cannot know until I've completed the work.

The loan officer (the client) has not made any indication as to the value needed (good loan officer!).

I think I should refuse this assignment at this point, give the check back to the officer, explain to the client that because I have a personal interest in this assignment (the borrower patrols the neighborhood my family resides in), I therefore have to bow out of it.
Also, I need to ask the client permission to explain the legal issues to the officer, and why I cannot continue - I don't want the officer to think I'm being a jerk, as my family depends on him.

I'm also willing to send the client, in order to maintain good relations with them, some of the new market data from the subject market area. Just to give them a heads-up.

What do you guys think about my strategy?

I've been sitting on this for a couple days now (thinking it over - no hasty decisions, etc), so any advice today would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Why do you have a personal interest..........are you afraid of the cops? This isn't Russia (or is it)
 

Jungle Boy

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
Florida
There's 2 sides to it - # 2 makes more sense though.

1) the "afraid" part

2) having received a check from an officer of the law (good guy), and wanting the best for him and his family, there is now a temptation (at least a perception of impropriety to a third party) for me to bring the value in (if it's close enough), even if it otherwise would be slightly below the desired amount.

Even if I legitimately appraise it, it could be assumed (later, if there are problems with non-payment, etc) that because I know the officer, I was doing him a favor.
 
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c w d

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
That's not a personal interest. A personal interest would you two are good friends and even that can be handled with a discussion with your client and a comment in the report. A personal interest would be you co-signed the loan to his house, or he's family or he works for you after hours bouncing for your club or or or....but patrols your neighborhood?

Now, if you're concerned he might coerce you or intimidate you or something bad might happen, that's a different story.

Rely on your legal requirements to confidentiality with your client. Inform the officer of the LAW what the law is in this circumstance and why you can't discuss it. If he continues to pressure you inform your client and that could be your out if you so chose. I would not let an officer of the law intimidate me that easily. Most officers are honest Joe's. But, they're accustomed to people going out of their way for them because they are officers of the law and people are inherently afraid of them. As long as you explain the situation everything should be ok. Then again, you never know. If he threatens you or insinuates a threat then I'd be concerned, decline the order and tell everyone to have a nice day. I seriously doubt that would happen. On the other hand, I've met officers that weren't exactly sane. I was almost arrested once because I accidentally bumped into an off duty officer in plain clothes and he went berzerko on me. So, yeah, I can understand your concern.
 
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Jungle Boy

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
Florida
Thanks for the advice guys!

I've taken steps, and everything is ok.

Thanks again.
 

moretti

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oregon
what did you decide on?
 

Alison Swain

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
On the other hand, I've met officers that weren't exactly sane. I was almost arrested once because I accidentally bumped into an off duty officer in plain clothes and he went berzerko on me. So, yeah, I can understand your concern.

My family has had the experience of having a cop investigate a break-in and then proceed to steal more than the teenage punk who did the initial B & E. Because the neighborhood had become increasingly "bad," my father didn't want my mom to pursue the complaint. He felt that if we rocked the boat, some night when we may have a break-in, the cops may not respond in a very timely manner.

And we used to be true believers in law enforcement. :shrug:

Sad.
 
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