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Declining an assignment

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Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
North Dakota
Last year was a rather dull year at the ranch, but a profitable one. The New Year’s Eve Party I attended was the highlight of the year as far as mortgage broker instances go..............at the party I spoke with a mortgage broker and a lawyer/developer who are friends of friends.......when they heard
the word appraiser they zeroed in on me......they were transformed from what I initially thought were nice guys to predators.....they crawled over to me like cobras after a rodent......the attorney/developer was bad enough, but when I looked into the eyes of that mortgage broker it
like was peering into the gates of hell.......there was no soul behind those eyes, only thoughts of straight commission..........mortgage boy let me know they had just optioned some land were looking for a new appraiser to “work with”. I asked them who they had been “working with”
before......He mumbled something about some jerk who was making a career move. I knew damned good and well who he was referring to. He’s a rain maker from one town over who recently became a celebrity of sorts for misbehavior in the brokerage and development end of the
RE business......he won’t be selling or appraising for awhile......in fact his next home might be inside a large dwelling.....ie. the “big house”......anyway, back to the story......now if this sounds
like an episode of the Sopranos, that’s all I could think about while standing there........within a few short seconds images of “Vic the appraiser” flashed through my mind......I could feel those
blows to the head and can attest to the fact that a Sony walkman does not lesson the pain........somehow I don’t’ think a federal judge would be impressed by “I’m just the appraiser.”........ back again to mortgage boy......I politely, but firmly told him that I didn’t do much new mortgage work and said something about not being experienced enough to do high
volume work for new construction..(1,200 SF) :).....Does inexperience in the commission of fraud qualify me as being incompetent for the assignment this guy was soliciting? Is that hiding behind USPAP? Apparently he bought it.....after that I might as well have been a life insurance salesman......I breathed a long sigh of relief when both they slithered away.
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser

Thanks Bobby! Most do find it hard to believe that every appraiser isn't ready to kiss their butts for their biz.

Dave Doering

Sophomore Member
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
Congratulations Bobby.

I think one of the most gratifying and rewarding moments in an appraiser's career is when they reach the point that they will no longer agonize over losing a client in lieu of being a party to fraud. First, it indicates that the appraiser is enough of a professional and has a sufficiently thorough understanding of the laws, regulations and standards to recognize the potential for unlawful or unethical opportunities. Second, being able to walk away from such "bottom feeding predators", despite the short-term opportunity for personal financial benefit, is a measure of a true professional that is unwilling to compromise their integrity for the benefit of a business relationship.

If your market is like mine, I am sure that these people will find their new "rain maker". I my conversations with appraisers accross my state and in other parts of the country I have come to the conclusion that if you asked any group of appraisers to write down of a piece of paper the name or names of the appraiser(s) that they have knowledge or proof of fraudulent or unethical practice that the same names would show up time and time again. And yet, these people continue to practice as golden appraisers of the predatory lenders without any noticeable deterence from the appraisal regulators. In my state, only five appraisers (of approximately 2000 licensees) have had their appraisal license revoked since the inception of licensure. Either we Missourians are an extraordinarily ethical group of appraisers or the focus of regulation has been lost.

My hope is that the day will come when the appraisal regulators will become more adept at removing the unethical appraisers (that likely exist in all areas) and concentrate less on whether an appraiser's seal is the right diameter or if their appraisal log has all of the right columns of information on it.

Mike Simpson

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2002
Over the last three years or so I would typically turn more work away on a given day than I'd accept. I advertised feaverishly in the beginning and as a result haven't had to do so in nearly 4 years. More recently--last year or so--I'd say I turn away about 1/4-1/3 of the orders I eventually accept. I do just enough to remain on the approved lists.

Over the last two years I've worked to move away from Mortgage based appraising, and in a different direction. I now work fewer hours, make more money, and have considerably less stress than before. I still work w/a few L.O.'s, but I'm very picky. Whenever the opportunity arises I let them know, the only reason I choose to work for them is; they're the only L.O.'s who listen when I tell them value isn't there, or there are conditions that need to be dealt with.

I also like to work with L.O.'s who stick strictly to refi's--not wanting to be involved with the Realtors.


Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
And I find the worst fraud in the "refi" business....go figure?
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