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Getting Sued

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Anonymous

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I have often speculated that if you are sued, it will not be that appraisal that you dreaded, not the one you expect...

You will be sued for an appraisal that is clear out in the blue, one you long since forgot. Too right was I.

I am being sued along with a bank and a Poultry company under federal Racketeering charges after the Bank repossessed the property from an inept poultry producer.

Now for the punch line.....The reports were done in 1996. A father and son are suing after the son lost his farm and the father who had put up his as collateral. Both farms had fell apart in every way. In a 5 year old house the carpets had to be removed and destroyed. The house stank of urine, human urine. They did not dispose of dead birds or litter properly. Junk piles lay around the property in several locations. I cannot dare say what the nature of some items were in that junk, but I bet you could guess.

Now for the next punch line. I did not even appraise the fathers property while he owned it. I had appraised it months before for the previous owner who had it up for sale.

Now for punch line three. I appraised the other tract AFTER the property closed in a sale yet am accused of appraising the properties for the amount of the mortgage..information I doubt I even had. They argue my appraisal inticed them to purchase the property [precognition I suppose, as it closed weeks before I wrote the report.] The first tract sold for more than I appraised it for 6 mo. earlier.

Are you really sure you want to through away those reports after 5 years? Add it up. 6 years after the appraisal, 7 for an appraisal that was not even theirs.

Don't think it cannot happen to you. This will be a pain in the butt with their poor pitiful me act. Everyone is sympathetic to some dispossessed farmer. Actually neither one had raised chickens before and both had purchased the properties in 1996-97.

This will take months, years perhaps to play out. And I bet it is not going to be cheap.

Terrel
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Just based on what you said, sounds like a frivolous lawsuit if there ever was one. Oh wait there's been lots more than 1.

This will take months, years perhaps to play out. And I bet it is not going to be cheap.
Unfortunately you are probably right. :x
:oops: of a legal system. :evil:

got E&O? :?: Hope so. 8O
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Being named in a suit initially is not the same as being a continuing party.

Sounds like your suit will be complex and the lawyers will have to sort it out among themselves. The court won't hear it until the motions are straightened out.

This is assuming that you were always the disinterested party for the party with the money to lend.

We'll line up on your side -- behind you, of course!
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Ter,

You're right it won't be cheap. The system is really whacky and nobody is responsible for their stupidity. I'm sure you know that.

Case in point. My son's Yamaha quad was stolen from my backyard. It ends up in inner city Camden. Now what is the probability that the kid riding it would hit a tree in the inner city. Not great, huh. But he did and I get a call on Memorial Day saying they have my quad and a kid was killed on it. Now the best part, the City holds the quad in impound to complete their investigation-they want to figure out how fast the kid was going on my stolen quad-like are you planning on giving him a ticket or something??? Next I get a certified letter in the mail today. You can claim your quad, we're all done with it. Please call Nick's towing for the impound charges. What???? Impound charges. Yep $392 as of Friday. Seems I have to pay while Camden plays. Couldn't get a truck to get it today so add another $75 on to get it Monday.

And this is only a quad... you're right. It won't be cheap.

Ben
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Terr, This is a sad thing to have to confront and truly portrays how vulnerable we all can be to mega-hassles created by the total ineptness of other desparate individuals. You offer the suggestive remark in a sentence later in your post about "...not throwing away files after 5 years" and surely hope that is not your own personal regret here ! I should think the timing of events you have shared may assist your legal representative in exposing the ridiculous efforts the other side is launching. May the force be with you.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Someone mentioned O & A. That does not pay legal fees usually, just a judgment. Gen. Liability only pays for physical damages. Pre-paid legal would be the best bet from the appraiser's POV. Its like a legal HMO, they will pay legal bills to participating lawyer up to the policy limits regardless whether you win or not.

I have all reports from the past 10 years in my files. Nevertheless, it is difficult to recall many events and sequences. I got the tax cards down (since they were sales I had previously used them) to compare dates.

The banker thinks this is not going to fly. The RICO charges are grasping as straws in their mind. They are chomping at the bit to have another go at the guy over a truck he has hid that they want to repo. Nevertheless I do not want to trust my fate with the client.

I am not saying this applies to this case but...
If you are going to chicken farm you better get up with the chickens, do what the field man says even if you do think he is a bonehead; and, keep the equipment running. Nothing is going to lose you more money in this business than letting the electric go out on a hot day, running out of feed for hours, or having no back up water source. Not to mention keeping the dead birds picked up, managing your litter, etc.

There are several lawsuits over integrator contracts on-going. I can sympathize that most growers are not making a good living, and the business is not nearly as profitable as it once was. But this is not a case of a good grower getting a bum deal from the company. You have got to want to be a farmer and accept the fact you cannot get up at 10 work a couple of hours and watch the soaps all afternoon and still make a living. At best the rate of return on such property is very low, less than almost any businessman would accept for a commercial property. But we have people standing in line to buy chicken houses if they can only get the financing. One local bank (not the one being sued) closed three farms today I was told when I saw a pack of people in the closing room.

A new group is coming in from Minnasota - Laotion background. I will bet yer bonnet that like most minority or ethnic groups, these folks will work very hard, do a good job, and make a living on farms others have gave up on. A few years ago it was Mennonite families. Same work ethic, same results. I don't know a one of them that has ever been repo'd.

ter
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Terrel

will never go to another lawsuit happening without file-ing a counter suit; that said, you know your facts, get your self a good lawyer (very important) - if it's going to cost you money anyway, it should be favorable to you. The lawyer you hire must be fluid, provide their experience & results (court tested), and be reasonable in cost (some up the anty just because of the situation)- your a smart guy do what you do best; research & development.

Good Luck

8)
 

LavellB

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Mississippi
Terrel, call your E&O and discuss it with them. Get your own lawyer for a second opinion if you have a low policy. You may even be outside the statute of limitations. I carry a very high policy even though I'm married to a Real Estate attorney. You would be surpirsed to known how many calls a week she gets from buyers, sellers, and investors looking to sue Real Estate Brokers, morgage people, banks, and appraisers.

I anticipate that when the Real Estate market cools off, just like the stock market, a lot of people will be looking for some-one to blame for there stupid investments.

I think that if one approaches every appraisal as if he or she will have to defend it in court, the quality issues will take care of themselves.

The ideal solution is to forget it and let the legal professionals do there thing. Unfortunately, I obsess, so use the time to prepare for the worst case. While you are at it, ask your lawyer how to make your business judgement proof. Good luck.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Terr, Guessing that this recent situation is still quite low-key and not really public knowledge. I understand from a good friend here in CO, soon to hitch up his boat and go visit relatives on a lake in AR for two weeks, that the water table levels in your state are very high at this time. These folks with the poorly-run chicken farm may realize they have bigger issues to resolve were the local Board of Health, the respective county and state agencies, and perhaps even the E.P.A. wanting to go have a little look-see at the influences which will impact the water table around there. As we know, water moves down hill. Where there is no hill we have gravity, porosity and permeability always in play. Hydrology to the rescue. (hint )
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Ter --

Somebody above said your E&O won't pay for attorneys. I never heard of such a thing. That's the most important reason for having E&O. The attorneys fees are the expensive end of a suit -- unless the defendant is culpable.

The RICO part is what concerns me. DOJ has to sign off on the suit to obtain a RICO indictment. That would usually indicate there's organized criminal activity (you don't have to be a member of the Bonnano family). BUT that doesn't have to mean the appraiser is in trouble himself. Could just mean you were an observer, which of course you are in the least. And you'll make a good witness. Maybe even a more cooperate witness under the circumstances.

The Appraiser is named because a bank is involved and you can reasonabily readily be considered an extension of the bank. In the process of sorting it all out, you could even get severed.

The latter is not funny -- I don't mean "as in" chopped up! Try to smile.

Good luck.
 
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