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Is this legal? I don't think so...

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Kathy in FL

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Got a fax from some AMC I've never heard of in Michigan with a dartboard logo saying they need appraisers in my area. (Big surprise.) BUT...they've got this spiffy little chart that gives the rates they're willing to pay for each service...

The chart says something like, "You invoice us for $400" (URAR) "We'll pay you $280." "You invoice us for $500 (FHA)...fee paid to appraiser $350." Invoice us for $700 for a multi family and we'll pay you $490."

Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I do remember something about defrauding the homeowner (not to mention the lender) about the actual costs and fees involved in a loan. If I make out an invoice, it's damned well going to be for what I'm actually charging them...not for some mythical amount they're going to show the lender as their "cost."

I'd like to have some ammo to take back to them or to send to someone who regulates them...any help anyone?? Is this legal?

Kathy in FL
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Hi Kathy,

I received the same solicitation today. Some of their fees paid to the Appraiser aren't too bad. but there is NO WAY I'm going to send the invoice for something other than what I'm to be paid.

I would suggest that we all send this in to the Florida Dept. of Banking and Finance plus the State Attorney General plus HUD. That's what I'm going to do with it.

By the way gang, it's Dart again.

Other amusing items in this solicitation include:

1) "We are looking for quick, accurate appraisals."

I think they have that request confused because that combination costs more!

2) I noticed that the counties that they cover do not include the Jacksonville metropolitan area making the fee they are offering tooooo low for rural counties.

3) "Occasionally our Invoice amount might change: this allows us to adjust your fees accordingly."

Just what the he** does that mean????
 

Kathy in FL

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Pamela:

Just had another thought...may want to add the IRS to that list. If they have a bunch of inflated invoices...and a bunch of much lower, actual "fees"...which do you think they're going to try to use as their expense figures?

Also makes you wonder what they're gonna put on your 1099, doesn't it?

Kathy in FL
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I posted a question about them a few months back and did not get the first good word reguarding their business practice. They have lonnnnng history of being known as crooks. Since I learned how they operate, and got more stroies here, I don't even waist a breath talking to them.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I signed up with this outfit months ago and haven't got an order yet. By the way, what I invoice is what I expect to get paid. Their order sheet didn't have that scam bid on it at the time.
 

David Mullen

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
I would send this email to the HUD Inspector General and also to some news media. Tom Brokaw might like it for his "fleecing of America" segment.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
think this is part of the pass through for the AMC fee charged to the lender and the invoice from you is used on the closing docs.

Most AMC's I do work for make it plain that I am not to discuss fees with the lenders involved. What they pay me is between the AMC and me. What they charge the lender is between them and the lender.

I have no problem with the AMC charging more than my appraisal fee for their services. They have to keep convincing the lender that the fee is worth it.

What I do have a problem is faking an invoice. Boy would that mess up Quickbooks fast. And boy would I be in trouble with my office manager (wife) if I agreed to something like that. In a scenario like that you could conceivably pay taxes on what you billed or have to go through some sort of accounting gyrations to write-off the difference as a loss. With all of the accounting practices news these days, my answer would be "NO."
 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
Be careful out there.

I was watching the 10 o'clock news and there was a
story about the latest internet scam. This company
hires you to scout out office space for them, they
send you a check for $1100 and tell you to put it
in your bank account....which you as a good, new
employee do, and then they do a switch-eroo and
decide they need to get your bank account number
and withdraw it....and then they clean out your
bank account.

The DA working on the case said there are lots of
these internet scam artists out there and they just keep
thinking up clever new ways to taking advantage of
people.

When you think about it, we are way too trusting to new
clients...we give them resumes and business id numbers.

elliott
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
A good reason to have a checking account, and a money market account. Keep some money in checking to write checks, but transfer the excess over; as long as the routing number are not the same, they can't get to it.
 
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