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It happened again.....locked files?

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Mike Seward

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I posted a month ago about three major clients telling me that my firm was the only one that locked their PDF files.
Yesterday, I received a call from an UNDERWRITER with a MAJOR east coast bank. One of my appraiser's reports had a typo that needed corredting. She asked me to send the file unlocked so she could merge the page with the other report.
I said if I sent it unlocked, someone could make changes in the report. She said they would never do that because it would be illegal. I said "but you could". She said "we could, but we never would."
This makes four major lenders that tell me I am one of only a few firms that sends locked files.
Mike in Tampa
 

Francois K. Gregoire

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Mike,

The request made by the lender is interesting. It's also in direct contradiction to memo sent here by one of my best clients.

My client insists any electronically delivered appraisal be generated with Adobe Distiller software, password protection of the signature and data edit protection. Appraisal reports must be emailed directly to this client. Appraisal Reports emailed to a mortgage broker and forwarded to this client are not acceptable.

It's all moot with me. Being old fashioned, I continue to hand draw my signature and the improvement sketch. Every other part of the Appraisal Report will be cheerfully delivered electronically, but my signature will affixed by hand to a specific number of printed pages. Just my way of controlling the number of printed Appraisal Reports.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Mike, I find this recent U/W request you got very revealing....to the extent that they really did expose other underlying intentions. Imagine, a simple typo (assumedly only one word). I am certain that the reader had no problem understanding the word you typed....perhaps you did misspell the word or else made the very common dyslexic flip-flop of two letters in a word which we all do when typing fast. Like spelling "huose" instead of "house", and used in a sentence like "the overall condition of the huose was good and shows a favorable appeal in its market". My first reply might have been to ask what word and on what page......let me make that correction and I'll re-send that file.....or else ask the underwriter what meaning she derives when reading the sentence as it is now, with the "typo" error. I was a long hold-out on the electronic signature stuff as my software provider did not have the security element in place to allow one to change their password from the one you give the vendor at time of ordering the elect. sig. floppy ! When the software changed with a recent version and the security was improved I ordered it, and immediately changed the password before the first application in an active report. One can only imagine just what the techno-sleuths in the realm of software are doing to reverse and unlock and un-do the great "security" things we invest in. Remember when caller i.d. came out and we thought it was great to see what number or person's name was calling us at that moment ? Then the next trick was the *67 pre-fix that one could enter to block the display of one's number on the other end. So typical of a phone company stunt to allow it to be had both ways !-----Mike, you wrap up your posting with the "we could, but we never would" comment. That's the one that digs deep. That kind of potential is what sickens me and many other participants in the Forum, I am sure. Just how DOES the "could" part work ? ? ? That sort of reply by the U/W is a new version of "smoking gun" which puts a new stink upon the expected trust and accountability we would like to believe some of these clients possess. Wasn't there some famous quote line from a young boy who loved baseball as he learned about some scandal with players on his hometown team....."Say it ain't so" !
 

Steve Owen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
Ross, you bring up some really good points. Along with the security issues you have stated so well, there is also the safety in holding issue for electronic files. Computer files can easily become corrupted, or worse, lost through any number of crash sceanarios. Worse yet, at the rate the technology is changing, you may not be able to open the file you send today in five years. (Who do you know that can still read a file off of a five and a quarter inch floppy? Your CD backup of today may be very useful as a coaster five years from now.) Of course, paper files can also be lost to fire, flood, etc. And, paper files can also be changed by clever counterfit artists with copiers and whiteout. Nevertheless, I feel we may have jumped into the electronic age a little too fast and the jury is still out on all of the effects it will have for our industry.
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Steve;

You echo my wife's apprehensions about storing our child's photos on CD's; she worries that by the time he grows up, he won't be able to see the pictures.
 

Alan Simmons

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
She said that they do not make change to files. As I do not know the complete story I may have missed something, but if they do not make changes how did she know that the file was locked? If their policy is not to make changes then it should not have been an issue until after she contacted you. Seems to me that her solution was to make the change.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I do quite a few appraisals for one nation wide bank. Since I have learned how to lock my files in Adobe Acrobat, I have to send two files-the invoice in a separate file. The invoice stays in the AZ office, they send the appraisal report on to their CA office. Now an interesting comment came up when I made a typing mistake. Since the file was locked I had to resend the entire package. But if the file was not locked they could have accepted only the corrected pages because they only need to send part of the package to CA. That has had me wondering every since. The report is not complete without the entire package--so what are the minimum parts that CA wants??? I will be attempting to find out! Since this bank is one of the largest forces behind the AI data base I think the CA office does the "mining". Which I know they are going to do any way, whether I send the report written in crayon on a paper napkin or as a pdf file. But the locked entire file is my protection (I think) if a complaint is ever filed with the state board.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
How can you trust anybody that you do not know personally. Phone contact is not "knowing sombody personally"? How can you trust anybody?
I know experienced appraisers and business men/women who have been embezzled by their own kids, or brothers or sisters. Any company that wants you to send "unlocked" files can not be trusted. Who is to say that anybody who comes in contact with the report will not change it? If you have a typo, correct it and send them the entire file again "locked". If they can not accept this system from you, maybe they don't need your services too much. Trust is a good thing , but really, who can you trust in this world?
 
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