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Mari Report

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John A Williams

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I am interested to know if anyone on this forum has paid for a MARI Report. Are they worth the money? What informtion is on the report? Are blacklists discussed?

Thanks For any information,
John
 

panappr

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I am interested to know if anyone on this forum has paid for a MARI Report. Are they worth the money? What informtion is on the report? Are blacklists discussed?

Thanks For any information,
John
I think they are the black list (a secret society ouuuuooooh). Search some threads, look at their clients. If your on their list I would think you are out of business. I don't know how they are able to publish this information legally, they must have law suits up the Kazoooooooooo.
 

timd354

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
In order to access your report, MARI will make you sign a waiver of any and all liability they may have for any false information about you that they may have in ther files. Cute, eh? If you have someone who works at a bank, perhaps you can get them to pull your file for you although most banks won't give you the report because MARI makes them sign a statement saying that they won't distribute a copy of the report to anyone else.

Yep. MARI is a real beauty.
 

c w d

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Just because a company says they're not liable and makes you sign an agreement before ever being able to determine if they're liable does not insulate them from liability.
 

timd354

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Just because a company says they're not liable and makes you sign an agreement before ever being able to determine if they're liable does not insulate them from liability.

Is that so? In that case, how about citing some case law where the waiver of liability that MARI makes one sign as condition to accessing one's file has not been enforced by the court. MARI is not stupid, they are a Virginia company and in part of the agreement that they make you sign you agree that Virginia law governs the agreement. I am sure that one of the reasons that MARI chose Virginia as a place of business is that, under Virginia, its contractual provisions, including liability waivers, etc. will be enforced by the courts.

But, hey, you are probably smarter than all of the suits at MARI, so go ahead and sign that waiver.
 

Ken B

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
The courts will not enforce a contract which places one party at a severe disadvantage. I don't think anyone said MARI had been involved in a suit regarding the waiver of liability.
 

timd354

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
The courts will not enforce a contract which places one party at a severe disadvantage. I don't think anyone said MARI had been involved in a suit regarding the waiver of liability.

Is that so and what exactly is the disadvantage? MARI has a product which you may or may not choose to access and use. It is not a product that we need in our everyday life or even a product that is necessary for us to be an appraiser. So we can choose to either agree to MARI's terms and buy the product or not but it. There is no coercion or unfair advantage here....besides, without a definitive court ruling on the matter, how do you know what the courts in Virginia will or will not enforce? Do you think that Virginia is rated by many as a business friendly state because the courts in Virginia do not enforce contracts? Puhleeze. If there is a case where the waiver was thrown out by the courts, I would sure like to know about it.

All is not lost, however, you likely would have a legal cause of action against whatever entity filed false and defamatory information in MARI database (the mortgage company that blacklisted you etc.)
 

timd354

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
The courts will not enforce a contract which places one party at a severe disadvantage. I don't think anyone said MARI had been involved in a suit regarding the waiver of liability.

Hey Mr. Brown, you should test your theory about courts enforcing contracts where one party is at a severe disadvantage in the following manner:

1. Sign up for RELS or LSI and accept some appraisal assignments at their wonderful fees of $175 or whatever they pay these days.
2. Complete the appraisals and bill them $400 or whatever your standard fee is.
3. When they refuse to pay, sue them and argue to the court that you were at a "severe disadvantage" when contracting to do the said appraisal reports, and, thus, you are entitled to a higher fee than you contracted for.

Do you want to make any bets on how the lawsuit will turn out?
 

c w d

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Timd, I can't site a case where MARI has been sued. But, I would be willing to bet that with a decent lawyer you could challenge successfully the MARI liability waiver.

There is a conceptual problem with the waiver: discovery. How does one discover that they are reported on MARI in a manner that is damaging their ability to conduct business? There are two methods. One is getting a copy of one's report through a second party. The other is to sign up for their service and waiving one's rights to sue them. There are no reasonable expectations that another entity is going to release a copy of the report and thereby opening themselves to breach of contract/confidentiality suits. So, one is left with signing the waiver and obtaining the report. If one can prove that the report is erroneous and attempts to work from within the system that MARI may or may not have in place to correct such data fail then there is only one recourse of action to take. Sue MARI. But, one waived their rights and according to you, Timd, one is screwed. This is where I disagree. An entity cannot damage one's reputation based on factually inaccurate information and then require one to hold said entity harmless. The accuracy with which MARI based its report would have to be proven inaccurate in a court of law inorder to challenge MARI's hold harmless clause. One would most likely have to prove that MARI's procedures for verifying such information is not sufficient. And if the typical industry blacklists are any indication then that would not be to hard to prove. A good lawyer could parade example after example of erroneously blacklisted appraisers, especially those that were blacklisted for not making value. I think there are several examples of that on this forum somewhere that I've read. And because the industry does not provide any real recourse for blacklisted appraisers to appeal such listings, including MARI, the only other option is litigation. Of course, all of this would take lots of money, lots of time. So, understand, Timd, while MARI makes you sign the waiver it would not necessarily be upheld in a court of law. But, then MARI knows this. The gamble is that their pockets are deeper than those that might sue. The waiver only serves as a barrier to litigation not an unsurmountable ironclad agreement. It is a deterrent. One that seems to have deterred you. If one makes $60,000 a year is it economically feasible for one to spend several tens of thousands of dollars or much more on a gamble? Does one have the deep pockets necessary to litigate such an agreement for years? Probably not. And this is the purpose that such one sided agreements serve.

You used the example of LSI or RELS fees in their contracts. That is not the same kind of situation. One can't sue LSI or RELS for their low fees. They have not placed any unreasonable encumbrances upon one's ability to conduct business. One is free to work for or not work for LSI or RELS. If the LSI and RELS agreement stated that one may not appraise for another entity and that such a contract would be in effect for 10 years then one may have legal recourse. However, such an agreement may be upheld in a court of law since one had opportunity to read such an agreement before entering into it and the encumbrance being placed upon them.

With the situation of MARI they may or may not be damaging one's business. But, they place an unreasonable encumbrance upon anyone attempting to determine this. The reality is a court may side with MARI or it may not. Anything can be litigated. That's the beauty of the system. All it takes is lots of money. And that is the gamble MARI is making.

If one signed the waiver and then MARI would start monitoring one's performance and had a process to appeal their findings, then I'd say it would be an ironclad waiver of one's rights. But, MARI doesn't do this.

Am I smarter than the suits at MARI? I don't know. And neither do you. One thing I know is just because a company requires an agreement with them does not necessarily mean it can be upheld in a court of law. Many agreements are written because they allow an entity to have leverage over a situation.
 
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