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No Fail Method To Get Paid

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Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Oregon
Paul,

The one and only time I have actually filed in small claims court was after the customer told me they would never pay the amount agreed to and owed. I had a witness and a tape recording of the "conversation".
This involved the usual value dispute.

After appropriate warning, I filed. The day after the sheriff's deputy served the papers, I got a check via Fed EX for the full amount plus sheriff's service fees. That stopped proceedings.


In one other case I didn't get paid, after being assured, promised etc ., too long a story, was when the customer evidently became unbalanced mentally and ended up denying in writing that I had actually performed the appraisal service for which customer was "being harassed" for fair payment.

And of course there were also a long list of judgments against customer and associate already in place so it ended up, why bother, the situation will only deteriorate.

This person and her close business associate are now on my and a number of other appraiser's permanent lists of people who won't get our appraisal services. Under any circumstances.

I certainly have learned to not be bashful about asking for a check up front when working for unknown people or entities.
 

jeff samolinski

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
A mortgage broker owed me around $7,000 about 2 years ago now. He had closed up shop and moved on to another company ( I think it was tri star or something like that), anyway I happened to find out where he went to work and got that owners name and phone number. After several attempts to contact this new owner and tell him this guy he hired owed me and several other local appraisers money, someone told me that he had collected appraisal fees from his borrowers and the fact that he did not pay the appraiser amounted to theft/grand theft. So I called the State Attorney's office and explained my situation to them. They said call my local police dept. and they will determine if investigation is warranted. I used to have some decent connections in our police dept. but they retired but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I essentially begged them to just make 1 call to this guy's new employer, ask some basic questions and let them know they wanted to do ask this guy some questions. Man it wasn't 3 days after that I got a check delivered to me for the full amount.

Don't know if it will work for anyone else but it might be worth a try for your more major deadbeats and it probably depends on state laws etc.. but if you know anyone in your local police dept. they might be able to help. Anyway that my $7,000 worth!!!
 

Alan Simmons

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I once walked into a big bank VP’s office and repossessed the reports on two four-plexes. It was not my intent when I walked in but I had the opportunity and was quickly growing tiered of this guy’s attitude.

Originally the bank could not find anyone in town that wanted the three assignments so the buyer was calling around in a panic. I had about a year under my belt and wanted the experience so I agreed and quoted a “good” fee (not outrageous but good). Two appraisers agreed to help me. An hour later the bank called and told me to proceed. The assignments were not easy and over the next two weeks I was in constant contact with the buyer and the LO. We became a happy little family.

Then at closing the family fell apart. The VP and buyer both agreed that I had charged too much. The VP claimed to have called his appraisers (the ones that did not want the assignments) and they also agreed that I had charged too much. As a result at closing they only paid one of the invoices and threw the other two in the trash. Thanks to an anonymous caller (I still do not know who it was) I not only quickly learned what happened, but she had also overheard them in the hall planning their scheme (they told everyone at the closing that the one invoice covered all three reports).

When I confronted the buyer he said that this was between the bank and me. As far as he was concerned he was out of it. When I called the bank they said that it was an honest mistake because the three invoices had confused them. They also told me that as far as they were concerned the buyer had ordered the appraisals and that I should collect from him (this is when I was told that I charged too much). Dropping everything I drove to the bank.

When I arrived I was quickly herded into the VP’s office. He spent the next few minutes happily twisting me into a pretzel. During this time I noticed that the reports were on his desk. Eventually I just stood up and took possession of the reports. I told him that since the bank claimed not to have ordered the reports and the buyer had not paid for them that he should not mind me removing my property from his building.

Two days later a check arrived with a note asking me to return the reports.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Alan, ......Sounds like they were typical scamsters trying to give you the shaft, but oh, for that wonderful opportunity, to be able to grab the "golden eggs" and make for the door. I'll bet they really squirmed and kicked themselves all the way to the men's washroom. Clearly, they could not proceed with selling those files without the appraisal reports....and you had control of the moment. Probably sounded something like this moments later....."Jones !, how stupid of you to leave those reports on your desk, in plain sight of him !" "But, but,...but, Mr. Tidwell, I , I never thought he would grab them....and, and....attempt to walk out." "You know, Jones, that's your biggest problem. You never think !"......But, Mr. Tidwell, I promise, it will not happen the next time we plan to scam an appraiser." "Yes, you better make sure it does not happen, or you are headed for the mailroom....even if you are my son-in-law !"
 
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