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OPEN DEBATE or GET IT RIGHT OR GET OUT

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Tom Hildebrandt

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
North Carolina
Wayne, Don and others

I am sorry that I did not have a chance to post in thread entitled Improving the Profession - Really before the thread was locked.

First, let me compliment Wayne for his suggestions and excellent moderation of the entire Forum and this sub forum. I think his guidelines are pertinent and I for one will do what I can to follow them.

I do have some concern that on some topics, such as those surrounding my case, that the threads do become unbearably long. This is not a fault of any one or the system, just the nature of the topic and the interest that it generates. My case before the NCAB has been ongoing for 27 months, there are over 1,400 pages of documentary evidence of record to date and it appears that if the NCAB follows through with its plan of action to attempt to win at all cost, it will be another 4 years before the NC Supreme Court makes a final decision. Given the quantity of data, the complexity of issues, it is not surprising such threads tend to go on forever.

It is unrealistic to expect an appraiser following this case to go to the end of an old thread and pick up the new information, and it is unrealistic to expect a new reader to just sit down and read the entire thread from start to finish. What I have attempted to do, when there has been a significant time lapse, was provide a summary, with references and links to past threads so that readers (new and old) could catch up on the latest information without un due delay, but that if they wanted the detail they knew where to go to get it.

Wayne, please tell me if this is inappropriate so that I will not violate your posting rules.

The major item that I wish to address is the assumption that was expressed by several that this forum is just negative and unwarranted bashing of regulators and in particular the NCAB.


This forum is intended to facilitate to both improve the profession and address political issues. Regulatory agencies are political entities, and discussions of these agencies policies and activities belongs in this forum.


I am of the opinion that this forum (and the general forum and others as well) has become a resource for those who wish to debate issues of concern to the profession. Many topics have been discussed at length by appraisers (and other concerned members of the public) at length, and over time a consensus as to what is the appropriate way to treat USPAP, or handle a given topic, or the appropriate course of action for an appraiser may be. In thoses cases where consensus can not be reached, at least the substantive areas of disagreement are known with the relevant issues clarified.

The very nature of debate is centered around protagonists and antagonists each expressing their point of view. Individuals, both pro and con, who debate their respective positions with clarity and incisiveness allow the discussions, over time, to become focussed on the real issues and allow for solutions to be achieved. This is the essence of the democratic process.

Since debate has a negative or antagonistic side, those being criticised, such as members of regulatory agencies, can be expected to view such discourse as negative rather than as constructive. This is an endemic problem of constructive criticism. Those who do not want input and believe they have all the answers and are not willing to change, these agencies will percieve these discussions as negative and will characterize the discussions as counter productive.

For those who think that these discussions have not had a positive impact on our profession, I would note that members of AF, AQB, ASB, ASC
and state regulatory agencies regularly read these forums although they seldom post. The topics, and solutions suggested by forumites, often appear as topics in the agencies for discussion and are often taken as solutions.

This is not a chance occurrence. The AQB and the ASB have both taken information from this forum and incorporated it into their decision making. Topics that I know first hand that derived on this forum which were utilized by agencies were our discussions regarding changes to the property history section and reconciliation of USPAP, the education requirements proposed by the AQB and the numerous Frequently Asked Questions. The issue of investigators who are appraisers not doing standard three reviews is no longer a issue just with the NCAB, but it is a matter being addressed at all national levels. The problems with mortgage lending (many considered this just grousing) evolved into a petition for change to laws which have subsequently been enacted. The awareness of the dangers of a purely political nature of appointments to boards was developed after the discussions of the disciplinary cases and it too has resulted in a petion for change and, at least in the State of North Carolina, these discussions did their part in impacting the recent group of appointments.

I have had sitting members of state boards, and the staff of state boards say that they read these posts and find them informative. Some regulators actually post here to actually post here to either get support for their ideas or as a sounding boards. So not even all regulators find these post objectionable.

To those who would be critical of this forum for being constently negative of agencies, I would say that in fact not all dialogue has been negative. There are posters who have strong beliefs that the ASB and the AQB are doing a good job and we post that opinion. I believe the NCAB has been a leader in AARO and in getting other states to take action against fraudulent lending practices.

The reason this forum works is that it is a forum, a site that allows appraisers a place to discuss issues on a national basis without being locked into the bias of trade organization politics or the poiltics of regulatory agencies and without the expense of creating a mass mailing or other venue to engage in dialogue. There is no other venue that provides this opportunity.

The representative of those agencies who have voiced the opinion that this forum does not promote professionalism are just flat out wrong. These people do not want dialogue, they believe that since they were appointed or hired to these boards, that discussion is no longer needed; it is there way or the highway. Hence their attitude, Get it right or Get Out!.

As a final note, I share the opinion of Don that NC is discussed too much. Yet no one else, except perhaps Steve Vertin, presents current ongoing information relating to the conduct of business regarding their state agencies. If these issues were being presented regularly, we would see more common issues, both pro and con, but currently it would appear that readers of this forum only have feedback from the NC and Illinois boards on a regular basis. Hence, the discussions are going to be skewed in the direction of those agencies, or those larger national entities such as the ASB, AQB etc.

Regards

Tom Hildebrandt GAA
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Tom:

It's Wayne's forum but it doesn't seem like a big deal to post the info. Any of us could be in your position some day. For those that think its nothing but board bashing, don't read it. seems simple to me.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think that the discussion of the N.C. board is important and complicated. May I suggest that a topic be established just for this situation and that all historical posts be placed there. Those of us interested would have an easier time following the situation, those not interested can just ignore the entire topic.
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Walt,

That is what Wayne had proposed in the thread "Improving the profession? Really?

He has some comments that were not supportive of that. I had even suggested a moderator for that forum.

Contact Wayne, I agree with you.

Don Clark, IFA
 

Stephen J. Vertin MAI

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Illinois
I guess we could keep compartmentalizing until we have a forum for every specific subject. It is your forum Wayne. You have been more than kind to all who post here. This is your house and I have always tried to live up to your rules. However, if you do that, I personally think it serves further to isolate some of the reality of this business. The NC matter has been a stable in this section of the forum since it started. I have to ask why is it suddenly an issue and why has it been deemed as negative? It has returned some of the most positive responses the industry has seen to date and has been a catalyst for an number of positive changes. Furthermore, there are still many planned changes in the works. I have to seriously ask who and why are some saying it is negative? Furthermore, the people who write about the subject are some of the most active in the industry. To say they are do nothings, complainers and criers is simply not true. I could list a page of specific accomplishments for almost everyone of them. Furthermore, most are polite, obey forum rules and present their cases in a direct, straight foreword manner. Most are regular, long time forumites. You can simply read the name and you can almost bet the subject will be of USPAP, political action, or board abuse. It has always been policy, if you do not like the subject, simply do not read the content.

I am with George, I am not from NC, I am not licensed there, nor would I want to be under the current regulatory environment; however, I find NC a prefect case study of how things can get easily out of control. The rest of the country should be looking at them as a sign post or danger warning. I find most of the post concerning NC well written and informative.

Steve Vertin
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Steve,

I will post about North Carolina wherever it is permitted. I hope those not interested will simply ignore my posts. No one has to read any post on any topic if they are not interested.

What happens in North Carolina with our appraisal board may very well
happen elsewhere. Our NCAB has extreme influence on ARRO and members and staff are often found at various meetings across the nation. Many times our staff and board members are speakers and have been quoted in several national appraiser publications. The NCAB has over $2,000,000.00 in surplus funds. This is NOT tax money. It is from fees that appraisers in NC pay to the NCAB. Quite a war chest to spread your views with.

The latest outrage is that a "public member" has been appointed to the NCAB for a newly created (additional seat) and is simply not legally qualified to serve as a public member. Stephanie Simpson is an attorney and a full time paid employee of the National Association of Realtors of North Carolina. She is also registered with the NC Secretary of State as a LOBBYIST, representing the concerns of the NCAR members.

As a member of NCAR for over 20 years I can tell you that what Realtors want and what appraisers want are often at odds. She has an obvious bias towards NAR concerns, earns her livelihood representing them and will certainly be influenced by their desires. There is no possible way this person can "represent the public" on the NCAB and she certainly will not be there to look out for appraisers.

I will be contacting the GAO about this appointment as well as the re-appointment of Henry Faircloth (who by virtue of being a BUILDING CONTRACTOR) is also an improper appointment under the NC Appraisers Act 93E-1-5 which exclude any public member from being "directly or indirectly involved in the real estate, real estate appraisal, or the real estate lending industry."

In addition, the other appointee did not file an application for a board seat, send in a resume or indicate any interest in a NCAB seat and never spoke with ANYONE from the legislature about being appointed. This too violates the procedures set forth for board or commission service.

This may mean nothing to anyone else. What it means to me is that any rule, law or procedure may be violated at any time by my state government. It means that our elected and appointed officials do not give appraisers in NC. This has to stop, and if I have to fight this alone I will do so.
 

Terry Russell

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Montana
Bob,

I would venture to say that what is happening in NC is quite definitely occurring elsewhere. It is the sobering fact that in those other states no one has had the courage and stamina that the NC appraisers that populate this topic hold.
Hopefully, they are watching and learning from the posts that are written here. And one day they will stand and say,
"I am not going to take this 5hit anymore."
I admire your audacity.

Terry
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Appraisers (in general) are the most apathetic, uninformed, uninterested and biggest cowards of any "profession" I know of.

We will continue to be mistreated and run out of buiness until no one is left to fight.
 

Tom Hildebrandt

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
North Carolina
Bob

Yep, the politcs in this is pretty rotten, but as that is what we are stuck with in the near term. I would also note you are not fighting the system alone. Many of the folks on this thread have been concerned with these types of issues for years, they just are not as upfront and vocal as you and I.

I brought up the issue of Henry Faircloth being indirectly related industry over four years ago when I was mulling over issues of the NCAB's inpropriety, along the boards spending our money for Christmas parties and gifts which had nothing to do with the board business, the boards allowing themselves CE credits for being on the board in direct violation of the boards practice along with the ethical and illegal violations involved in the investigators expressing opinions without any basis (Std three reviews). The ten or twelve folks I consulted with, some of whom are on this list, all said it was bad but the good old boys will be good old boys. They all said, keep me informed, and I will do what I can do to help fix things. Remember that it will take time, plan on four to five years as a minimum to get new members on the board.

I chose to attack the Std 3 issue, but I have had all of these on my agenda. My conclusion after reviewing all options in 1998/1999 was to attempt change on the Std 3 issue to bring about appraiser awareness and to pursue, through politics, getting two new appointees and to get those organizations who represent appraisers on the board.

Five years later, 1,500 appraisers are now represented on the board through two people who are interested in helping appraisers, both these members happen to be directly or indirectly realted to the Realtors organization. As I understand it, you are a Realtor, but chose a year ago to disassociate with the Appraisal Section. You may not like the choice of appointees, but please do not say you are not being represented or had the opportunity to be represented. Those members of the AI have Bart Bryson to look after their interest.

Any trade organization can politic or lobby, as you have done for yourself personally, to get three of their members on the board. There is nothing wrong with this, it is the political process we have. Under the present system, It is pie in the sky to think that only the best candidates are going to be appointed, the candidates who have the time, interest, and political clout will get appointed. Even if we get peer screening for appointees in the near future, it will only mean that those who curry the most favor among appraisers, and who have the time, interest and political clout will get appointed. Nothing will guarantee they are the best qualified. There is no guarantee that they will have the correct judicial temperment to be objective and deliberative.

If you do not like these members, if these appointments are not good for appraisers, kindly tell me who you would rather have as a public member or an appraiser who, other than yourself, has expressed a willingness to serve that you would endorse? Who is going to be independent, not tied to some appraisal or real estate interest who can not be accused of pursuing some bias or agenda?

Last year I called over a dozen appraisers in the state that I thought would be good candidates. These included members of ASA, AI, IRWA and the Appraisal Section as well as two without any designations. All were located west of Raleigh. None were willing to serve.

I think the appointment of Stephanie was specifically intended to send a message from the governor and the legislators to the NCAB that they are concerned with the rhetoric and bad press they are getting about their actions. Consequently, I think the appointment will be beneficial. Is she perfect? Nope, but she is smart and is an attorney and my impression is that she is pretty independent. I would expect her to take the appointment seriously, and act ethically.

You feel differently, but that is ok by me, just do not make it sound like you are out there alone fighting the fight.

Speaking of the NCAB war chest, we will not have that for very long. The NCAB is building a new office building. We 3,700 plus appraisers are going to be in the same category as the lawyers and doctors and brokers (who have tens of thousand of licensees) in regards to having private board offices.

Regards

Tom

Regards

Tom
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Tom,

You have a long term personal and professional relationship with Stephanie Simpson. I do not know her at all. You have discussed your case with her many times and feel she would be beneficial to you. She may be fantastic but the FACT is she does not meet the legal requirement to be a public member of the NCAB. You may be the greatest appraiser in the world but unless you have a license in Texas (pick your state) you would not be allowed to practice there. This is a question of meeting legal requirements, not one of ability, knowledge or character.

THIS illegal appointment may suit you and others but if it is done this time and no one speaks up....the next one may not suit you.

When elected officials can break the law due to political pressue of ANY special interest group we all lose. When skirting the requirements for board appointments is appoved by you or anyone else then you give up the right to complain when it is done again.

You have a specific and personal reasons for wanting to get people on the board who will favor your case. That is fine, but your approval of improper appointments to furthur your own case is simply does not make it right, moral or ethical.

Why don't you outline your history with Ms. Simpson so others will understand why you think her improper appointment is great news.
 
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