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PDF file: Can Lender Change Value?

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Charlotte Dixon

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Recently I spoke with another appraiser who mentioned that a PDF file had to be secured or anyone could change your report. Now, please keep in mind that I've been through hell with a computer crash, and Adobe Writer that went haywire in that the word wrap was completely crazy. This person mentioned that in Acrobat Writer I should click "file" and "document security"....When I do that, mine says "no security" which, as illiterate I am about this, sounds bad to me. He said "standard acrobat" should show in that space and I should check the last 3 blocks at the bottom. What do you all say? Sorry to be such a dumb-bell about this but I'm terrified to mess with Acrobat Writer because of past experience. Thanks.
 

Dan Leggett

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Mississippi
"Recently I spoke with another appraiser who mentioned that a PDF file had to be secured or anyone could change your report. ...." That is correct if they also have Adobe Acrobat Writer (not the free reader).

I use Adobe Acrobat 4.0, later versions may be different. When you finish the PDF document select 'Save As'. In the bottom left of the pop-up will be the 'Security' option, change from 'None' to 'Standard'. Create a password, the rest is self explanatory.

I saw the post about the hacker software that will allow unauthorized unlocking of the file but have not tested yet.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama

Try this

Go to this site

http://www.bclcomputers.com/products/freeb...rd/freebird.htm

download the demo version of the freebird program

convert a secured appraisal into tif format

convert it back to pdf

look to see if it is still secured
I don't have to try this program. If you can convert a PDF file to any kind of graphics file like they say (.tif, jpeg, ect) I can take my graphics software and alter the document and it will look like I never did anything to it. I have done a lot of work on photographs restoring them or removing something from them. For example I could easily take a for sale sign out of a yard on most pictures and you never know it was there. Changing some numbers would be so simple!!

However I am not going to worry about it. They could do the same thing with our paper copies too. I remember watching my wife put together bid propasals in pre-computer days for the g'ment contracts. I was amazed at what she could do with a cellophane tape, white-out and pair of sissors!

Just goes to show you nothing is 100%. Just be sure to have your original on file!
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Jeff:
I have to agree, and I was the one who originally worried about the sanctity of my signature....

I rahter quickly came to the same conclusion as you did: those with malice on thier minds can find ways to do what they do regardless of my attempts to stop them....

Best we can do is keep well documented files and hope the judge believes us!!! :roll:
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
To think it's taken us just a little over 8 years to reach this level of computer mythology, that it is the saving grace is exactly the amount of time it's taken, to find out we appraisers were probably better off with the old "cut & paste" routine :)

Yep, no matter how secure you think your stuff is, there is always someone much smarter or more aware or more overimproved or etc. that can slide in and due some damage. Oh well, in a few more years something else will come along and change what we do anyway-can't allow it to consume to much time, need to work 8)
 

mbrunson

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Nevada
Charlotte,

When you install Adobe Acrobat, you should find two new printers available. The Acrobat Distiller and the Acrobat Writer. If you want to add security print to the "distiller" not to the "writer".

All of my electronic appraisals are password protected to change/edit with a strong password that only I and my staff know. The reports are further password protected by a simple password that I have provided to all of my clients. The simple password is needed to open/view the report.

If you need help with any of this feel free to e-mail me direct.

SDG

Mike
 

Charlotte Dixon

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware

in a few more years something else will come along and change what we do anyway-can't allow it to consume to much time, 8)
You're right there! I have some lenders that don't even care if the comparable photos are sent in color......They just want the report sent quick! And, many appraisers send MLS photos of the comps, noting that they viewed that house before at one time or another.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
hate to sound like a smart*ss, but, if u know to ask it, someone already has done it. remember, nothing is truly secure. all u can really do, is harden the target and limit your exposure
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
My software locks the appraisal when signed, it can't be changed without removing the signature. Don't know if it is fool proof but I am satisfied. What would stop a crooked lender from printing out the report and then using white out and changing the value then copying the page on a copier.

I also sign my reports electronically in "BLUE".
 
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