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Release of report to Homeowner when client no longer exists

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Jim Kliegl

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 20, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Typically, I only will release a report to a homeowner when I have written permission from my client, regardless of whether they paid at the door. Anyway, I receive a call from a homeowner from an inspection I performed 2 years ago for American Home Mortgage. Kinda hard to get permission to release a report to a homeowner if that company is no longer in business. The report was completed in 2006. So no imminent funding decision is forthcoming. Curious how other may handle this type of situation.
 

Brockway

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
It does not matter that the lender is now out of business. The lender is not obligated to provide a copy of the appraisal to the borrower after two years. The borrower had 90 days to request a copy after submitting the loan application and, apparently, they did not.

I would not give them a copy but I might try to talk them into a new appraisal.
 

timd354

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Typically, I only will release a report to a homeowner when I have written permission from my client, regardless of whether they paid at the door. Anyway, I receive a call from a homeowner from an inspection I performed 2 years ago for American Home Mortgage. Kinda hard to get permission to release a report to a homeowner if that company is no longer in business. The report was completed in 2006. So no imminent funding decision is forthcoming. Curious how other may handle this type of situation.

Per USPAP, you are absolutely barred from giving the homeowner a copy of the report with the client's permission and it does not matter if the client no longer exists, period, end of story.
 

Metamorphic

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Get a post card. Address it to American Home Mortgage at the last address you have on it. Write on the back. Unless you respond otherwise in the next 7 days, I will assume I have your consent to provide a copy of the appraisal on xxxxx to the home owner.

Sincerely,
Ethical Appraiser That Will Find A Way to Do the Right Thing
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Get a post card. Address it to American Home Mortgage at the last address you have on it. Write on the back. Unless you respond otherwise in the next 7 days, I will assume I have your consent to provide a copy of the appraisal on xxxxx to the home owner.

Sincerely,
Ethical Appraiser That Will Find A Way to Do the Right Thing

No, it doesn't work that way. If your suggestion is meant to be serious, it is misguided.

"Consent" does not equal "lack of response from the client".
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
HO could be looking for someone to sue, since the value today is likely less than 2 years ago:new_smile-l:.
 

timd354

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Get a post card. Address it to American Home Mortgage at the last address you have on it. Write on the back. Unless you respond otherwise in the next 7 days, I will assume I have your consent to provide a copy of the appraisal on xxxxx to the home owner.

Sincerely,
Ethical Appraiser That Will Find A Way to Do the Right Thing

You need to read the Confidentiality Section of the USPAP Ethic Rule....so here is the relevant section (see pg. U-8 of the 2008-2009 USPAP)

An appraiser must not disclose confidential information or assignment results prepared for a client to anyone other than the client and persons specifically authorized by the client; state enforcement agencies and such third parties as may be authorized by due process of law;

The lack of response to a post card obviously does not statisfy this criteria.
 

Metamorphic

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
In the early 90's I was doing Underground Storage Tank investigation and clean up work. If you waited for a positive response from the State Regulators to your work plan to begin work you would have been the Maytag Repairman in a booming industry. We routinely used this technique with the State Agencies with no problems; as long as what you were trying to do was reasonable they were fine with it. I submit to you that this was a far more weighty issue in every respect than a 2 year old SFR appraisal report for a defunct lender. Besides, who's confidentially are you protecting? Is it even possible to protect the confidentiality of a non-entity? I could also argue that with the expiration of the named client, the home owner/payer of the appraisal is the next logical entity to assume assignment right of the appraisal.

They've yet to write a law that covers every conceivable eventuality; that's why after 230 years we still have a very busy USSC. At some point where the applicability of the law falls short you have to go on with common sense, reasonableness, and hopefully a clear understand of the intent of what the law was trying to accomplish. I submit that the confidentiality clause in USPAP was never intended to bar the owner from access to the report under these circumstances. What is obvious and clear is that the law does intend that the owner/payer have access to the report; the limitations on that (upon request w/in 90 days) seem mostly bureaucratic, not based on some principal of confidentiality; if the owner/payer had requested and received that report initially, they would still have it. Furthermore. if the client was still in business, do you have an reason to believe they would deny the owner/payer access to the report?

We've got a lot of laws in this country, but the fact of the matter is you can violate pretty much any of them without repercussion, up to and including murder, if you can articulate a reasonable reason why you did what you did.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
In the military that line of reasoning is referred to as "UNORDIR", Unless Otherwise Directed. It doesn't absolve the individual who's actually making the decision of the responsibility for that decision.

It's important to note that while you may want to help this person out, they aren't your client nor are they even an intended user (not that it would make a difference if they were) of the report.

In my estimation, the dividing line between whether an individual is going to comply with USPAP or not shouldn't be based on their chances for getting caught or the penalties involved.
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
... I could also argue that with the expiration of the named client, the home owner/payer of the appraisal is the next logical entity to assume assignment right of the appraisal...


...What is obvious and clear is that the law does intend that the owner/payer have access to the report; the limitations on that (upon request w/in 90 days) seem mostly bureaucratic, not based on some principal of confidentiality; if the owner/payer had requested and received that report initially, they would still have it. Furthermore. if the client was still in business, do you have an reason to believe they would deny the owner/payer access to the report?...

I suppose that you can do pretty much what you want to do.

However, keep in mind that what you are offering is contrary to the USPAP. If you want to be out on that island, be my guest.
 
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