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Seeking Upside Down Homeowners

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KatherineLewis

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
I'm posting a second request here at the suggestion of Pamela Crowley. Pamela and a number of other folks are trying to help me find homeowners to quote in an article but we're not having much luck. Anyone else who could help would win my undying gratitude.

I'm a reporter for Newhouse News Service looking for people to interview for an article on appraisers being pressured to inflate real estate values. I'd like to find consumers who ended up in financial difficulty because of a faulty appraisal. (i.e. upside down on a house, unable to sell or even in default.) Ideally in the $200,000 home range or higher, with an appraisal that was 20% or more off from the true value of the home.

Do you know someone like this? Do you know foreclosure lawyers who might be able to put me in contact with homeowners? Please let me know! This is a chance to get media coverage that will highlight the kind of concerns expressed in this forum -- but I need powerful examples of personal situations in order to tell the story effectively.

I really appreciate all the help and support this forum has already provided me. You are truly a dedicated group of professionals.

Please feel free to contact me directly at 202-383-7821 or by email at [email protected]. My deadline is Monday, June 16, so please respond before then. I may be able to stretch the reporting into Tuesday if needed.

I work for the Newhouse chain of newspapers, so my story would be available for publication in any of our roughly two dozen U.S. papers, including the Newark Star-Ledger, Portland Oregonian, Cleveland Plain-Dealer and New Orleans Times-Picayune. Altogether, over 1 million people receive our papers every day. For more information, feel free to check out our Web site at: http://www.newhouse.com/

Thanks!

Katherine Reynolds Lewis
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I don't really know of any great stories, other than the long pages of foreclosures in the local news papers every month. And part of the problem is that there usually is not a "problem" until the owner is denied a loan, because an honest appraiser "can in low". It doesn't ever occur to the lender, or owner, that just maybe ........ maybe, the owners over extended their credit, thus put themselves in trouble. But here are some past post in the "Ask An Appraiser" forum that may help show what the honest appraiser is up against.

http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...t=ST&f=8&t=3166


http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...t=ST&f=8&t=3317



http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...t=ST&f=8&t=2767


http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...t=ST&f=8&t=1746


http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...t=ST&f=8&t=1391


http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...ct=ST&f=8&t=999


And a couple to show the mentality of the loan officer and home owner:

http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...ct=ST&f=8&t=999

http://appraisersforum.com/forum/index.php...t=ST&f=8&t=2641
 

Tom Barclay

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Oregon
Katherine, Don't have any specifics, but feel that as a member of that organization, you should contact the financial editor of the Oregonian directly. They have done stories in the not too distant past on homeowners in trouble. It's been a while, but someone at the paper should be able to give you some names. Good luck, sorry I can't be of any help. It is a problem that needs all the coverage it can get.
 

USPAP Compliant

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


I am afraid that many of us would have a problem with confidentiality in releasing such information. In some cases it would not be proper for an appraiser to give out specifics that would violate or Ethics section of USPAP.

You might check with some of the state appraisal boards and/or banking commissions. Once a case is heard it is public record. Our banking commission in NC had over 1,000 complaints filed last year and the NC Appraisal Board had well over 200. The NCAB has over 40 hearings pending.

Some of these cases had a hearing/trial and all of the details are public record. Some of these agencies would be glad to help.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Katherine, ..... While you reach out across the country to seek assistance from appraisers who frequent the Forum, it does sound like your fastest means of getting the leads and interviews with upside-downers is right there where you live. Grab the yellow pages and visit some appraisers' offices or attorneys. You are attempting to get some very private information and I can not believe that many homeowners would want that publicity....regardless of whose FAULT it was. On the contrary, there are some homeowners who probably are drooling over the opportunity to vent....and to sue ! You are on the trail of a potentially big story, however, as more and more foreclosures come forward, you may find that you do not have enough fingers to point in the varied directions of the at-fault parties. From my own experiences here, and only surfacing about 4 to 5 weeks ago, I know of one homeowner who got royally shafted by an AVM ! ! Think about it, though, the computer did not mean to harm anyone. It is completely innocent and would never hurt a flea ! If your storyline fades, or gets re-direction potential, think about pursuing the problem of the pain and suffering caused by AVM's and their sibling valuation look-alikes. Good Luck.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Katherine:

Go down to the courthouse and look at the current postings for foreclosures. You should have no problem getting homeowners to talk to you.

Roger
 

Sean Wagle

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
North Carolina
Kathy, call the clerk of the court of your county, and ask where the "Forclosure Notices" are published. This is public information, and by law must be published in a newspaper somewhere.

Usually the notice will state the amount of the loan in default, the date it was recorded, the property address, the name of the owner, and the trustee in charge of handling the foreclosure.

Loans in default, that were made in 2000-2002 are good bets to be inflated deals, because this is when rates really dived and home values skyrocketed. Just call some of these people and ask to interview them.
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
Katherine,

Check with the Cleveland Plain Dealer...they have recently done stories on flips, etc. There reporters probably have sources for you.

Check the web sites of different counties for the Sheriff Sales of real estate. You probably can get great info off of those.

What about running an 'ad' in your papers....looking for homeowners that have been through this experience.

Best of luck, you have taken on a massive challenge. I would hate to see a deadline of the 16th bring this to a close. It should be an ongoing investigation with periodic updates in the press.
 
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