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State Appraisal Newsletter - California

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George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Hey Gang,

I just got my copy of the state appraisal newsletter from the California OREA - The California Appraiser. There are a few tidbits I thought were interesting.

The newsletter is 32 pages, including the front and rear covers. Of that, the Enforcement Actions section runs from pages 9 - 31.

The newlsetter lists the following enforcement actions enacted by the OREA, many of which are the result of settlement agreements. I would presume that these settlement agreements represented a more lenient outcome for those who chose that path.

(2) Licenses Revoked
(6) Licenses Resigned, several during the investigation process
(5) Licensees denied the right to renew
(9) Licenses suspended, suspensions range from 15 - 90 days
(2) Licenses restricted (physically inspect everything) or downgraded (ResCert to ResLic)
(1) Criminal Prosecution - San Diego D.A. prosecuted for unlicensed appraisal activity
(18) Public Reproval - Fines, education, costs, etc; Appraiser is identified in the newsletter
(88) Private Reproval - Fines, education, costs, etc; Appraiser is not identified in newsletter

Several licenses were suspended for failure to pay court ordered family support and several were reinstated after getting current. Please note that the enforcement actions noted above do not include any repeats from the prior newsletter from Fall/Winter 2002, and represent an increasing trend of complaints, investigations and enforcement actions when compared to the previous newsletters (42 major actions vs. 34 in the prior newsletter). The pace is apparently picking up. In terms of discipline meted out, the most common complaints seem to involve failure to disclose relevant aspects about the subject property, including the sales history; appraisers misrepresenting their license status; appraisers falsely certifying physical inspection (supervisors); appraisers signing other appraisers' names on their reports; and then the technical aspects of appraisal such as comp selection and the use of adjustments to significantly overvalue properties. Basically in that order, as far as I can see. Every single enforcement summary cites the sections in USPAP and/or state laws alleged to have been violated.

-----------------

Licenses by numbers. The state reports the number of active licenses and breaks them down by category every year. I made a comparison between this most recent tally and the prior one, effective 01/2002.

License Type - 04/2003
General Cert. - 3,349 (1.47% decrease)
Residential Cert. - 3,896 (0.54% decrease)
Residential License - 2,234 (14% increase)
Appraiser Trainee - 2,687 (61% increase)

Total Active Licenses - 12,167 (11.19% increase)

According to the OREA, Trainee Licensees now make up 22% of all active appraisal licenses in our state, having dramatically increased during the last 15 months from 1,669 to 2,687. I tell ya, if any states out there are in need of some trainees, California is the place to recruit.

---------------

There was also a 4-page article addressing the "Rules of the Road for Trainees and Supervising Appraisers"


Something for everyone, it seems.




George Hatch
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Very interesting info, George.
I think I'd be a bit worried if I were a trainee and didn't have a supervisor.
It would be interesting to know how many of those that hold that license level are actually working.
It also appears that fewer are going for their certified residential level.
Any theories on why that might be?
 

Tim The Enchanter

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Looks like they've been pretty busy investigating.
I wonder what the impact will be if they go ahead with the proposed consolidation with the Dept of Corporations.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I'd also be very worried if I were a 'trainee' without a license even with a 'supervisor'.

:eek:
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Several licenses were suspended for failure to pay court ordered family support and several were reinstated after getting current

One of the reasons I oppose regulation, licensing, etc. is the government bullying tactics for back taxes or child support. While the aim of making parents pay up and taxpayers keep current, these laws have no bearing upon the work product of the appraiser in question...further,

I know a guy whose tax refund was held up because of bad paperwork. His child turned 19 and he no longer paid child support. Ended up having to go 60 miles to district court to get the mess straightened up. Even with a letter from his ex saying he no longer owed child support, the state accused him of owing child support after the kid turned of age. Took about 6 months to fix and cost him more than the refund, but would have tied up all his refunds forever.

Another circumstance that is not uncommon is illness. Should an appraiser get ill, do they have to give up their livlihood voluntarily to avoid having it stripped of them? I know a guy (my best friend's bro-in-law) who had an accident falling off a ledge in a cave and shattered his feet and pelvis...sure he got behind on child support, his wife understood, but do you think the state does? With most child support paid directly to the court and passed on to the custodial parent, a guy could get his licensed pulled while laying in a hospital bed? This guy was also supposed to show up in court a few days later for a DWI. The VA hospital got him in a wheel chair and wanted him to start physical therapy...instead he got back home in time to be wheeled into the county jail for failure to appear. He had called finally when he came to his senses, but too late as the court already had issued the warrant. Do you think he got therapy in jail? They pretty much permanently crippled the guy. He could not afford bail, child support, or anything else. As a construction worker, he is pretty well going to be a ward of the state for rest of his life all because he could not get the therapy he deserved??
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
It also appears that fewer are going for their certified residential level.
Any theories on why that might be?

Me? Have a theory? Sure, I gotta theory.

The number of General Certs is in decline because it's even harder to make the jump from residential to commercial than it is to get your first appraisal job. A lot of the vetranos are graying and even dying off. The same thing would hold true for Residential Certified Appraisers, except that there are enough Residential licensees who are moving up and replacing the ones who retire or die. This is why there is a smaller decrease for ResCerts than GenCerts, even though there are more ResCerts overall. The number of Residential Licensees has increased significantly only because there was enough unmet demand for appraisers during the last few years that some of the trainees could get their experience and hence their permanent license. All that movement from Trainee to Licensee will end if interest rates take a big jump and the workload slows down.


The increase in Residential Licensees will eventually lead to more Residential Certs as these relative newbies gain enough experience and take the extra class. There are also a few veteran appraisers who still (???) don't realize how tenuous their position is without the Certification vs. the straight License. I know one straight Licensee who had 15 years in, including some bank experience. He got cut from an approval list when the lender figured out that he wasn't allowed to work on complex appraisals because of having only the License rather than the Certification. It wasn't a competency issue; it was a matter of the lender figuring out the rules that have been in place for so many years and then enforcing them. Voila, this appraiser just lost several thousand dollars a month in fees and can't recover them until he gets an upgrade to Residential Certified. He really blew it by not taking the time to upgrade. Who knows how many deals he has worked on over the years that he shouldn't have? The more time that passes, the more the lenders are going to figure it out. The definition of a "Complex Appraisal" can be construed to include more scenarios than it excludes. As AVMs in their various forms gobble up the easy ones, the average degree of difficulty for the remaining appraisal work is going to increase every year.


The moral of the story for those who can't quite see it, is to consider the straight License as a temporary stop on the way toward Certification.


George Hatch
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
The dumbest thing I did was not to go for the Cert Gen from the get go, could have done it 4 years before I did and with a whole lot less trouble. Test was easier, schooling less, etc.
 

David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
From the most recent North Carolina Appraisal Board (NCAB) newsletter:

Trainees........................................109

Licensed Residential......................282

Certified Residential....................1711

Certified General.......................... 885

TOTAL NUMBER............................3969


BTW, if you find the all the numbers don't add up to 3969 as they indicate, you're wrong. Believe me, in this state, you are wrong. You can discuss it with them and show them at a formal hearing, but your still wrong. They will let you know you are wrong with disciplinary action and also force you to pay for and take classes, but they will not bother to show you how they are right, except by telling you that you are wrong. Probably best to just admit you are wrong, and get a light sentence, but even then you are on the hit list.

The NCAB, where 2 + 2 = 3.57 and 5 x 5 = 1,340.

In NC we are about to pay our rectification fees for next year. Our board criminals still overcharge appraisers by 100%. We pay about twice what appraisers in other states pay. They owe many thousands of dollars to every appraiser in the state. Yep, thieves. They can get away with it, so that's all the justification needed.

But get this: they will not post the Minutes of Board Meetings (less than 500 words per month), or even all their Rule Changes on the appraiser's website because they decided it was too expensive. Get that? Too expensive. In case there is anyone who does not know it, it basically costs NOTHING but the half second of a secretary's time to press a key on a computer keyboard to upload it to the site.

Now, here's the real sad part: most of them know less about real estate appraising than they do about the expense of posting to a website. I'm serious: If you get one point for everything you know about appraising, but lose one point for everything you know, but is actually wrong -- most of our knuckleheads are in the negative numbers.

Of course, no one ever said or implied they knew anything about appraising or anything else. Those that appointed them sure did not. Our board members are just the only ones in the state who do not seem to understand that...But they also know that what they say goes, so they don't need to know anything. Good thing for them.

We have at least one decent member that we helped get on board. Hopefully there will be more in the future.

dcj
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
David I feel bad for you all in NC. We had some problems in TN. The last few years it has become better. However, the most recent letter put out by the state was not upbeat. I hope we aren't taking a turn back to the worse.
 

Carnivore

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
From the most recent North Carolina Appraisal Board (NCAB) newsletter:

Trainees........................................109

Licensed Residential......................282

Certified Residential....................1711

Certified General.......................... 885

TOTAL NUMBER............................3969


BTW, if you find the all the numbers don't add up to 3969 as they indicate, you're wrong. Believe me, in this state, you are wrong. You can discuss it with them and show them at a formal hearing, but your still wrong. They will let you know you are wrong with disciplinary action and also force you to pay for and take classes, but they will not bother to show you how they are right, except by telling you that you are wrong. Probably best to just admit you are wrong, and get a light sentence, but even then you are on the hit list.

David,

I have one reason that I know the numbers are wrong. One firm I know of, under grandfathering, has all 109 trainees being supervised by one certified dude. :rofl:
 
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