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Unpaid Final Inspections

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Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
North Dakota
This obviously happens to someone else occasionally, otherwise I wouldn’t get a request to complete a final inspection for someone else’s appraisal. Why? Let me guess based on what has happened recently. This particular client (don’t want to name them here, maybe in Clients, Good, Bad and Ugly at a later
date) has stiffed me on 2 final inspections this year. They had a management change and repeated requests for payment got me nowhere. I might add this is not a great account, merely a sporadic one.
Anyway, I just got their standard phone call and fax for a final inspection on a property in which construction began in the spring. My reply, no payment for the past 2 unpaid final inspections means I will not perform the final on this one. Now all hell is breaking loose. LO, branch manager and RE agent
are getting hostile. Lots of veiled threats about future business, spreading the word about what a jerk I am etc. RE agent says I’m punishing the purchaser of this property. I don't think so because the borrower isn't the client. I happen to think that failure to pay for finals has gotten to be systematic and expected with some companies because they assume they can get away with. Comments?
 

Oregon Doug

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Oregon
Bobby - I feel your pain & anger - most of us have similar stories to tell (mine includes several thousand $ in late & unpaid fees).

What we need is a good lien law - I'll work on it.

I bet that you got the inspection request because they failed to pay the other appraiser in the first place and he refused to do it or maybe they built a different house than what was appraised from the plans & specs - I've seen that trick too.

I doubt that there's much you can do about it & remember, it's against the law to discharge fire arms within the city limits.

Oregon Doug
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Bobby,

Your fee (based on your new fee schedule) of $300 for a final inspection on this property is required up front before you will deliver the final inspection report. You may have to re-consider your fee schedule for final inspections after this instance, but this the current fee for that client. They can decide whether to pass the fee on to the borrower. :twisted: :lol:

There is more than one way to skin a cat, not that we skin cats here in TX.
 

jeff samolinski

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Oh Boy now you got me going. For many moons I did those inspections without payment up front as well as the name changes, updates etc... all of the other little changes lenders wanted. I finally looked up one day and realized that most of my overdue accounts recievables were these $50-$100 dealios that generally totalled up to $1,000's. So I made up this little saying for those Lawrence Welk customers(a one a a two a)that goes like this. We only do those changes(inspections) on a COD basis for your convenience cause we have found that these invoices invariably get lost or forgotten which then requires someone in your office to spend excessive time months later digging through closed files to see if payment was actually made. So in order to save you time later its COD now!!!! Have a nice day!!!
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Lots of veiled threats about future business, spreading the word about what a jerk I am etc.
How 'bout we talk about a law suit for slander and false acquations.

Bobby, I've done the same thing. Wait until they need something really, REALLY bad :eek:nfire: Then Oh look.... you never paid me for these past files. <_< I know I told you over the phone that it was finished, ;) but if you want the paper, you gots to send me some $$$. :mrgreen:

The only ones being punished in this deal are the commission driven sales people.
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
B) I have a stack of them. I also have a stack of unpaid appraisals from last fall and onward. I am getting ready to do a fuul day at the court house and go after them all.

I also use National Credit Systems out of NYC to go after many of them as well.

Don
 

Steve Wyrick

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Bobby,

I would never do a final inspection on someone else's appraisal. To begin with I don't have all of the information in the work file that the appraiser used. I would tell the client that I would do a new appraisal only as of the date of the order to me not retro, and charge what ever my current fee is for whatever type of appraisal they want. Problem solved, new appraisal hopefully that supports the original value, maybe even more depending on your market.

Tell LO and RE that just because they screwed up does not mean I have to bail their butt out of the fire. RE and LO are both going to make a lot more than you are with a full appraisal, they can afford it out of their end. After all wouldn't you spend a buck to get back $100 garunteed. I sure would and that is the way they need to look at this.

As far as past due payments. My office policey for years has been COD, cash, check, money order at time of inspection or if lender is paying for it payment in hand before I go out to inspect property. Only exceptions are good clients I trust, and even they know the first time they miss or I have to call them they are COD again. We are appraiser's not bill collectors.

Additionally consider this. USPAP says we are to be an independent third party and we cannot be paid in any manner which requires that a loan be completed. By accepting payment at a later date, usually from escrow, are we not becoming a part of the required closing in order to be paid? Sure they say but we will pay you (from closing). I know you can turn this anyway you want but the bottom line is that if you are dependent on getting paid after the appraisal, you have put yourself in a position to make the loan work no matter what you have said up front.

I had an appraiser friend who called me 3 years ago. Said she was getting out of the business. Why I asked, she replied I cannot afford it anymore. Now I knew she had a good practice and did lots of appraisals. Why, you have a good business. Her response was I have $18,000 of outstanding appraisal fees due, most were from mortgage brokers. Well after I calmed her down and found out what she had done, polite letters, threatening letters etc. I finally told her take all of those she has sent a polite letter to and send them a letter demanding payment immediately or you were turning it over to a collection agency. Those that she had already sent the threatening letters to inform them that the account payable had been turned over to a collection agency and they could expect a call from them shortly. She said but I will lose my clients if I do that, My reponse was if they are not paying for your work you don't have a client why are you wasting your time and gas. But she said they will go to another appraiser, Fine let someone spend their time and gas and not get paid at least you save on gas and can spend the time finding better clients.

Finally I told her COD only and cash the check at the bank before you do the appraisal. She called me back 3 months later and told me she got all of her money owed, except for $1,000. Those old clients she did keep continued to use her and now they pay COD and she got some new an better clients by getting rid of the deadbeats.

In 13 years I have written off $250 and it was for one of those we need to have additional information deals.

Good luck and sorry for the long post.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Steve,

Too long? Naaaaaaw!!!

Excellent post! I'll never understand why anyone would be 'afraid' of losing a client that doesn't pay.
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Why don't you ask every single one of them......Do you expect payment for work done, or do you get a paycheck at the end of the week/month?

Why should I work for free? Can you tell me this??


The only thing worse than working for less money is working for NO money. :ph34r:
 

Mike Simpson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
First, I wouldn't care less whether the RE was calling or not--they're not the client and you don't need to give these kind the time of day (I don't even bother answering the phone...already know what it's about & don't wanna be bothered).

Secondly, the "we're gonna tell everyone we know" threat cuts both ways. I'm still telling everyone who'll listen the experiences I've had with certain individuals years after their transgressions.

Thirdly, I wouldn't do the 442 either. I had a problematic client years ago who owed us over $6,000...most of which was riper than 9 months old, and I'd already made three attempts to collect. The owner of the firm called and asked that I do a 442 on a property he was making the loan for. I told him not only no (he couldn't believe I would have the audacity to tell him no), I told him my next call was going to be to the Department of Financial Institutions to file a complaint. Furthermore, I told him he could do the 442 himself (it was permissable).

I agreed to print out the stack of invoices for the fourth time (told him who I'd delivered the first three copies to), and I'd wait for his response. He called--much more agreeable this time, apologized for HIS companies negligence and promised to pay (which he did).

I eventually did the 442 based on his word...but do you think he ever ordered again? Good Riddance! & I tell everyone to this day the unpleasant experience I had trying to do business with his company :p It's my understanding his companies involved in a lawsuit with a fly-by-night investor who cost them dearly--some people just can't conduct themselves propertly to save their lives!

-Mike

Almost forgot...I raised my 442 fees recently to reflect the possibility of non-payments.
 
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