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Who's responsible?

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Julia Young

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
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In the past year, orders arrive with this statement: Collect fee from borrower at the door or borrower responsible for fee. Some even say they do not guarantee fees.

At the lender's request, I invoiced direct to the borrower and received a check at the time of the inspection. Lender did not decline responsibility but did request I invoice the borrower. Appraisal was e-mailed to lender who praised promptness, etc. Then almost a week after I had e-mailed the appraisal, the borrower STOPS payment on the check.

His reply, the lender was dragging his feet and since he couldn't get ME to give him a copy of HIS appraisal without first getting the lender's permission, he wasn't going to pay for it. I told him he had a right to a copy of his appraisal, the lender needed to send it to him or send me a release and I would give it to him. He said he stopped pay because I wouldn't give him a copy. I suspect the real reason was probably because the loan did not make.

Is there a way to collect on this STOP payment? Who is actually responsible in this case? Can collection be the same as a bogus check?

I bet this one is a lost cause. Are there others accepting payment at the time of appraisal?
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
You didn't choose the borrower's stupid deadbeat slow poke lender. It ain't your fault or problem. It is the borrowers, period. I would think legally you could get the money from the borrower. I don't know. Be sure it will be a pain and costly to collect. Say bill is $300. Time and cost to collect might be $100 leaving you $200. And you might not ever get it. Or you could just write it off, which might after writing it off you might have a $100 gain, against what you would have to pay uncle sam. Unless you get paid in full, you are gonna lose, it's just a question of how much.

The borrower needs to pay you. That being said, they should receive a copy from the lender. Also, NEVER, NEVER take an out of town bank check. If you are gonna take a check, be SURE to cash it IMMEDIATLY after leaving the house. CASH is always best.
 

Jonathan Davey

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Since the borrowor was working through the lender, the borrowor gave implied consent for the lender to arrange for the appraisal for which you performd: the borrowor is liable as well as liable for passing a bad check, theft of service, fraud by deception and so forth. Small claims should easily handle it, and as such if done expiditiously, you may also record the claim at the registry of deeds, as well as seek triple damages for unfair and decptive practices, plus court costs
 

MARKETVALUE

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
Stop taking checks.

Cash, MO, or CC's.

Solved our $1k stop payment per month crisis.

MRM
 

Micah O\'Dell

Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
When receiving a check at the door from the client, I go straight to their bank and cash the check. (If made out to my company instead of to me personally, I get a Cashiers Check from the bank teller). If the check will not pay, I will stop all work on the appraisal, contact the client, and let them know if they want me to proceed then they will be responsible if the check does not clear. In your case, I would immediately file a lien against the property (at the county courthouse). Chances are, the borrowers are going to try and get a loan through someone else, and will be required to remedy all liens before the loan can go through. Good Luck!
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
It is ILLEGAL to stop a check for such purposes. Call the borrower and tell them that unless a certified check in the amount plus $25 is not in your hands by the end of the week, you are turning this over to the DA's Hot Check department. This becomes an arrestable offense. Threat of the cops can work wonders. If the borrower calls, tell them that his argument with the lender isn't your problem.

Roger
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I agree with Roger, call their bluff. See the DA, file in small claims court, etc. What they did is not acceptable, you did not agree to a post dated check or a condition that the loan must close.

And I do like O'Dell. If I get a check at the door, I call the bank to make sure the funds are available and cash/deposit it ASAP. The report does NOT get delivered until I get my $$.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have found that small claims court works very well. Sue both the lender and the client, let the judge decide.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
An appraiser cannot lien a property in Colorado...but you sure can threaten to do it.

Accept the check, go to the bank or call the bank and give them the check number and have them put a hold on the funds until the check clears.

In any event, do not release the appraisal report until the funds are in your hands. This problem seems to be increasing daily...might be because more and more of us are requesting CODS.
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Roger in Texas may be correct. I was under the impression that this is the same as a bad check, same laws apply.
 
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