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Real Estate Advisors Defense Institute

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General Legal

In these articles, READI's director Peter Christensen and other contributors report on general legal and insurance issues affecting appraisers and the appraisal industry.

This article is from the March 2012 issue of the LIA Risk Report Appraisal Management and Lenders Services.  It is directed to AMCs but may be of interest to appraisers who contract with AMCs. Most of the discussion of liability issues in this LIA Risk Report has concerned appraisals performed by licensed or certified appraisers. Financial losses and liabilities, however, do arise from alternative valuation products and we will cover these risks in future issues. For now, here is one case.... [More]
This article is from the March 2012 issue of the LIA Risk Report Appraisal Management and Lenders Services.  It is directed to AMCs but may be of interest to appraisers who contract with AMCs. At this moment, there are law firms directing advertisements to employees, appraisers and other contractors of AMCs and lender services firms about the lucrative rewards available to them as “whistleblowers” if they have information about false claims made to the U.S. government in connec... [More]
Appraisers, their organizations and regulators are now confronting the issue of indemnification in AMC contractor agreements.  A fair amount has been written about the risk to appraisers posed by the one-sided indemnification clauses found in many agreements.  So, what does it actually look like in the real world when an AMC sues one of its own panel appraisers for indemnification under one of these clauses?  The cross claim below filed by an AMC against one of its appraisers help... [More]
We field many questions from appraisers about contractual indemnification clauses. The purpose of this article is to give appraisers an understanding about what indemnification is and how it works. Though indemnification clauses are not new to contracts in the appraisal industry, they have become more widespread in the last several years. As the mortgage crisis has unfolded, businesses in the industry have become more keenly aware of their liability risks and more likely to try to shift such ri... [More]
It's unfortunately gotten so bad with people trying to blame their problems on appraisers that appraisers now even get the blame when the problem relates to a BPO done by a real estate agent. Some evidence of this fact comes from a local headline and article yesterday in a Hudson Valley, New York news source.  The headline reads "Appraiser pockets $8k diamond from Yorktown home, police say."  The article then goes on to explain that Ms. Melanie Alvarez, "[a] real estate agent from Pl... [More]