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Real Estate Advisors Defense Institute

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Preventing Liability

The articles in this section are written by READI's director Peter Christensen. Peter is also LIA's general counsel. He monitors current litigation and regulatory issues affecting appraisers. These articles contain suggestions based on actual cases about how appraisers can reduce their exposure to potential liability and discipline.

In 2013, many lawsuits against both residential and commercial appraisers continue to relate to appraisals performed years ago at the peak of the real estate price bubble, 2005 to mid-2008. These lawsuits are filed by borrowers, lenders, investors or the FDIC and typically allege that an appraiser’s inflated value resulted in the plaintiff borrowing, paying or loaning too much money. The plaintiff blames its loss on the appraiser and sues for damages. When reporting a claim like this to o... [More]
In a previous article, we explained various statute of limitations issues relating to claims against appraisers and provided a chart of the applicable limitations periods in each state.  See “What is the Statute of Limitations for a Lawsuit Against an Appraiser in My State?” Below we have provided short summaries and links to 16 different trial court and appellate decisions in various states considering statutes of limitations in lawsuits against appraisers and one AMC. For app... [More]
The slides below are from a presentation by Peter Christensen regarding liability risks to appraisers and AMCs stemming from the primary appraisal sections of the Dodd-Frank Act.  Of the three sections addressed in the slides, only section 1472 (Appraisal Independence) is currently in effect.  However, the other two sections 1471 and 1474 are worth discussing and understanding at this time because their provisions relate to current liability issues that appraisers and AMCs face.  ... [More]
January 6, 2011 -- This is a more in depth look at a Quick Tip topic. Most appraisers give careful thought to the statements, limiting conditions and other terms contained in their reports. These statements and conditions cover critical subjects such as identification of the intended user(s) and purpose of the appraisal and limitations of the appraiser’s responsibility and potential liability. Aside from being important to a clear communication of the appraiser’s work product, such statements a... [More]
We do not receive many reports or claims anymore relating to valuation pressure on appraisers from AMCs or lenders in connection with appraisals for loan origination purposes. The sources of that pressure are now underwater borrowers and real estate agents. We do, however, receive reports and see the results of pressure by some personnel employed by AMCs in the business of delivering “forensic” review work for mortgage insurance and loan repurchase purposes.

In recent months, we have received confidential reports of AMC personnel instructing appraisers [More]