From An Appraiser

Editor’s Note: This note comes via New Economic Perspectives in response to Bill Black’s article The housing appraisers warned us about the crisis but we didn’t listen that appeared here.

In response to Bill Black’s recent articles (here and here) on appraisal issues surrounding the financial crisis, the following comes to NEP from an Appraiser via 

Dear Mr. Black,

I am one of those 11,000 original appraisers who signed the Appraisers Petition. I went back to check and can’t find myself, but I was in the first few hundred in 2001. If memory serves, Bob Ipock from North Carolina was the author. He posted it attached to Wayne McKerley’s Appraiser’s Forum. I am not positive, but I believe a well respected appraiser named Frank Gregoire from Florida was involved in bringing the petition to the attention of Senator Paul Sarbanes at one point, and I think we were told that it basically got bottom drawered and forgotten.

There is also a colossal thread on that forum called ‘Housing Bubble Bursting?’ begun by an appraiser named Austin Jones from Virginia. Austin called it in 2006, long before anyone of notoriety in the industry would admit such. Loads of interesting information there. I’ve been a member at that forum since 2000, and we watched and discussed the whole scenario as it unfolded before us. It was amazing.

The AMC that Cuomo began investigating was called eAppraiseit and at the time was owned by First American Title. One of our more vocal forum members, Pamela Crowley had gone public accusing eAppraiseit of illegally opening appraiser’s secured reports and altering them. eAppraiseit filed suit on her to cease and decist, however they ended up dropping it as I believe she had them. The corruption was stated to be vast and she was actually in fear for her safety.

I commend you for your fantastic research and writing. Thank you, from the bottom of this appraiser’s heart. We as an industry were blamed for the S & L crisis, and the powers that be are well on their way to hanging this one on us as well. We are weak in organization and lobby power, thus it is easy to do. It is a crime that the only prosecution I know of that has taken place was the CEO of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. Why is Angelo Mozillo still roaming free? Why did Franklin Raines and James Johnson get off with nothing more than civil penalties? How does Jamie Gorelick keep ending up with high paid appointee positions?

There is so much left to uncover, fix, etc. and I just wanted to thank you sincerely for your well written article.

Blessings to you,
Caterina Platt
Los Lunas, NM

Bill Black would like to express his appreciation for all of the appraisers who signed the petition and fought to create a competition in integrity that would spread throughout the profession.

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