Reverse AMC AppraiserLoft Closes Shop, No Buyer In Sight

AppraiserLoft is shutting down, sources told RMD today. According to sources close to the San Diego-based company, the former appraisal management company which served many reverse mortgage lenders has shut down operations and closed its doors for appraisal management services. The closing was announced Friday after sources say a potential sale fell apart.

The company’s debt to appraisers is rumored to be in the millions of dollars, and reports say employees were told of the company’s insolvency as it closed its doors late last week. While no buyer has emerged to rescue the remaining pieces of the AMC, competitors are seeing its downfall as opportunity.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Brian Coester, CEO of Rockville, Maryland-based Coester Appraisal Group told RMD. “They had a good name with a good platform,” he said.

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Coester, which just acquired a smaller East Coast AMC, says the timing is right to pick up market share from the former AMC, which last year said it was working with nine of the largest reverse mortgage lenders at the time. In 2010, the list included Bank of America Reverse, Financial Freedom/OWB, James B. Nutter and Company, Generation Mortgage, Urban Financial, Genworth Financial, LiveWell Financial, Security One Lending and 1st Mariner Bank.

In August, AppraiserLoft’s former CEO Aman Makkar stepped down from his position. Shane Copeland, the AMC’s former senior vice president of national sales took an interim leadership role at that time.

The company was founded by Makkar in 2007 and has served reverse mortgage customers in appraisal services since. When he left the position, Makkar said he would pursue an endeavor in mobile media technology that is unrelated to AppraiserLoft’s core business.

The AMC has owned an operated the industry magazine The Reverse Review for several years.

A request for comment from AppraiserLoft’s Makkar was not returned as of press time.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • That’s really sad since he have to close his shop just because of the shortage of customers.This may be beneficial for others but no buyer has emerged to rescue the remaining pieces of the AMC, competitors are seeing its downfall as opportunity.

    • Really sad?  They paid their appraiser’s about 2/3 of what is considered reasonable and customary.  Appraisers were required to submit reports within 2 days but weren’t paid for their work until many months later, and that was only after multiple emails and phone calls to the accounting department who would hang up on you.  Feel sorry for the appraisers, usually 1 person operations, who do 100% of the work, but get paid 2/3 of the fee and only get paid after hours of time wasted fighting with Appraiserloft staff.  They owe me about $2,200 and even though I know I’ll never see that money, I am glad to see them go so that I never have to deal with those people ever again.

    • The borrowers get an appraisal.  They order it from appraisers, who historically did not get paid until threatening them with turning them into appraisal boards.  After finally getting paid for several outstanding invoices, I no longer accepted orders from them.  The lenders ordered from Appraiserloft, who delivered an appraisal to them via being a management company.  So, borrowers never got the shaft like you are thinking – they didn’t even know what was going on with outstanding invoices, as they always got their  appraisals. 

  • They owe my company 5K of appraisal work over the last 4 months.  Appraisers get skrewed again.  Out our time, personal money for gas, time, insurance, mls fees, and other expenses.  Appraisers need to get paid…

  • My orders cost $520. I have one order where we sent the borrowers bank account information and it was debited for $450. That was odd. Then they requested an addition $200 because of the remote area. Another check number # was sent last Wednesday or Thursady but the amount has not been debited. Was an appraisal ordered or not? Will my borrower who took 3 weeks to “scrape the money together” be refunded? I sent the email request because they are not answering their phone.  And on top of that…in order to protect my borrower from falling victim to “a predatory lender” I cannot cover the fee for her from my commission. I love this business…I love this business….I love this business. NO … I love my borrower!!.

  • I quit using them when MetLife cut them off. This action coincided with AppraiserLoft adding an appraiser to their roster from my market area who was known poor quality work. Based on what AppraserFL said it is no wonder AppraiserLoft went under. We reap what we sow. 

  • we were contacted by one of their clients today, requesting the report be delivered to them directly….told them not without payment! sent all of the open invoices to the contact who is working on getting payment for these orders overnighted to us. try contacting the lender on the loans first, most we had were through AIMLoans. better than writing it all off!

  • As an appraiser and a die hard Democratic , I thanks Cuomo started this mass and thanks Dodd-Frank to continue to let us hang our self without any enforcement to regulate AMC.
    After Appraiser Loft, which one is next?

  • Im out $2,500. Mostly appraisals from April – July.  I stopped accepting their crummy fees about 2 months ago.. I called about 12 times and sent over a dozen emails over the past 2 months requesting payments. No payment ever came. I actually spoke with someone in accounting last week and she said the checks didnt go out in September because they had some fraudulent activity in their account…..  My thought is what incentive do the lenders have to pay?  Appraiser Loft already paid them.

  • Great!  Just found out AL is out of business by my bank account being debited $2300! Still owed an additional $1600 and actually have an open order I just inspected.  Anyone know what I can do to collect or do I just take the hit.

  • Just found out AL is out of business when my bank account was debited $2300 for a bad check from guess who!  I still have $1600 (now $3900) in unpaid invoices, not to mention 1 open order I just inspected yesterday.  Anyone have any suggestions on how I can collect (lenders) ? Or do I roll over and take the hit while AL get’s away clean!

    • 1.Try to contact Intended user, most major lender has the helpline email .
      2. Contact borrower and state the issue, have them talk to their loan agent before loan doc. is sign, there should be a closing statement indicate “Appraisal Fee”, let borrower know you have not been paid. Most home owner I’ve talked to are  willing to help and keep pressure on loan agent.
      3. For FHA, contact Home center in your area. FHA has stated many times that appraiser should get paid in their training class.

      • David_Wang,

        Let’s see.  The lender has paid the appraisal management company but the appraisal management company owes the appraiser.  What does that have to with the lender, the loan originator, or the applicant? 

      • Do yo think lender pay AMC that fast?
        Many file still in processing or underwriting stage. 

      • David,

        Are you saying that AL is unable to pay because the lenders are withholding payments?  That sounds like a cash flow problem not a fraud issue as someone at AL represented to benonega above.

        What do lender payments have to do with the obligation of AL to pay appraisers?  Does the contract between the appraiser and the AMC specify that the payment to the appraiser is in any way contingent on the lender payment to the AMC?  What kind of independence would that be?

        The contract of the appraiser should be entirely independent of the contract or payment between the lender and the AMC.  I really do not understand your comment unless the independence problem has morphed into a layered problem thru the AMC rather a direct one between lender and appraiser.  If so HUD has removed transparency and is not quite as sophisticated as they want us to believe.    

    • David,

      Just over four decades ago, I was a part-time gardener while attending school.  Some of my customers were landlords and I would do gardening at apartment buildings where they were absentee owners.

      Sometimes the landlords would fail to pay me.  I had no right to try and collect my fees from the renters.  They did not hire me and my contract did not allow me to collect from them.  Your situation is NO different.
       
      The lender contracts with the AMC to provide an appraisal which meets FHA standards.  Who the AMC uses is their business, not that of the lender or the applicant.  Unless you have rights under the Mechanics Lien laws of the state(s) you provide services, by working for an AMC you are cutoff from claims against the applicant.  Unless there is a contingent liability in the terms of the contract, how would you have any claims against a lender?
       
      The facts are you are looking to the wrong parties for compensation.

  • Here is what it says:

    WITH REGARD TO ANY CLAIM OR LEGAL ACTION BY APPRAISER  AGAINST [THE
    AMC], ITS AFFILIATES OR ANY OF THEIR EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS OR
    AGENTS, WHETHER BASED IN TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, APPRAISER’S
    RECOVERABLE DAMAGES SHALL BE LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM  AGGREGATE AMOUNT
    EQUAL TO THE FEES PAID BY [THE AMC] TO APPRAISER IN THE 12 MONTHS
    PRECEDING THE CLAIM.”

    • David,

      The quotation cites the maximum limitation on what your recovery can be against the AMC, its affiliates, and related parties.  It may not be fair or reasonable but that is between you and the AMCs.

      It is the AMC you work for, not the lender or the home owner.  Your complaints are with the AMC and the AMC alone.

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