Blog

Friday, July 31, 2015

If you are in business long enough, you will get subpoenaed by someone involved in a dispute that may not even involve you. A subpoena is technically a court order compelling you to appear and testify or to produce records or both. If you are actually involved in the dispute as the plaintiff or defendant, your duty to comply with the subpoena is generally very clear and mandatory.

Monday, May 18, 2015

With the overall economy improving and with unemployment dropping back to more manageable levels, it was only a matter of time before the residential real estate industry (builders, bankers, mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wall Street) and its lobbying groups and trade associations popped up and asked for Congress and federal regulators to reduce or end many of the restrictions placed on the industry after it gorged itself on the U.S. economy and left the table with only crumbs and broken dishes for the rest of us. That time is now and no industry is more skillful at using confusing or even meaningless statistics sprinkled with patriotism to chip away at even the staunchest opposition.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Brian Trotier, FREA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, was recently invited to speak on the Appraiser Coach Podcast on the topic of blacklisting and issues that affect both your work and your livelihood.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Not wanting to be left home from the party, Freddie Mac has announced that on June 30, 2015 it will begin providing new feedback on appraisals submitted to it via the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP). Like Fannie Mae’s system, the messages will be delivered to those lenders seeking to sell residential loans to Freddie Mac. Most of the feedback will be in the form of warnings which essentially alert a lender there are some inconsistencies between the submitted appraisal report and data that Freddie Mac already possesses (like public records).

Monday, May 4, 2015

In February 2014, we reported what we saw as a potential scam involving letters being sent to appraisers by a group called Savant Claims Management. Since then, a lot has happened and we want to provide an update on the latest activities by entities related to Savant and give some tips to those who have actually been sued by First Mutual Group, L.P. from Plano, Texas. (First Mutual Group, L.P., is a Delaware limited partnership whose members are Alternative Capital Strategies, LP, (a British entity) and First Mutual Group, GP LLC (another Delaware entity).

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime in my lifetime the family home stopped being where you chose to live to raise your family and put down roots and became an investment asset. It seems this transformation began when investment bankers on Wall Street first realized residential mortgage lending represented a potential source of huge profits.

Monday, March 9, 2015

If you have ever had to deal with a frivolous claim or lawsuit, you are not alone. Many frivolous claims or lawsuits are filed every day. If you haven’t had to deal with a frivolous claim or lawsuit yet, congratulations, but you still should read this because if you are in the real estate business long enough you will eventually “join the club”.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. In light of recent actions in the mortgage lending industry, we all may be able to experience the thrill ride of 2007-2009 all over again…soon. You may wonder what actions I am referring to so let me share a brief list of what I will call the top ten contributing factors to the downturn I see happening by July of 2017.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Each MLS system is different, but it is safe to say none is perfect. The information residing in an MLS system is entered by people hustling to make a living so naturally errors occur. An MLS system generally does not contain much, if any, information about properties sold via “pocket listings” or about “for sale by owner” (FSBO) sales.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Today, NDC (National Data Collective), a leading national provider of property data for real estate professionals, has released a new and improved export tool for a la mode customers only called Shift.
Shift allows NDC users to export NDC’s highly-rated collective property data directly into a la mode’s industry leading form filling software with just a push of a button. The tool is compatible with the legacy WinTOTAL system, TOTAL 2013, and the upcoming release of the next-generation TOTAL Titan.