Let me admit to one very important fact…I am old. At least I assume I am since I am over 60. In any event, much of what I know about the cyclical nature of real estate is not based on any scholarly papers I have researched and presented, but rather it is due to the fact that in my professional career I have seen four different downturns in real estate and from that I have gained what is known as real world experience. In other words, I am old, but my memory still works.
appraiser Blog Posts
Recently I had the opportunity to work on a Class Action case. The case settled, and there are confidentiality agreements for both sides, so I cannot reveal any details. I will summarize the allegations and findings, as well as the scope of work performed.
I should say also that before being hired, I was interviewed, and vetted. Every reference provided, was contacted, as well as a records check and background check.
It has been awhile since we updated the appraisal community on developments in the wave of lawsuits filed by Llano Financing Group LLC (Llano). Our last update was issued on February 18, 2016 so here is what has transpired since then.
Let’s say you are a publicly traded company integrally involved in the residential mortgage business as a lender, wholesaler, correspondent, warehouse provider, and servicer. Let’s also say that not too long ago your company had a near death experience…as in your stock price in November of 2008 hit $00.05 per share (yes, that is 5 cents).
We are happy to report that the walls are slowly tumbling down on Llano Financing and the Ganter brothers (Chris & Ben). If we sound biased it’s only because we are. When any entity like Llano is on the losing end of close to 100% of the cases in both state and federal court, it becomes very clear quickly to both the judiciary and the general public that something fishy is going on.
If you are reading about this for the first time, here is a very brief background summary to give you some perspective. Beginning several years ago a number of entities owned, controlled, or run by two brothers from Texas have been acquiring the remnants of defaulted mortgage loans and then suing appraisers all over the US. The brothers are Chris and Ben Ganter and the entities involved (at least those we know about) are:
It’s been a few months since we issued our last update on our friends (and yours) the Ganter brothers (Chris and Ben). The Ganters have suffered what for most people would be a series of embarrassing setbacks in their blatant attempts to use the legal system to pressure appraisers and/or their E&O carriers into paying off what we view as frivolous claims to save the cost of litigating the underlying dispute. For those of you who are reading this for the first time, we have issued two other alerts about this in the past 18 months. Links to the earlier blog posts are footnoted below in the article.
There are a lot of things homeowners can do to add value to their home. But there are just as many ways they can decrease their home’s worth without even realizing it. Everyone knows that neglecting their yard or painting their house neon pink could make their home less valuable. But whether you’re planning to sell, to refinance or to rent on Airbnb, there are steps you can take to retain, and even increase, the value of your home. Avoid these five common mistakes.
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).
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.