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Countrywide and Landsafe Sued over Appraisals

From Business Week, a Seattle lawfirm is suing Countrywide and Landsafe claiming they illegally rigged the appraisal process.

COUNTRYWIDE SUED

Typical of the complaints about appraisers’ bubble-era behavior are those spelled out in a lawsuit filed on Jan. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington by Carrol and Gregory Clark. The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims that Countrywide Home Loans and its in-house appraisal arm, LandSafe, inflated home valuations during the boom so Countrywide could make more loans and sell them on Wall Street.

The lawsuit claims that when the Clarks refinanced their Seattle home for $350,000 in February 2007, they were required to use the Countrywide affiliate for the appraisal. It says they paid $410, double what LandSafe actually paid an outside appraiser to do the work. The suit further claims that outside appraisers who didn’t come up with high home values were denied future work from the lender.

Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America (BAC) in July 2008. Asked for a response, Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton said, “We have not been served yet, but based on what we have heard about this suit we believe it is without merit.”

A lot of appraisers aren’t happy about the looming changes. In a poll conducted on Jan. 16 by the American Appraisal Institute trade group, 60% of appraisers said the code was unlikely to change the quality of appraisals. The 600 or so survey participants also said the biggest problem in the industry wasn’t pressure from clients, but poorly trained appraisers.

The lawsuit was really filed on behalf of home-owners, who the suit alleges, overpaid for appraisals. However, the lawsuit touches on a couple other issues facing appraisers, such as low appraisal fees and interference from AMC’s. It should be very interesting to see how this suit plays out. And whether it leads to other lawsuits in the future.

Update – January 21

The same law firm is now investigating Wells Fargo and its subsidiary Rels Valuation.

Comments
  1. Jim

    Thank goodness this ripoff AMC / Lender profit center is finally being brough to light. Appraisers have known for years that they were being taken hostage. But this lawsuit exposes how the public was gouged. Hagens, Berman can break this cesspool wide open. Demand a jury trial!
    Wells Fargo (via RELS), has been doing the same thing for years, profitting off the back of hard working people by fudging the HUD-1 they get at settlement.
    Ms. Norton- there is no merit? Are you a paid employee? Are we to expect you to say there is merit? Sorry, Ed Norton has more credibility.

  2. Shelly Stradling,GRI, Associate Broker

    I hope this will bring light to consumers having to pay a double appraisal fee just because the lender chooses or requires the appraisal be ordered by a third party. The seller or buyer, whomever is paying for the appraisal is paying the appraiser’s fee and also the third party the same fee when the third party does nothing more than act as as a lender approved entity to simply “order” the appraisal. Why should the consumer pay for a process dictated by some lenders wherin there is no benefit to to the consumer or the appraiser or to the process? Is this another area where the lender is indirectly steering business one way or another and it’s the lender receiving the benefit?

  3. Shannon Williams

    Finally, something I can agree with, concerning the appraisal industry. I can’t believe all the low ballers, charging less than 225 for FULL 1004 appraisals. I have been on the appraisal list at many of the companies like, Landsafe, Rels Valuation, Quantix, Appraisal Port, Fiserv, Mercury, Lenders Choice. I did a couple of appraisals each a year. I never do anything wrong, always on time, but they only send me stuff when they have overflow! What a crock!
    SUE EM’ Make it fare for all of the appraisers. Not just the ones that have been here for 20+ years. I’ve been here for 10+ and I still am begging for orders. Sad.

  4. Liz

    Please NAR – help with the fight of stopping the HVCC so AMCs like Landsafe can be stopped! There are many appraisers that pay your dues too!

  5. hoohaa

    Appraiers are still appraising too high when performing BPO’s for short sales, thereby causing banks to deny short sale offers resulting in more foreclosures.

  6. Renee

    When hurricane Wilma hit my home it caused $195,000.00 in damages. When insurance sent my checks to Countrywide they refused to give me my money. The said the repairs had to be done first. I was broke, my home devastated and they refused to help me by giving me my own insurance money. I had to use my charge card, pay excessive interest rates to get the work done in stages and they Countrywide dolled out small portions over the course of a year and a half. They floated my money! I hate Countrywide for the stress they put me through at the worst time of my life.

  7. Don Read

    A BPO is a Broker Price Opinion! It is not an appraisal and it is not done by an appraiser acting as an appraiser, it is done by a Real Estate Broker in connection with the solicition of a listing. In many locations it is not legal to be used for any purpose other than as a broker’s tool to solicit business.

  8. Johnny A

    I have been an appraiser for 32 years. I received appraisal requests from Countrywide both locally and from national offices for work in my area. At the time, the fee was (let’s say) $350 for single family. Once Landsafe got involved, the fee to the borrower was increased to +/_ $425 and I then received $275. Also, our appraisals were checked by computer, which required that we answer questions on review that often did not apply to our area. This more work for less fee did not appeal to me and I was no longer interested in working for this type of AMC. Now I find it hard to find AMC’s that I would want to partner with, as most are not interested in a personal relationship. Most appear to be interested in the cheapest, quickest report, without care for quality or experience.
    Is this the future of our profession?

  9. Tim

    AMC’s may have their place in the industry but they REALLY need to be REGULATED ! More and more I hear Realtors tell me that the lender assigned the appraiser whoj came from two counties away and had NO DATA. Wasn’t even a memeber of the local MLS and the Realtor had to provide listed and sold comparables. When you pay appraisers reduced fees (1/2), they cannot afford to pay MLS fees. The appraisal reports are garabage but if it fits the AMC’s criteria as set by the lender…No Problem ! I urge all Realtors to do due diligence for your sellers (and buyers) and simply do not schedule an appointment for an appraisal inspection with an appraiser who has no access to MLS data. You can RIGHTFULLY do this as a fiduciary duty to your client. DO NOT provide appraisers with comparable listings and sales unless you have confirmed that they have the same access as you do and your contibution of data is for additional assistance. I have posted before, about Christmas time I believe, that AMC’s are only the first step in banking getting a stranglehold on the real estate market. Appraiser control first then it won’t be long before Realtors will be part of a managment system based on lowest commission, ect. I was surpirsed to find last week the offering from Bank Of America for the “Preferred Broker/Agent Program”. This intrusion into the real estate market cannot be tolerated as soon veryone will be paid a flat “discounted” fee for serivces and only the cheapest will receive any work while a borrower will pay full boat for services which, of course, any overage will go to a completely unregulated entity as pure profit.
    Take Action NAR you are next.

  10. Tom

    Read “Confessions of a Subprime Lender by Richard Bitner. It is very insightful.

  11. Uncle Bob

    If there are AMCs for appraisers and it is profitable for those who control the money, soon title, escrow, real estate agents, home inspectors, all aspects of a real estate loans, will be bid through an AMC service. Don’t kid yourself, it’s being looked at.

  12. Anonymous

    A local lender, tied to an AMC Company, is now paying appraisal fees of $180, for a 1004, there is no telling what they charge the client. The total fee shows up on the HUD form as an appraisal expense; in reality, the lender gets the larger portion for doing nothing. I have been in the appraisal business for 34 years and cannot run a firm on those pathetic low fees. None of the experienced and designated appraisers accepted these fees.
    A friend called me and said one of this Lender’s appraisers inspected his home and admitted that he knew little about the subdivision where the property was located and that he had been in the appraisal profession for just only six months. The location of the subject is in an established 40 year old neighborhood What a joke!
    It is not hard to see where this is going!

  13. Annie

    It doesn’t stop at appraisers. Although not part of the story, this goes all the way to the Asset Mgrs and OUtsourcers for Countrywide. They are set on destroying financial markets and property values. They will agree to sell a foreclosure for thousands less to avoid using tougher appraisers, ie. FHA appraisers. Case in point a buyer agreed to pay $363000 for a house where it was known FHA appraiser would require about $3500 in repairs. Rather than do the repairs for a qualified 1st time buyer,they sold the house to a conventional buyer/investor for $342,000. I am not for regulating many things, but these lenders need to be thrown out and regulations be put into place. I feel bad the appraisers are taking the brunt for regulation when it had very little to do with them. Rising prices are due to supply & demand not appraisals. BUT the cost of the appraisal is outrageous if the appraiser is receiving so little and the lender/AMC is making more. Illegal!

  14. Jerry

    Not only do they “take” a substantial portion of the appraisal fee – and NOT DISCLOSE IT to the borrower, many of the AMC’s also require that “we” the appraiser hold them “harmless” for any of their errors, and submit to binding arbitration in lieu of our rights to a court trial. Lastly, if you make the mistake of informing them they are being unfair – your orders for appraisals, “go away” and they quit returning e-mails and phone calls. Most of these AMC’s are wholly-owned “subsidiaries” of a bank or lender.

  15. Frank Stimpfl

    So that is why Landsafe is suddening calling me after not working for them for years. They still want to pay only $125 to $165 for drivebys in my area, I tell them I cant work for this low a fee and they should send them to trainee shops who would be glad to work for those fees, I believe thats whose been working for them all along, no wonder they have problems. Stick together on those fees, dont give your professional services away just for a little work. They will eventually have to pay us for our services, hopefully sooner than later.

  16. JOHN CHINN

    THERE SHOULD BE NO ONE BETWEEN THE APPRAISER AND THE PURCHASER OF HIS SERVICES. WOULD A LAWYER STAND FOR SUCH . IN THE EYES OF THE REST OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY, THE LENDERS AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT , APPRAISERS ARE PROFESSIONALS , ONLY WHEN IT IS TIME TO BLAME SOMEONE.
    EXPECT NOTHING FROM CONGRESS NOR THE JUSTICE DEPT. THE APPRAISAL FOUNDATION HAS LET APPRAISERS DOWN; APPRAISAL ORGANIZATIONS HAVE LET THE APPRAISER DOWN ;AND THE APPRAISERS HAVE LET THEMSELVES DOWN.
    THESE THIRD PARTY, GO BETWEENS ARE A TOOL OF BANKS, LENDERS ETC. TO TRY AND PLACE THEMSELVES FREE FROM BLAME IN SHADY DEALS.
    DON’T DEAL WITH THEM. I WAS AN APPRAISER FOR 44 YEARS. WHEN I HAD MY OWN BUSINESS I WOULD NOT DEAL WITH THEM.
    IN A CLASS ONCE, AN APPRAISER ANSWERED ME , WHEN I SAID DON’T DEAL WITH THEM, WITH THIS,”I’VE GOT A MORTGAGE TO PAY.”
    WAS IT EASY TO TURN DOWN THESE SLIME BALLS. NO. FOLKS. THE COURTS AND JAILS ARE FULL OF PEOPLE WHO COULD NOT SEE THE VALUE OF WALKING AWAY FROM BAD ASSOCIATIONS.
    ONCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOT ITS HOOKS IN THE APPRAISAL BUSINESS, IT CEASED TO BE A BUSINESS. WHAT YOU NOW HAVE IS THE MOST CONVOLUTED BAG OF TRASH, CALLED USPAP, THAT IS SIMPLY A TOOL TO BE USED AGAINST THE APPRAISER WHEN SOMEONE DOES NOT LIKE YOUR FIGURE.
    YOU CAN THROW USPAP AWAY BY GOING DIRECTLY TO BASICS.
    1- DO YOUR RESEARCH
    2- VERIFY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
    3- DON’T MAKE YOURSELF BEHOLDING TO ANYONE
    IF GOVERNMENTS REALLY WANT TO HELP, THEN SEE TO IT THAT THE APPRAISER IS FREE FROM INTIMIDATION OF ANY KIND. LET THE APPRASIER PROVIDE THE ESTIMATE AND THEN IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE USER TO MAKE THE LENDING DECISION. OR; GET ANOTHER APPRAISAL.
    FINALLY: SOMEONE MADE A COMMENT ABOUT BANK OF AMERICA NOT THINKING THE SUIT HAD MERIT. OF COURSE NOT. AND BARNEY FRANK IS IN CHARGE OF CLEANING UP THE FNMA, FREDDIE MAC MESS.
    HOW SINCERE AND ABOVE BOARD DO ANY OF US BELIEVE THIS MESS TO BE. IN THE END THE BIG DOGS NEVER TAKE THE BLAME FOR THEIR EVIL WORKS.
    IT’S ALWAYS THE FAULT OF THE GUY SWEEPING THE FLOORS.

  17. Justin Morton

    John, I appreciate your comment, but in the future please try not to use All Caps. It feels like your screaming.

  18. I have been an appraiser for almost 7 years. Lately I have been accepting orders for these incredibly low fees by AMC’s. I can’t do it any longer. It seems the lower the fee, the more they want, more comps, then grid in listings as well, they want it within 24 hours, and some AMC’s will dock your pay if the report is late. These AMC’s act like their order is the only one I am working on and nothing else matters. The return is a small pay check and I spend entirely too much time chasing these crooks for my slice of the fee. Speaking of Landsafe, they owed me over $3,000 and my supervisor was killed in a tragic accident. I tried and tried to get my money, I have not been able to get a dime from them. I will rejoice when justice is served to these criminals.

  19. I have been a private lender for many years and my constant concern is that appraisals consistently over evaluate property. What simply boggles my mind is that any lender could be so stupid as to encourage high appraisals. Surely if they were lending their own money, this foolishness would stop.

  20. David Fuller

    Yes the AMCs are reducing our fees and hiring out of town appraisers who have no expertise in the local market, and this is even more rampant in the ‘desktop’review department- appraisers signing certifications of competence when they are 300+ miles away. If you get your hands on copies of such appraisals PLEASE start by filing complaints with your State Appraisal Board (in NY the Department of State) and these unqualified appraisers who the AMC’s are feeding from will get the message.

  21. Nick Strimmenos

    This is a sign of times to come. Since the market downturn,lenders/brokers have become more and more desparate to make money and appraisal quality has suffered. Lenders have become more aggressive in seeking out “compliant” appraisers and honest ones are being denied work. They go “fishing” for value on a daily basis. Calling numerous appraisers unitl they get what they need. Now with the HVCC, AMC’s are jumping on the chance to take a cut of our pay which further drives down the quality of appraisals. AMC’s are dictating the fees with a take it or leave it attitude. They don’t care about experience. After 10 years in the business, I have had about enough. No other profession has seen there work load/liabilty increase while at the same time fees decrease. In my 10 years in the business, fees have declined while the cost of eveything else has risen. Soon these same lenders and AMC’s will claim that appraisals are no longer reliable and therefore no longer needed. If only they could manipulate credit scores the way they have manipulated appraisals. Think how much more money loan originators could make.

  22. Tonya Smith

    Current and future appraisers.
    If you had just graduated from college would you want to then take classes for an appraisers trainee license, work under a certified residential appraiser who is being ripped off to complete a document who with out one, no banks/mortage loans would/could be approved.
    Then as a trainee you would be paid what, 50 dollars an appraisal for 2000 hours? Continuing education costs, insurance, data bases, mls, tax, preparatory software to name just a few and then after all this work you would basically be working for free. Hmm … I can’t think of any idiot who would! Duhhhh!
    Then what the AMC’s do??

  23. These are the facts:
    An appraiser gets paid $350 – $450 for a 1004 no matter what the loan amount is or the value of the property. The broker/lender/agent makes their money on a percentage or the amount of the loan. It is the broker/lender/agent who makes ‘the big bucks’ dependent on the loan amount or the sales price. What does it matter to the appraiser? Not a hell of a lot…the appraiser gets his $350 – $450 no matter what the value is. Who has pressured the appraiser? Who is to blame here? If Fannie and Freddie want a ‘firewall’ between the appraiser and the one ordering the appraisal…why shouldn’t the fees be paid by the broker/lender/agent for the AMC?! I don’t understand why the appraiser should pay for this service. It just does not make any sense. The broker/lender/agent makes a lot more money on ‘the deal’ then the appraiser. Appraisers need to start addressing this issue and demand that the fees be paid by the other party involved not the appraiser.

  24. Helen

    Whether or not there is an AMC, whent the mortgage rep finds out the appraiser did their job and did a “real appraisal” and the house does not appraiser high enough to make the deal, the appraiser is blackballed and stops receiving work. Its a game. No one wants a real appraisal. They just want the deal to go through, no matter what. If there is any way that the rep can find out who the appraiser is, the AMC is useless anyway. Third party should assure anonimity. But, it does not. Real estate values went up. Realtors received more commission. Banks received more money, reps received more money. But the appraisal fee has not increased in over 10 years. This needs to change. The appraiser’s expenses for software, databases, licenses,education, etc. are high. They should be treated as professionals, not as whores for the next dangling carrot.

  25. David

    Just had an interesting run in with IRR appraisal management company. We spent three times longer on the appraisal than is typical because they gave us a tough one. 2 weeks later they send us a list of 20+ comps asking us to review them to see if any of the properties are more similar. We billed $200 for the appraisal.
    Two things went through my mind:
    1) They essentially want us to now provide them with the data so they can do an inhouse review on our work.
    2) They are pushing for a different value conclusion by asking us to consider new comparable sales.
    I wrote a nice letter to them stating that I decline to do the extra work. It was nice doing business with them but we would like to be removed from their appraiser roster. I’m sure they can find a more willing victim with a few phone calls.
    AMCs are asking you to do more and more work for less and less money. Don’t fall for it guys. Just stand your ground

  26. norma lowe

    First time buyers, As We WERE. Countrywide/landsafe appraisers offered us $20,000 equity then said with a F.H.A. loan we needed another appraiser so they did and we paid $525.00 for a $20,000 less in equity zero. Now with them switching our loan without our knowledge we do not even quialify for Low intrest rates If we had been given the F.H.A. loan we agreed to we would of been able to get this special. Countrywide /landsafe made threats if we refused to sign this New loan they switched on us. so we have almost lost everything. They also did not disclose fire claim paid out misrepsenting the value of home. Countrywide just does as they want while we the consumers suffer.

  27. 2734 karen ave

    if the appraisers were to be picked by the consumers whom are paying out $$$$$$$
    maybe at least then we might have a half of a chance. The broker/lender/seller /so on needs to be honest and make the loan documents alot easier to understand or be given more time to examine these many many confusing doc’s.

  28. Ossie

    I totally agree with all of you.
    The woman who stated “the suit is without merit” is either an idiot or brain dead. I will venture to say that she sell her ethics to anyone.

  29. As an almost three decade experienced Realtor I believe truly most of what we are experiencing in this ‘financial crises’ is lender caused. Bank caused, on purpose. What else would explain the really lousy service, the refusal to fund very qualified buyers, who at one time these same companies would have begged to give money too. Not all appraisals are too high by the way! Eau Contraire! (sp?) I have run into lenders who have given appraisers on their list in our area, ridiculous guide lines to follow! ie: comp’s no older than 3 months…??? In a winter climate, our RE business goes into sleep mode from Thanksgiving thru the first of the year! So a property that we as agents know, and I mean know is worth XXX dollars is dealt a ridiculous death blow to its value because the only comps that sold during that three month property were duress properties! Not apples to apples. A well qualified buyer, (fico scores in 700′s) with 10% down of their own money, was turned down. Why? Lender wanted 15% or 20%, and it would be ok to get a gift, (ahemmm) from a relative for the difference, or they ‘should’ do an 80/20 with one of their subsidiaries! I thought we wanted to avoid that! Banks/lenders are paying themselves huge bonuses, redecorating their offices, buying each other up, and holding the economy hostage. It is ridiculous out there. For those of you who think an agent is paid so much more than you appraisers. Guess again. We can work for weeks, months, years and never see a dime. Break it down and McDonalds pays more. In my 30 years in this business, I have seen ups and downs of all kinds and successfully survived them all. One consistent fact through all the years, I could count on at least one appraiser to call me a week to get some ‘valuable’ assistance on a job he was working on. Sorry, just need to vent. But Banks should not be in the Real Estate Brokerage, appraisal business. Period. nada, nope, no way. Take a look at what their doing just to get their way now! Thanks for giving me this opportunity.

  30. james clark

    I have spent the last several years proving myself to a group of clients who now have a very high degree of trust in my honesty, ability and professionalism. They know my work and do not question my result when it comes short of what is ‘needed’, because I have proven myself time after time. They value what I do and how I do it. Now, they will have to rely on other appraisers that may or may not know what they are doing. I know areas that have a few streets that are high dollar, and two streets either way are totally different value markets. An appraiser has to know those areas intimately to do an accurate job, and not many do. I do, which is why my clients call me. Now the government has done what they always do when they stick their thumbs into the private sector: the ‘new & better’ system totally negates the appraisal industry as an effective tool of the private sector and destroys what many of us have honestly and sacrificially worked very hard to build. This is one more move toward socialism. Yes, there has been some wrong stuff. However, I would like for the US congress show me their record of integrity vs. the integrity of the entire appraisal industry. I am grieved so say that I have sacrificed and worked very hard for several years to establish my career just to see MY government destroy my livlihood. This is democracy?

  31. Diane F.

    “Appraisers” (Please Capitalise “Appraiser” such as “Real Estate Agents”, we deserve the same respect and reconization/professional title as Real Estate Agents! “Appraisers Bubble-Headed Era/Behavior”…Give us a huge break here! I have been in the Appraisal Industry for well over 18 years. Don’t blame all Appraisers for our current Home/Economic Statis! Take a very, very good look at all of the Real Estate Agents who worked Hand-In Hand with Mortgage Brokers/Banks/Building Contractors, & Big Home Building Companies over the last 10 +/- years, greedy to make money by inflating home values, not to mention being extremely dishonest in some cases ( $ signes in their eyes), than please, please, do tell me who is at least “Partially Rsponsible” for “Over-Inflation” of Home Values!!! There may be some shoddy Appraisers out there, but the majority of us are very honest, dedicated Appraisers who, like myself, have lost many “Clients” over the years for not “Bringing In Values” higher than what they would like to have seen, not to mention the “Borrowers” complaining as well. I sincerely hope I have helped to have saved some of my “Clients” and their “Borrowers” from loosing their homes during these very hard economic times. In the meantime, “Lenders” expect we “Appraisers” to accept the same Appraisal Fee’s that we were being paid over 18 years ago at this time! Is there something wrong with this picture? Our “Out Of Pocket Costs” are astronomical, then we have to wait up to 30 or 45 days to be paid…Who ever wrote this artical, do you receive payment for your work every week or two? And now the Government want’s we Appraisers to absolutely have to complete our work through middle-men companies (AMC’s)at extremely reduced appraisal fees??? Can you survive on the same amount of money you were making 18 years ago with current & past rising inflation? Really!!! And happy trails to you my friend…
    DRF: Hayden, Idaho

  32. Jackie

    I have been an appraiser for over 17 years now and agree that the best fees are no higher than they were then, plus we have to pay a fee to the management companies for the work we get. And that doesn’t even apply to Landsafe, who only pays the appraiser 50% of the fee it charges the customer plus the managment fee due. They do pay quickly, but why not, they have taken in more than enough money to cover the 50% to pay the appraiser. When I first worked for Countrywide many years ago, they paid the full fee until they started their own appraisal management company and decided to keep half the appraisal fee in their own pocket. Shouldn’t that have helped keep them financially sound? I had continued to work for CW, because the loan officers I worked with did a good job, but now I can’t even get someone at Landsafe to answer the phone. I value my business and the ability to make a decent living doing something I enjoy. And let’s not even start on whether or not they intend to pay for the new form 1004MC, which will increase the work for each appraisal even more. Love my job, hate the constant droning of how the appraisers overinflating values must be responsible for the greed and dishonesty of a handful of lenders.

  33. MARTHA

    I am now refinancing with CW. I cannot find out what my charge is for the appraisal. They won’t tell me. I located one for a fee that is acceptable. Until I find out, then I will go elsewhere for the loan. This is another scam.

  34. Brandy

    We refinaced our home in 2005, we used a COuntrywide office out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They did sent out their own appraiser, does this suit pertain to us also? We were informed that we are victims of preditory lending? Anyone have any anwsers for us?

  35. Jamilia H.

    Wow, with everyhing that was stated makes me not want to be an appraiser anymore. I am working on getting my trainees license now for the state of Pennsylvania if anyone has advice for me just give it to me straight!

  36. LandSafe is really looking like a grounded bird lately. You should see the details on the changes to their broker price opinion business process.

  37. Elliott

    We had the worst experience with Landsafe and B of A home loan, who charged our credit card $447 for the bogus appraisal. A psychopathic mental patient came in as an appraiser, spent only ten minutes at the premises, took a few pictures, and then listed our 4-bedroom house as a 3-bedroom and appraised it $60K below the market value. Why? Because the biggest bedroom in the house used to have a closet but it was taken out by the former owners so they could open it up with a door attached to the adjacent bedroom.

    Mind you, our house is listed as a 4-bedroom with the LA County and the MLS, but this idiot decided that the biggest bedroom in the house didn’t count as a bedroom because it didn’t have a closet! This caused us to abandon our refinance application with B of A and go with another company. The new appraiser appraised it at $440K and in the end it all worked out to our advantage because we refinanced our home at 3.75% 30-year fixed, instead of 4.125% that the B of A was going to give us, plus we paid zero closing costs, instead of $2500 that the B of A was going to charge us. In our opinion, B of A should have fired this idiot who cause us to leave them and go to another broker, but they are too big to notice these little things.

    Ultimately we won. A much lower rate, no closing costs or appraisal fees, and everything happened in 2 weeks, instead of 2 months of waiting and being nitpicked on by B of A underwriters. They failed to screw us over, so it was THEIR LOSS. We are totally happy with the outcome even though we will have to pay the $447 credit card bill for this bogus appraisal. This was the LAST TIME we were stung by Bank of America or one of its affiliates. We will make up for this loss in one mortgage payment. Try Cash Call if you wish to refinance. They are wonderful.

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