Cuomo Suit Allowed to Move Forward

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the New York State Attorney General’s Office (NY AG) may proceed with its case against First American.  You may recall that First American’s appraisal management company (AMC), eAppraiseIT was accused of “having ‘caved’ to pressure from Washington Mutual to use a list of pre-approved appraisers who provided inflated appraisals, in an effort to win more business.”

First American fought the lawsuit claiming that federal law prohibited New York from suing in this situation.  A panel of the New York Appellate Division rejected this claim.  According to Reuters, Justice Luis Gonzalez in writing for the Court stated “‘[e]njoining a real estate appraisal management company from abdicating its publicly advertised role of providing unbiased valuations’ is not covered under federal law.”

If you’re curious the case is Cuomo v. First American Corp et al, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, No. 1308.

  1. For those with an interest, there is a link to the suit and the appeals court decision posted on Appraiser Active.

  2. Retired Appraiser

    Obviously sheer coincidence that this lawsuit reappears in the press:

    I. Only months away from HVCC ending.

    II. After Mr. Cuomo has filled his campaign coffers with contributions from banks and makes his run for the governor’s chair.

    I’m actually amazed that they didn’t postpone it a little longer so that it would not be an issue as the Senate decides. My guess is that banks have already purchased the required number of Senate votes to keep the HVCC/Bank/AMC Profit Mill running smoothly long after it was scheduled to expire.

  3. What i see is a lot of inexperienced appraisers that doing the jobs for AMC’s. This appraisers are only a few years or less in business, and don’t have the recourses to have more than one database to get comps.
    I’m a Chairman of a Mortgage Bank, a New York State Certified RE Appraiser, Certified Review Appraiser, Licensed Real Estate Broker and in business for almost 30 years. I subscribe to 3 major databases and when reviewing appraisals i cant believe what i see. A lot of appraisers ether didn’t renew their licenses or shifted their business away from Banks. I don’t blame them. Why would i give the AMC’s part of my hard earned fee.

    Jacob Shayovitz,
    Approved Funding
    Mortgage Banker,
    NYS certified RE Appraiser

  4. Doug

    As an appraiser that has recently left the business, Cuomo is the biggest …… He fundamentally ruined my livelihood as well as put many other honest appraisers out of business just to nail a few bad ones. I hope he gets trashed in the election and joins the ranks of the unemployed.

    As for all those AMC’s out there that rape appraisers from their fees may they all rot in a deep pit and go bust. They are worse than leeches.

  5. AMCs are leeches destroying appraiser’s professional respect within the residential marketplce. So few GOOD and knowledgable appraisers are willing to give up half of their hard-earned fee to these companies. I am seeing SO many mistakes and deals killed out of incompetence….right down to filling out the wrong address! This system is not working!!! HELP!!!!!