Sounding Bored is my semi-regular column on the state of the appraisal profession. I am still hung up on this AMCO thing, but I think I am getting close to the end of the final chapter.
Two weeks ago after I posted my last discussion about AMCO, I started to get nervious about our non-payment of $15,000+ in outstanding appraisal fees, the majority of them are more than 6 months overdue.
I had been promised by AMCO that a check was written for $10,000, but no check ever arrived. Thinking that they were not likely to ever pay us, I decided to involve my former client in my efforts since I wasn’t really sure if they understood that most of their appraisers were cut off from work once they moved their business to AMCO. Since I wasn’t getting satisfaction of my debt, I felt I had nothing to lose.
I sent several emails to AMCO, copying my client, demanding payment of my debt. I explained the over six month thing, the lack of returned calles from accounts payable and the $10,000 check that never came.
Low and behold, I got an email from AMCO saying a check was being paid to us for $13,000 and they even provided a check number as proof. I was pretty skeptical until I got an email from my original client saying that they had interceded and forced the issue. They also informed me that they would be taking control of the appraisal process and we would start getting work again.
Wake me up: am I dreaming?
On the same day, we got an order from AMCO on behalf of this client. We had not received an order since November 14th. Coincidence?
We said we would only agree to do the appraisal if we were paid the $2,225 balanced owed, since all of it was over 90 days. They refused saying we were no different than other vendors but asked us if we would accept this new assignment if they sent us the payment for the new assignment via FedEx that night. We still declined the assignment since we had vowed not to work for them until we were paid in full. Even after that point, I don’t think its worth the risk.
The feedback this particular lender who interceded for us, indicated that several other national lenders have grown tired of the appraisal management company concept considering the poor quality of work being completed and the weakening real estate environment.
I hope its not too late, but I must admit, I am pretty happy about that new development.