The California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers is sadly yet another example of a state agency that does not really understand what the taxpayers expect of it. The taxpayers probably assume the agency in charge of licensing appraisers in California would certainly not renew the license of an appraiser who not only is indicted in a multiparty, multi-million dollar mortgage fraud case, but actually pled guilty to at least one count of the crime. Unfortunately, that assumption would be incorrect. The following is a summary of the case in question. We have changed the names of the parties to protect the innocent though we find it difficult to label anyone involved as “innocent”.
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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.
How many of you have either said or heard someone else in your office say that “the home inspector killed this deal”? If you are being honest, I suspect all of you have and even if you haven’t said it out loud, I’m willing to bet you thought it at least once or twice. Is this really true? Can home inspectors “kill” deals?
Over the past few years, more and more E&O insurance carriers offering coverage to home inspectors are asking a question about pre-inspection agreement use on an application for new/renewal coverage. The question reads slightly differently from carrier to carrier, but the essence of the question is whether you obtain a signed pre-inspection agreement from all of your customers.
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.
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.
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.