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FDIC: Let Us Sue Good Appraisers Too

Come on.

Give the FDIC a break.

The insurance fund is in the red.

It needs to force money out of all possible sources, good appraisers or not.

"The FDIC continues to prove itself as the biggest current threat to appraisers and appraising.  Since January 1, 2010, the FDIC has filed 60 lawsuits as a plaintiff in federal court in connection with its receivership of failed banks...

All claims by the FDIC against appraisers -- without exception -- have alleged that the appraisers 'overappraised' the subject property securing a loan.  The FDIC also doesn't hesitate to sue mere trainees, as is evident in the excerpts from a recent lawsuit shown here.

While there are certainly examples of poor appraising in some of the lawsuits, I know that good -- in fact, excellent -- appraisers have been dragged into litigation or threatened by the FDIC.  The unfortunate fact is that the FDIC is looking at appraisers as if their reports are guaranties of value in the down market -- the FDIC is looking at them as far more than work product opinions generated by professional advisors.  When the FDIC threatens to sue an appraiser, it means absolutely nothing that the appraiser may have delivered hundreds of excellent reports over the years of a relationship with a lender and, particularly in the commercial context, may have served as a trusted advisor.  All that matters now to the FDIC is whether it can make a claim that the value was high in a report and whether it can force money from the appraiser.  As written here before, the FDIC's tactics will not only hurt the individual appraisers but also hurt appraising as profession.  The FDIC's tactics stifle good appraising.  They stifle appraisers' abilities to serve as trusted advisors and force them into defensive appraising, where the safest course is simply to "come in low" on value.  I'm not advising that "coming in low" is what appraisers should do -- it is just an inevitable result of the FDIC's overly aggressive tactics and a result being observed firsthand."