Friday, August 27, 2010

What is the Real Estate Advisors Defense Institute (READI)?

As this blog has covered for the last two years, real estate appraisers are the target of unprecedented litigation and new forms of regulation.  We are frustrated by the unfair legal and financial challenges being thrown at appraisers.  To respond to the crisis that we are seeing firsthand, the sponsor of this blog LIA Administrators & Insurance Services (LIA) has created the Real Estate Advisors Defense Institute (READI) to serve as a platform from which we can work to protect appraisers.

The READI project is just beginning but its first resources can be seen at  LIA's clients (all appraisers listed on policies issued by LIA or working for appraisal firm clients of LIA) are eligible for free membership and other appraisers may be offered special opportunities to join in the near future.

The chartered mission of READI is to:
  • Protect appraisers against unfair legal and financial liability.
  • Provide appraisers with straightforward information about the legal, financial and insurance issues that affect them.
  • Advocate in the interest of appraisers in judicial, political and regulatory settings.
  • Support existing and emerging professional organizations that serve the needs of individual appraisers.
  • Review and evaluate insurance, legal and business products designed for appraisers using the expertise of READI's staff and board of advisors.
To be 100% clear, the purpose of READI is not to replace any functions of existing or emerging professional organizations for appraisers.  To the contrary, READI and LIA strongly believe that appraisers need these organizations more than ever and, therefore, it is part of READI's mission to support such organizations, financially and logistically.  LIA has been doing this for over 20 years.

One of the first visible benefits to READI members (and LIA's insured appraisers) is a free 4-hour CE class in Newport Beach, California on October 20, 2010.  We invite you to join us there -- even if it's only for the free hors d'oeuvres at the conclusion of the seminar.  There is no hidden agenda with the CE class -- it's 4 hours of CE credit for free to READI members, advice on how to avoid legal problems, and free Mexican food at the end of the afternoon.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Appraisers Even Get Blamed for Problems with BPOs

It's unfortunately gotten so bad with people trying to blame their problems on appraisers that appraisers now even get the blame when the problem relates to a BPO done by a real estate agent.

Some evidence of this fact comes from a local headline and article yesterday in a Hudson Valley, New York news source.  The headline reads "Appraiser pockets $8k diamond from Yorktown home, police say."  The article then goes on to explain that Ms. Melanie Alvarez, "[a] real estate agent from Pleasantville is due in Town Court tonight to answer charges that she stole a $8,500 diamond ring from a Juniper Drive home while conducting an appraisal, police said today." Another article from a different paper similarly reads: "Melanie A. Alvarez, 54, is charged with grand larceny; she is alleged to have stolen a diamond ring and other jewelry while conducting a real estate appraisal."  (I added the emphasis in each quote.) 

There are so many things wrong here.

[A complete and updated version of this article is available to LIA insureds and READI members at  READI is the Real Estate Advisors Defense Institute, created by LIA to protect appraisers, advocate on their behalf and provide straightforward information about the legal issues that affect them.  You can read more about READI at]
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