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I have a new situation, I have been completing BPO's now for a few months and just recently while setting an inspection for an interior I was contacted by the owner attorney. the interior met me at the property and gave me a toured inspection. after she had another broker send me a list of comps she wanted me to use. I completed the BPO using my own chosen comps and with the information I was able to obtain submitted the report and it was excepted. now the attorney is again contacting me claiming the report is erroneous because I had not used the provided comps. has anyone come across a situation like this in the past?
I only had a similar situation happen once. Where the listing agent provided me with comps to "make my job easier". All the comps he provided were way low hoping my BPO values would come back low and the offer would be accepted by the lender.
yep, but you should not have communication with the attorney, take the 5th. If the attorney is dissatisfied, he needs to communicate with the bank, not you.
1) Find out when the attorney is scheduled in court next.
2) Show up and offer to represent his client for him.
3) Explain that you can't do his job and he shouldn't do yours.
4) Drop the microphone and walk off stage (every grand exit should feature these props).
I didn't mind someone showing me their comps or showing me the home because sometimes I learned something that I could use. I still did my 'own' thing. I did find that the BPO companies sometimes lead me to what they felt was an acceptable value and I would have to make their numbers work. I stopped doing BPO's about a year ago. It just wasn't worth my time any more.
Patrick is correct, it is collusion and I would contact your attorney general and also the Division of Real Estate if she persists and starts making threats. In fact you may have grounds to file a complaint against this attorney with the local bar. It is highly unethical for this attorney to do so, although I have had agents and brokers hand me comps and detailed lists of repairs needed in the past. I never rely on those and don't even review anything. I use my comps and my observations. For her to get angry and claim that it is erroneous shows how ignorant and unprofessional she is, as well as breaking the law. I would not take anymore of her calls. You will get the occasional bad apple.... for the most part it is not too bad.
Contact the company who hired you that the attorney has conflict of interest agenda.
Hi Gabriel, Patrick Willard's response below was spot on. When an attorney, listing agent, homeowner, or whoever, wants to meet you and provide you comps, it's collusion. Keep in mind, even though you are not an appraiser, you are providing a valuation opinion and as an industry expert (licensed agent), your opinion is taking into consideration when making financing decisions by a third party, your client. As such, you have certain duties to your client and one of those duties could arguably include honesty. When and if you secretly or illegal cooperate with another party in order to cheat or deceive another, you are guilty of collusion. Just so you know, collusion or any hint thereof is a huge red flag to fraud investigators and in some states, I am personally aware of sting operations taking place to get charges against people who participate in such activity on BPOs. Keep in mind, you can be guilty of collusion without ever knowing you did anything wrong and it's this complete lack of knowledge about the law that many of these fraudulent people take advantage of. In fact, I have personally attended a "short sale flipping" class here locally and one nationally at a highly respected conference where the speaker was actually telling participants that it was their duty to get the best possible comps (which is true) and if that meant taking the comps and price evaluation of the homeowner, the homeowners attorney or even the homeowners "investor", those comps should be considered (which isn't true). I have even seen one of those TLC, or Discovery reality shows, Flipping Vegas, or Boston....I can't remember where they actually showed collusion happening between the star of the show and a homeowner. Needless to say, many BPO agents don't have a clue as to what their role is and what liabilities they have so, I strongly recommend you take some good BPO classes and keep yourself informed. In fact, we here at REOPro offer a really good BPO class in our continuing education tab. It's only like $30.00 bucks and you may qualify for CE credit in your state for it. None the less, Patrick hit the nail on the head. Be careful.
No, it is not honest to use what was sent to you., you did the right thing and if you get any flack tell her you will report it.
There are short sale investment groups that use this tactic but I have never heard of the attorneys getting involved. If they contact you again simply tell them that you will be forced to report them for exercising undue influence it they continue. This is between the seller and the lender and collusion with the potential buyer is a big no no. That being said, the ones that show constraint on influence can be helpful if all they are doing is pointing out damage that might otherwise go unrecognized.
You did the right thing. If the attorney didn't like the report, he could ask the requestor for a new one, but they really should not be speaking with you.