Even as appraisers and AMCs it is interesting to me how short our memories can be when times are good. Until early 2018, the housing market had been on a continual increase since its rebound after the previous historical downturn of 2007-2008. Now we are looking at about seven months of downward trajectory in home sales, as the home inventory continues to climb.
During the past several months the number of AMCs has begun to dwindle as many have joined forces in mergers or buy-outs. Other AMCs have tightened their belts as lenders have merged or consolidated and are using the opportunity to cull through the poorest performing AMC. They streamline utilizing a more select group of AMCs that have the best performance and the highest quality. These AMCs are typically on top of their game and have the best strategies. These are the AMCs that appraisers enjoy working with. They understand the value of a quality appraiser, and they understand the partnership necessary to maintain the quality appraisers.
Then there are those AMCs that are among the bottom. They wind up getting the worst end of the deal, and struggle to stay in business. The already thin profit margin of the AMC can easily turn to a borrow-now, pay-later scenario. Appraisers often see this first as payments for invoices come more slowly, and the appraiser’s accounts receivable climbs higher and higher. Then one day there is a notice in an email, much like the one some appraisers received last week from a certain AMC, that indicate your AMC is no longer in business. Of course, your first reaction is, ”How much do they owe me, and how do I get my money?”
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COO of Allterra Group
As Chief Operating Officer at Allterra Group Crispin is a seasoned and trusted leader in the valuation profession. His long time career within the industry has created a unique perspective based on his diverse background in Governance, Risk Management and Appraisal. A member of the CRN since the early 2000's, Crispin has served as Chief Appraiser for one of the largest AMCs in the nation, Chief Collateral Office for several large banks, and Chief Valuation Officer for Finance. Crispin has authored numerous articles and bulletins, and is a prominent instructor as well as a frequent contributor to industry groups, government agencies, and policymakers.