Skip to main content

Center for Public Integrity report: Banned appraisers return as real estate agents

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jul 21, 2009

In 2007, a Florida real estate appraisal trainee name Serge R. Wainer lost his license over a forged home appraisal. After an investigation, the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board revoked Wainer’s license, but until recently, he remained a fixture in the Florida real estate market. Like other disciplined appraisers who also held real estate sales and broker licenses, Wainer moved to the other side of the real estate business and began selling homes for a living. A Center for Public Integrity investigation found that in California and Florida (among the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis) individuals whose appraisal licenses were revoked have retained other licenses, allowing them to represent the public in real estate sales. The violations that led to revocation of these appraisers’ licenses ranged from simple incompetence to fraud committed for personal financial gain, according to the Center’s investigation, “Rebuked Appraisers Reborn as Real Estate Agents.” Industry insiders believe the number of these former appraisers still in real estate is in the hundreds nationwide, but an accurate figure is elusive given the patchwork of agency oversight. “There’s a lot more that you are never going to find,” said Pamela Crowley, who runs the website Mortgage Fraud Watch List. “Those of us who have been active in trying to police our own have come to the conclusion that our policing agencies don’t want that.” California and Florida officials say in most cases appraisers who commit serious offenses—including fraud—should also lose other real estate licenses. But often those appraisers slipped through the cracks of a loosely maintained and fractured system of state oversight. This investigation is the latest installment in the Center’s coverage of appraisers and mortgage lenders, and the role they played in creating the real estate bubble and the resulting foreclosure crisis. In April, the Center published “The Appraisal Bubble,” which documented how lenders conspired to inflate home values by denying appraisers work if they refused to hit a predetermined value on their appraisals. The goal of the Center’s Land Use Accountability Project is to expand the discussion of national land use issues by documenting the growth struggles of communities of all sizes across the country. The project will probe the influence of developers and open space advocates on local political systems and illustrate the tensions between growth and preservation. For more information, visit www.publicintegrity.org.
Published
Jul 21, 2009
'A Long Road To Normal'

Nominated again to lead The Fed, Powell tells Senate committee to expect three rate hikes, but 'if we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will.'

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 11, 2022
CFPB: Complaint Response Worsens At Big 3 Credit Bureaus

Report claims Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion routinely failed to fully respond to consumers with errors.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 10, 2022
The Fed Names Chairs, Deputy Chairs For 12 Reserve Banks

In recent years, the Federal Reserve System has worked to increase the overall diversity of the Reserve Bank and branch boards of directors and continues to build on those efforts.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 06, 2022
The Fed: Rate Hike Likely Coming in June

Federal Open Market Committee's December minutes reveal discussion of first hike in federal funds rate in 2Q of 2022, as well as of ending asset purchases by March.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 05, 2022
AARMR No Protection For Savanah Scares

Conference provides opportunity for regulators to interact, discuss common topics

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 04, 2022
McCargo Sworn In As Ginnie Mae President

Former HUD official becomes the first female to lead the Government National Mortgage Association.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 04, 2022