FORENSIC REVIEW APPRAISALS
In a previous page, we have discussed the different types of review appraisals. A quick recap explained the differences between Desk Reviews, Field Reviews and Enhanced Field Reviews. The fourth level of review appraising is the Forensic Review Appraisal.
A Forensic Review entails every application of the three previously mentioned review products and a lot more. Appraisal reports are literally examined line by line and have every aspect of the report, to the extent possible, verified by current and former owners, agents, public officials, and other data providers directly or indirectly involved as their input into the appraisal under review.
Forensic Reviews are most often provided when litigation is anticipated. The situation usually arises when there are two widely differing appraisals on a specific property. Situations that come to mind are:
· Tax appeals where the aggrieved party thinks his property is appraised too high by the assessor.
· Eminent domain cases where the owner thinks he is not getting fair value for his property.
· Partition cases where the court must decide how to split up property as in divorce, estate and other family matters.
· Bankruptcy cases where a lender could lose substantial funds based on a low appraisal.
Other instances could involve appraiser and/or mortgage fraud or discipline actions against an appraiser filed by the Commonwealth.
We have experience in all these matters. We are very careful to follow the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Our reports are of such quality that we usually do not have to appear in court or give depositions. One time in a very complicated bankruptcy case (175 page brief submitted by the plaintiff, 16 attorneys, 11 properties, a lender, a title company, a closing agent, an appraiser and others) an insurance company gave our forensic review to a highly regarded and very well known appraiser to review our review so they could have some wiggle room. The final reviewer could not find a single error in our report and concurred 100% with our findings. We did not find out about the final reviewer until several years later when, at a chance meeting, he relayed the story to us.
Should you ever have a need for a Forensic Review Appraisal, call us first. We will gladly discuss your (client’s) situation and advise upon a course of action.
Forensic Review Question?
When you have reached this point, you are probably in deep trouble. While we can only provide forensic reviews in our 5 county service area, we will try to answer general questions about the review process. If you suspect appraisal fraud and need an honest and unbiased opinion of one or more appraisals for legal matters, please send us your contact information. We will resopnd within a short period of time.