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Mass Litigation Against Appraisers Involving:
 
Impac Funding Corporation (a Subsidiary of Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc.)
Llano Financing Group LLC
Savant LG, LLC
First Mutual Group LLC
Carrington Capital Management
 
 
Beginning in 2014, several investor-driven entities began an unprecedented legal and economic assault on the appraisal profession by filing hundreds of professional liability lawsuits against appraisers. The lawsuits are organized primarily by an entity calling itself Savant LG, LLC, or sometimes "Savant Claims Management," and its personnel.  Most of the lawsuits have been filed in the name of investment vehicles First Mutual Group LLC and Llano Financing Group LLC.  First Mutual has filed 100+ lawsuits.  Llano has filed 300+. 
 
The number of new cases filed in 2015 exceeded 300.  All of these new cases appear to relate exclusively to loans held or serviced by Impac Funding Corporation, a subsidiary of Impac Mortgage Holdings (IMH) and a corporate affiliate of Impac Mortgage Corp., which also does business as CashCall Mortgage. According to some of the court complaints, the lawsuits are filed by the investment vehicle as the "subservicing agent" of Impac Funding.  Under the legal agreements produced in the lawsuits, Impac Funding sells the right to sue appraisers to Savant, but Impac continues to control key aspects of the litigation, receives a percentage of the ultimate proceeds recovered against any appraiser, and after a period of time can recall ownership of the rights to sue.
 
For residential appraisers, the Impac/Savant/Llano/First Mutual lawsuits are far worse in frequency than the lawsuits filed by the FDIC following the mortgage meltdown and the FDIC's receivership of more than 500 failed banks. What's remarkable, however, is that the litigation here is principally coming in this situation from just one lending/servicing source -- Impac Funding -- while the FDIC's lawsuits related to dozens of different lenders.  Because of the increased liability risk posed by a lender who systematically assigns out claims for litigation, some appraisers are beginning to decide against performing new appraisal assignments for loans with Impac's related lenders, including CashCall Mortgage.  

The materials below are provided to help appraisers and their defense attorneys understand some of the background relating to the mass litigation effort and the parties behind it. Periodic updates on the litigation also can be found at www.appraiserlawblog.com.
 
As of 11/23/15, First Mutual had suffered the dismissal of nearly all of its 100+ cases, and Llano Financing (which started filing cases after First Mutual) was beginning to lose some key motions to dismiss.
 
Complaints (Examples).  The following complaints exemplify the cookie-cutter legal pleadings that Llano and First Mutual typically file in their lawsuits.

 

Review Appraisals Used by Impac/Llano (Examples).   This document contains three complete examples of appraisal reviews used by Llano in support of its court pleadings. The reviews are nearly identical (some contain the same typos), are not supported by any real analysis and display violations of USPAP.  For an unexplained reason, some of the reviews filed by Impac/Llano were allegedly prepared by "Faye Dunnaway" -- no licensed or certified appraiser with that name has yet been located.

 

Assignment of Claims Against Appraiser by Impac Funding to Savant LG (Examples)

 

Agreement Between Impac and Savant Relating to Mass Litigation Against Appraisers (as Attached to a Complaint Filed by Llano Financing)

 

Key Orders Dismissing Cases Filed by First Mutual Group, Llano Financing and Carrington Capital

Florida

Colorado

  •  Llano Financing v. Foose, Order Dismissing Complaint with Prejudice, 11-23-15.pdf (Dismissing Llano Financing Complaint based on its inexcusable neglect for failing to file a timely certificate of review and bolstering basis of that dismissal based on finding that Llano Financing's claims against the appraiser were "dubious" based on statute of limitations and prior assignment of same rights to a different litigation entity.)

Nevada

  • As of 11/23/15, Llano Financing has had three cases dismissed with prejudice based on the statute of limitations.  Orders will be published here when they are available.

Illinois

  • Llano Financing lost a motion to dismiss with prejudice in Kane County, Il on 11/19/15.  The Order will be published here when it is available.

 

Background Materials Concerning Parties and Prior Businesses/Ventures

The following materials are a small collection of court orders, judgments and other court documents pertaining to the parties and prior business ventures related to them, who are pursuing the mass litigation against appraisers; the documents relate to cases in which prior investors or lenders alleged they lost money in transactions with these parties or their other ventures: