Why Appraiser Law? This is best explained by a note that I recently received from an appraiser.
In 2015, I helped a California appraiser who had been accused by a homeowner’s insurance carrier (State Farm) of causing a fire in a home that she had inspected. As required by the HUD Handbook for FHA appraisals, she had tried to test the operation of an electric stove, but there were problems with the electrical circuit and the stove was not operable. A day or so later, a fire started in the kitchen and significantly damaged the home. State Farm eventually blamed her and two years later demanded to recover the money it had paid to repair the home from her (around $100,000). This was a big problem for the appraiser because her E&O would not cover her defense or the alleged damages. I helped her with some guidance and corresponded with the threatening insurance company, laying out the defenses to what I considered a spurious claim. State Farm went away and left her alone.
Five years later, and having just received one of my email newsletters about a webinar, the appraiser – Gladys – wrote to me. She gave me permission to share her note:
January 16, 2020
I retired from appraising last year … I think of you so fondly whenever I see your name and remember the help and encouragement you were to me when I emailed you in 2015 regarding a house fire and State Farm dilemma that had occurred in 2013. I want to thank you again for all the help you were to me at that time. You may not remember the case, and I won’t bore you with details, but what you advised me to do was just perfect and I never heard from State Farm again. I just saw your name this evening regarding the Valuation Legal Webinar and though I am no longer working, I will enjoy just hearing your voice and thinking of you with fondness. Seeing your name reminded me of the great help you were to my peace of mind so I wanted to thank you again for having helped this old lady!!!
With warmest regards,
Gladys (a retired California appraiser)
As I let Gladys know, her words perfectly describe for me why I like to work with individual appraisers, not just corporate clients, and why I’ve created Appraiser Law. This is what Appraiser Law is about.
I might help you with something more mundane than being unfairly accused of causing a fire – it may be something like a contractor agreement or considering whether to form an LLC. Whatever it is, most often all you need is a couple hours of my attorney time at an affordable cost. On the other hand, it’s possible you might run into a real problem, and I’ll be there for that too.
– Peter Christensen