Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Class Action Suit Filed Against Wells Fargo and Rels Valuation

Appraisers in Florida are seeking legislation to require the registration and regulation of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs). While the claims in the article below and the lawsuit are allegations and not proven, plenty of appraisers and property owners have had the same experience and made the same claims. These allegations are among the reasons AMCs must be regulated to protect the public.

Hagens Berman Files Class Action Against Wells Fargo and Rels Valuation

2009-02-02 18:15 ET - News Release

Homeowners claim companies duped consumers with grossly inflated charges.

Two homeowners in Phoenix recently filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo and its appraisal subsidiary Rels Valuation, claiming the mortgage giant illegally rigged the appraisal process and referred appraisal business to its subsidiary in a scheme to boost profits at the expense of homeowners.

The lawsuit, filed under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act (RICO), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and state law, claims that Wells Fargo requires homeowners to use Rels Valuation for appraisals. In return, Rels Valuation gives Wells Fargo visibility into and control over the appraisal process.

The suit claims Rels Valuation subcontracts the work to independent appraisers, demanding large price concessions then charges homeowners more than double the actual cost of the appraisal.