Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Security One Valuation Services - Making Promises

UPDATE - AUGUST 11, 2009 - Talked with folks at Security One - Scroll to bottom for UPDATE
UPDATE #2 -AUGUST 15, 2009 - Payments being made to appraisers
UPDATE #3 - August 25, 2009 - From the Comments, it's not good news
UPDATE #4 - AUGUST 27, 2009 - From the Comments, a note from Ember at Security One
UPDATE #5 - September 9, 2009 - From the Comments, Ember says it's not looking good

The cascade of problems associated with the closing of Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker continues. Some FOLKS can't get TBW to accept payments on their mortgages. The Massachusetts Division of Banks said it has issued a cease-and-desist order against Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation released an emergency CEASE and DESIST order August 7th against Taylor Bean. Freddie Mac, now under Federal government control and being supported by taxpayers, said the collapse of lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. may cause it “significant” losses.

HERE is the Freddie Mac SEC filing. Included within is this tidbit:

"On August 4, 2009, we notified Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., or TBW, that we had terminated its eligibility, for cause, as a seller and servicer for us effective immediately. TBW accounted for approximately 5.2% and 2.7% of our single-family mortgage purchase volume activity for full-year 2008 and the six months ended June 30, 2009, respectively. We are in the process of determining our total exposure to TBW in the event it cannot perform its contractual obligations to us. The amount of our losses in such event could be significant. "

Some of the finger pointing has started, including accusations by former employees. Hundreds of former employees are looking for work. We even have a crook taking credit for helping TBW down the road to ruin.

It looks like the media is covering every aspect of the fiasco, except one. What about the recently formed Appraisal Management Company, Security One Valuation Services, LLC, and the countless independent contractor appraisers wondering if and when they will ever be paid for appraisal assignments completed for the firm?

As Appraiser Active noted in a prior post, Security One Valuation Services, LLC is partially owned by Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker. In fact, the Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker web site even has a link encouraging appraisers to sign up because its' "Safe. Simple. Compliant."

Appraisers from across the country have been talking about their unpaid invoices. Although many appraisers have received emails assuring them payments will be made, their emails to the company are bouncing back as undelivered.

In the meantime, some folks involved in lending are asking questions such as: "If a new lender takes over a TBW loan for which you did the appraisal, would you be willing to accept a new assignment from the new lender that updates the original appraisal and has a new effective date? What would you charge for this service?"

Why would an appraiser agree to a lower fee and risk being stiffed by another AMC when they have already taken it on the chin from Security One?

If you are among the independent contract appraisers with outstanding invoices with Security One, please let us know if they make good on their promise to pay within 10 - 14 business days. Appraiser Active has started the clock.

UPDATE - AUGUST 11, 2009 - After reading posts by appraisers from around the country, fielding emails and telephone calls from independent contractor appraisers in Florida concerned about payment of outstanding invoices, I picked up the phone and called Security One Valuation Services, LLC. The number is right on their web site.

My call was answered on the third ring. I asked to speak with Todd Barfield and was asked to hold. After a short wait, a pleasant sounding Tammy came on the phone. After I asked again to speak with Mr. Barfield, she mentioned he was not in but she could answer my questions and help me.

My inquiry concerned the number of appraisers contacting me with concern about their unpaid invoices and what Security One was doing to get them paid. Tammy said (paraphrasing) that Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker was their main client, their closing affected Security One, and that Security One was spending the next two weeks printing checks. She claimed that every appraiser "should" be paid within 10 - 14 working days. When asked if their Independent Contractor Appraisers "should" or "would" be paid, Tammy emphasized "would" be paid.

Ms. Tammy also mentioned that appraisers with questions should direct them to Ember at Security One.

Since Appraiser Active has not outstanding invoices, we're counting on you to keep us informed if this promise is kept. Either email or post your experience here by leaving a comment.

All the best in your quest.

UPDATE #2 - August 15, 2009 - Payments being made to appraisers

From the comments and emails:

I just received the message below from a friend in Pinellas County, Florida. He had 9 invoices outstanding when Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker closed their doors.


Paul P said...
Security One is sticking to their word, I have received all my invoices paid for a total of $5500. Took them a little while; however, I got them all paid. I can understand that they would have a little problem paying appraisers if their client shut their doors, but they are keeping their word. A+++++ Company. PCP

UPDATE #3 - August 25, 2009 - It's not good news

Anonymous just posted this comment:

"I just spoke with Security One - TBW filed Chapter 11 and Security One has been instructed to hold all remaining payments to appraisers at this time. So stop checking your mailbox."

UPDATE #4 -August #27, 2009 - A note from Ember at Security One

Attention ALL APPRIASERS: The name is Ember not Amber! We are all doing our level best to process payments and get checks mailed out. Let's clear up a few things-

1. Payments have not been stopped by TBW's bankcruptcy. They have been delayed a few days for close scrutiny of payments to make sure we are in line with the law.

2. Yes, it has taken us a while to get you payment but you don't know the whole story of what has happened so why do you write us off and report our company as horrible? We are very close to getting all of the appraisal payments for the TBW loans out of our pipeline and EVERY appraiser paid.

3. So, you can email and call all you want but my word is as good as it gets when I tell you every appraiser, every appraisal report completed...will be PAID IN FULL!

So, gather your positive side and realize that we have NOT lied to you or disillusioned you. These are the facts. Thank you all for your hard work getting these appraisals completed in mostly a timely manner. May God bless you and keep you in your careers and business! Have a nice day.

-Ember @ SOVS

UPDATE #5 - September 9, 2009 - From the Comments, Ember Says it's Not Looking Good

**Not looking good. Here is the nitty gritty of what I pieced together: Since Platinum Community Bank has been shut down and all accounts frozen over the weekend the checks that were sent out may not be honored. I don't know much since I am not there at SOVS anymore as of Friday but I know that there was a batch of 1,000 checks waiting to be sent out last week that I wonder what will happen now.

It is absolutely terrible...SOVS has the money to pay the appraisers but alas the government has once again swooped down and jerked the last remaining "toe" so to speak (since the legs were knocked out from under SOVS when TBW shut down) out from under SOVS. It makes me want to scream because of the unjustice!!

I don't think there is anyone in the SOVS office to answer any questions...I will try and update the status here when I know something more. Makes me sick thinking about it. I doubt I will see my last paycheck for 2 weeks but that is small potatoes compared to what some of you are waiting on.I know this is long but I am venting my frustration of this whole complex situation! I sincerely hope all of you are able to recoup your losses.

May God keep and sustain you! Until next time, Good night.

(On a personal note - Ember, Thank You for your efforts and updates. For many appraisers across the country unable to get through to Security One by phone or email, your comments on Appraiser Active are the only source of information. -Frank)

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