Saturday, May 7, 2011

LandSafe Appraisal Services Agreement

This LandSafe Appraisal Services Agreement made its debut within the past couple of weeks. It has prompted heated discussion on appraiser bulletin boards and facebook groups. For those of you not familiar with the name, LandSafe, Inc., established in 1994, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America. Along with a wide variety of real estate closing services, LandSafe operates LandSafe Appraisal Services, Inc., an Appraisal Management Company.

A copy of the agreement is available at the link above, or below the fold. As an appraiser, it's your decision to become a party to the agreement or not, but you should take a long hard look at the obligations imposed on you.

For instance:

13.11 One aspect of the determination of Appraiser compliance with LandSafe Security Requirements is a review of Appraiser Security Controls. As a condition precedent to performance under this Agreement, Appraiser agrees to satisfy the following validation requirements: (a) participation in LandSafe’s Appraiser assessment process including the completion of online or on-site assessment(s), as appropriate, and remediation of any findings; (b) periodic discussions between LandSafe personnel and Appraiser Information Technology security personnel to review Appraiser Security Controls; and (c) if requested delivery to LandSafe of network diagrams depicting Appraiser perimeter controls and security policies and processes relevant to the protection of Confidential Information. Examples of these policies include, but are not limited to, access control, physical security, patch management, password standards, encryption standards, and change control.


14.1 Appraiser shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless LandSafe and its Representatives, successors and permitted assigns from and against any and all claims or legal actions of whatever kind or nature that are made or threatened by any third party and all related losses, expenses, damages, costs and liabilities, including reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses incurred in investigation, defense or settlement ("Damages"), which arise out of, are alleged to arise out of, or relate to the following: (a) any negligent act or omission or willful misconduct by Appraiser or its Representatives engaged by Appraiser in the performance of Appraiser’s obligations under this Agreement; or (b) any breach in a representation, covenant or obligation of Appraiser contained in this Agreement.

17.1 Appraiser shall maintain at no additional cost to LandSafe, in a reasonably accessible location, all Records pertaining to its Services provided to LandSafe under this Agreement for a period of ten (10) years, and if such Records are used in a judicial (or other dispute resolution) proceeding related to an Appraisal Order(s), Appraiser shall retain them for ten (10) years following the disposition of the proceeding. Such Appraiser Records referenced above may be inspected, audited and copied by LandSafe, its Representatives or by federal or state agencies having jurisdiction over LandSafe, during normal business hours and at such reasonable times as LandSafe and Appraiser may determine. Records available for review shall exclude any records pertaining to Appraiser’s other customers deemed proprietary and confidential and Appraiser confidential and proprietary records not associated with the Services provided under the Agreement. Appraiser will give prior notice to LandSafe of requests by federal or state authorities to examine Appraiser’s LandSafe Records. At LandSafe’s written request, Appraiser shall reasonably cooperate with LandSafe in seeking a protective order with respect to such Records.

17.2 During regular business hours but no more frequently than once a year, LandSafe may, at its sole expense, perform a confidential audit of Appraiser’s operations as they pertain to the Services provided under this Agreement. Such audits shall be conducted on a mutually agreed upon date (which shall be no more than ten (10) Business Days after LandSafe’s written notice of time, location and duration), subject to reasonable postponement by Appraiser upon Appraiser’s reasonable request, provided, however, that no such postponement shall exceed twenty (20) Business Days. LandSafe will provide Appraiser a summary of the findings from each report prepared in connection with any such audit and discuss results, including any remediation plans. If audit results find Appraiser is not in substantial compliance with the requirements of this Agreement, then LandSafe shall be entitled, at Appraiser’s expense, to perform up to two (2) additional such audits in that year in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Section. Appraiser agrees to promptly take action at its expense to correct those matters or items identified in any such audit that require correction. Failure to correct such matters shall be considered a material breach of this Agreement.

Of course, there's more. Take a look at the assessment of the agreement at the Appraiser Law Blog, and their sister site, READI.
A complete copy of the LandSafe Appraisal Services Agreement is below the fold.

Landsafe Appraisal Services Agreement (2)