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Countrywide / Appraiser I want independent appraiser NOT one owned by Countrywide!

1 United States Review updated:

I applied for a second mortgage with Countrywide due to being solicited by them as pre-approved/ no closing costs. I was approved immediately then told the no closing cost loan was at a much higher interest than I was being given. I was also told I had to have a new appraisal even though the last one done by countrywide was 13 months old. They told me they would order the appraisal which they did. However I ask then to use a local appraisal company and they told me they used LANDSAFE which is OWNED by country wide! The guy came and was not here 10 minutes total. The appraisal came back MUCH lower than my appraisals form even 5 years ago and 30,000 less than last year ( 20,000 less than one done by COUNTRYWIDE's own Landsafe!) I immediately called them and told them I wanted a re consideration and had the local real estate company do a cost comparison for a 1 mile radius of my house it came back 17500 more than the countrywide. They loan officer I am using told his supervisor and gave him 2 appraisals from Aug 2006 and 2005 and the comparison form the real estate company the supervisor agreed that the new 2007 appraisal was way off and sent it to the department for reconsideration. I was then called and told that countrywide had ordered the appraisal they had done in 2006 to compare then I was called and told that they would not re consider the appraisal amount. I just had a realtor's here to tell me what I should list my house for even in todays "bad market" and was told 195000.00. My complaint is: I believe that it is a conflict of interest for the mortgage company to OWN the Appraisal company I want my house appraised by a certified appraiser that is used by many Mortgage companies and I feel Countrywide Stole my 400.00 for the appraisal and I want my 400 refunded to me. I can get a loan else where. But their appraiser didn't even measure he went by courthouse measurement s which if he would measure he would have a totally different number I know this because I have measured and I have had my house refinances and had several appraisers here. Countrywide is first lying to get people to apply for their "NO CLOSING COST LOAN" which turns out to be a high interest loan and then steals money to have their appraisal company appraise houses. I know for sure any other appraiser would have appraised my house for 20000 or more higher.

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  • Bu
      12th of Dec, 2007

    I am totally mad now, Countrywide OWNS Landsafe? This is not over now, I want my $400.00 dollars back!

    0 Votes
  • Am
      14th of Dec, 2007

    If you are adamant that the Countrywide or LandSafe appraiser incorrectly appraised your property, and you have additional appraisals indicating that, you should go after the appraiser, i.e., sue his ###... and if Landsafe or Countrywide had any say in the appraised value, the appraiser will bring that up in court in order to take someone down with him.

    0 Votes
  • Xy
      11th of Jan, 2008

    LandSafe, an appraisal management company, is a subsidiary of Countrywide Financial. LandSafe hires, or subcontracts, certified appraisers to complete appraisal requests. LandSafe completes a milllion appraisal reports each year. Your 13 month old appraisal could not be used probably due to a time limit of which is about 6 months from my understanding. You could not select the appraiser or appraisal company you want as that is considered a conflict of interest and viewed as illegal. Do you believe that an appraiser is measured by how good they are if they can hit the so called 'number'. That is illegal and unethical. An example, my friend John Doe is an appraiser and he will get me the "number" I need to make the deal...illegal.
    Most real estate companies utilize an AVM - Automated Valuation Model of which can not provide the most acurate of numbers. Computer generated evaluation databases will most likely not include 'fresh sales' in your neighborhood, or even across the street from you. They do not take into account which are comparable and what can be ruled out and labeled only a sale. You can have many sales in your neighborhood, but only a few good comparables/ alternatives to your property.
    If AVM'S worked so good, then the banks would not hire appraisers. You might as well go to and print the report and submit that to the bank as an appraisal.
    Landsafe is a very respectable and reputable company that only seeks the truth. Truth is, your home is most likely not worth as much as you would like it to be, so you go blaming others. An appraiser who works for Landsafe has no other interest in your home, then appraise and move on to the next.
    If you felt that the appraiser that appraised your property did not perform what should have been performed you should have contacted the loan officer and expressed your concerns. The loan officer should then contact LandSafe. LandSafe has a team of highly trained appraisers and regional chief appraisers who have many years of experience on the national level and would review your appraisal for quality. If after review they disagreed with the appraisal they would have had a new appraisal completed at no cost to Countrywide or you.
    I am certain that your $400 or at least 90-100% of it is in the pocket of the appraiser who appraised your home; not Countrywide and not LandSafe.

    0 Votes
  • Gp
      20th of Jan, 2008

    Hello Ishouldknow,

    I am an Appraiser in California and agree. The only thing is that, yes you can choose your own Appraiser as long as they are approved through the bank you are going through. You sound like you are either an Appraiser, or are very knowledgeable in appraising. Ms. Allen, Landsafe pays the independent Appraiser a portion of the fee. The problem with Landsafe is that they will "blacklist" you from their list if they feel you overvalued or undervalued the property which puts a huge strain on the Appraiser. Considering that CW finances 1 in 3 homes in this area, if you get kicked off of their list, it's a big hit. I fired Landsafe and don't work for them anymore because of the low fees and high demands. But appraising has gotten a lot more accurate since 13 months ago when your last one was done. Then, it was really hard to predict what a house was worth because people were overspending to get the house and buying on emotion. But in a declining market, the value becomes more accurate because we look at what price it would take to get your house sold. A lot goes into it as far as looking at the active listings, pending sales, closed sales, and foreclosures in the area to see what is overpriced and has been sitting there too long, what was underpriced and moved too quickly, and what closed sales that were an arms length transaction received while being on the market for ample time.

    Usually we aren't in the house long. just enough time to look for upgrades, special features, measurements (we are required to always measure), and look for any deficiencies in design or upkeep of the house. I really hope that he measured the home. I sometimes measure the house from the outside before I make contact with the homeowner with my Disto laser measuring device. With these, you can measure up to 250ft away and they are very accurate.

    I too believe it isn't right to have the appraisal company owned by the company that is loaning the money. After all, they (CW) really own the home and are having their company appraise it. It is against our ethics rules (USPAP) to appraise properties that we have an interest in, but not them because they hire outside Appraisers... Whatever huh?

    Good luck and happy new year!

    0 Votes
  • Re
      31st of Jan, 2008

    I agree with everyone on this comment board and I am so sorry to hear about all the trouble that you are all having. This is the reason I started my company. I have helped several people that have mortgages with ASC, Countrywide, and other mortgage companies that don't seem to care if they harass people or suck them dry. The comments I have heard are along the lines of trying to get blood from a stone or turnip, or something like that.

    I have a service that actually will take you out of the loop of contact with ASC, or Countrywide or whomever you have servicing your loan. All you have to do is tell me how we can help you. By that I mean, tell us what you are looking for us to do for you and we will pursue the help that you want, no matter what. We have all aspects of the mortgage business covered from being a mortgage mediation company, a title company, a real estate company, all the way to having access to attorneys for litigation or help to avoid foreclosure. No aspect of help is turned away.

    Let me tell you, most of the customers that I deal with have told me about the fear and the frustration of working with mortgage companies that don't seem to care or give them the runaround. To be totally fair, mortgage companies have their ways of dealing with people. Some are good, some are horrible. But one thing all mortgage companies love is being vague. When they are vague, they don't have to give you information until you ASK for it. How does that help you? How can you try to save your home if you don't know how to ask the right questions?

    That’s another reason why I created this company. I take your number out of their "system". When they mail you something, it goes to me. I take the burden away from you so you can live your life without the phone calls and the letters. And the rudeness!!! Oh, man, if I told you some of the stories I have heard....let's just say, it’s not pretty.

    I know that some people are going to look at this comment and go, this guy is trying to drum up business. Well, you're right. But here's the kicker. I used to work in mortgage collections. I used to make the phone calls and send the letters. I used to work around the people that make your lives hell. And I kept asking myself, why? Why are these people not being told about the help that’s readily available? Why are these people not being helped to make payment arrangements that are realistic? Why does this company care more about the money than about customer service when that is supposed to be their primary objective?

    That's why I got out. I can not stand collections. Just because they are hiding behind a company name they think that they can say anything or act anyway they like with the customers, being friendly with one and the next 40-50 they can treat like crap. Where is the customer service?

    I take all that frustration away from you and create solutions that work. I know that it may be hard to swallow, but I do. I have done it for several people. And I can do it for you too. If you want more specifics or just want to talk to me, call my office at 888-453-1518 and check out the website, which is being updated with a few new options available. And this isn't just for people facing foreclosure, people that are current and want to pay off their home early, call me. I can and will help as many people as I am able to. What have you got to lose? Website address is if not for you, best of luck. In all your endeavors.

    0 Votes
  • Bf
      2nd of May, 2008

    As a former holder of a ARM, I began shopping for refinancing back in Feb 2008. I did contact Countrywide about refinancing and was told that it wouldn't be a problem and I would have to pay a fee for the appraisal, which I paid. Well, after all that was said and done, the appraisal came in lower than the refi amount. Well, we put things on hold for bit, during which time the first adjustment hit. I also noted that the next adjustment was coming up in June 2008 and going up quite a bit so I began looking in earnest. That is when the THE LETTER arrived..from FHA telling about the FHA Secure program. I went to the web site read the info and got in touch with the local lender. We had our ducks in a row by the time of the first meeting with them, such as debt to income, monthly bills, mortgage statements from the CW website (which I printed out the night before). We wre told we definately qualified and an appraisal would be made, which it was and gosh, it was higher than the CW apprasial (imagine that!!!) All told, it took less than 30 days and I no longer have the CW monkey on my back. Check out FHA Secure folks!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ke
      6th of May, 2008

    i bought my very first home, with my husband. we got divorced and he emptied the joint bank account. i missed one payment of 565.00, because my husband said he paid it. i paid the payments and then i came to find out your office was forclosing on me, they said i owed 10, 000.00 which is insane, because i did'nt pay that much for a whole year. So my realestate agent and i went through all of my payments, and sure as heck they were all paid except that one. We faxed over the pages to your office 6 different times to no avail. I lost my home, I had to declare chapter 13, and the credit i built up went right down the toilet. i am still very angry about this matter.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      11th of Jul, 2008

    This is what happened to me exactly! Not only that, but by undervaluing my house, they were trying to add $3300 up front PMI insurance, and $92.00 a month for 145 months in PMI insurance - payable to them, of course. I declined the loan and have asked for a refund of my appraisal fee.

    The loan officer knew that my goal was to lower my overall debt, not the monthly payments. Even after I cancelled, he was trying to convince me that saving 400 a month was a good deal - so I'm paying off a pre-payment penalty of 6800 and paying about 16, 000 in PMI. Tell me, how does that save me money?

    I will be reporting them to the Attorney General if I don't get the refund.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      11th of Jul, 2008

    Oh, and by the way, Landsafe is an affiliate of Countrywide, and I did say I disputed the appraisal and was told there was nothing I could do about it.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      25th of Jul, 2008

    I'm in shock! I was refunded the appraisal. Partly because I was told I had to pay that to lock in an interest rate, partly because there were glaring errors in the appraisal, and I'm sure, partly because Countrywide is under a microscope right now.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      19th of May, 2009

    As a certified appraiser for the past 15 years, I see a lot of things posted here that are very inaccurate. An appraiser in an analyst. We use the data that is present within the market at the time of the appraisal. We do not select adjustments, we extract them using recognized appraisal methodology. If the market does not have a recent, relevant and proximate sale that supports what the L/O or the H/O wants and the data that is there that suggest a lower number, then what is the appraiser to do? How is it the appraisers fault????

    If a market has dropped, it has dropped. If REOs and short sales are predominant within a market then, they cannot be ignored. Sales that suggest a lower value also cannot be ignored.

    The appraisers that are contracted by Landsafe are independant appraisers. They are not employees. Now, if Landsafe received pressure from the branch b/c the appraisal does not suit them and Landsafe buckles to the branch, then you have a problem. This has been known to happen and currently there are numerous lawsuits pending against CW for just this issue. It is called blacklisting. When an honest appraiser is penalized for completing an honest appraisal.

    The other thing that folks need to understand is that the appraiser's fiduciary responsibility is to the lender not the home owner. It is the appraisers certification that the property is worth what they report and that they have provided an accurate and supported analysis. The appraisers responsibility is not to make the homeowner or the loan officer happy.

    0 Votes
  • To
      24th of Sep, 2009
    Countrywide - Fraudulent business practices
    United States

    I am homeowner who pays his mortgage on time but I am not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates due to a decrease in the value of their home. Countrywide refused to help me refinance under Making Home Affordable program without any specific reason …just because... although I checked my situation under Making Home Affordable website and I was qualified.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      14th of Jun, 2011
    Countrywide - Stay away
    United States

    This company has the worst communication and customer service ever!!! No one knows the same information, there are too many people working on your account, and they do not care about their customers. If you have the options to use another company as your lender...PLEASE GO WITH THEM AND NOT COUNTRYWIDE...THEY SUCK!

    0 Votes
  • El
      21st of Apr, 2013

    We had the worst experience with Landsafe and B of A home loan, who charged our credit card $447 for the bogus appraisal. A psychopathic mental patient came in as an appraiser, spent only ten minutes at the premises, took a few pictures, and then listed our 4-bedroom house as a 3-bedroom and appraised it $60K below the market value. Why? Because the biggest bedroom in the house used to have a closet but it was taken out by the former owners so they could open it up with a door attached to the adjacent bedroom.

    Mind you, our house is listed as a 4-bedroom with the LA County and the MLS, but this idiot decided that the biggest bedroom in the house didn't count as a bedroom because it didn't have a closet! This caused us to abandon our refinance application with B of A and go with another company. The new appraiser appraised it at $440K and in the end it all worked out to our advantage because we refinanced our home at 3.75% 30-year fixed, instead of 4.125% that the B of A was going to give us, plus we paid zero closing costs, instead of $2500 that the B of A was going to charge us. In our opinion, B of A should have fired this idiot who cause us to leave them and go to another broker, but they are too big to notice these little things.

    Ultimately we won. A much lower rate, no closing costs or appraisal fees, and everything happened in 2 weeks, instead of 2 months of waiting and being nitpicked on by B of A underwriters - all mental cases, paranoid about the possibility that some teacher/professor like me, with a Ph.D. degree and 2 stable jobs, 24 years of work experience, and a Fico score of 800, who MIGHT try to default on his home loan!!! I mean what are the chances? They failed to screw me over, so it was THEIR LOSS. We are totally happy with the outcome even though we will have to pay the $447 credit card bill for this bogus appraisal. This was the LAST TIME we were stung by Bank of America or one of its affiliates. We will make up for this loss in one mortgage payment. Try Cash Call if you wish to refinance. They are wonderful.

    0 Votes

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