Appraisal Fee Responsibility

I inquired with a loan officer about refinancing my home mortgage. Within a day I got a call from an appraiser to set up an appointmet. The appraiser came out and appraised my condo but I never got the loan. Now, four months later, I'm getting a "past due" notice from the appraiser saying I owe $350. Is this legal? Do I have to pay it?

2 Answers

I am not sure what state you are in, but from my experience the appraisal is invoiced in the name of the person/entity who ordered it, which when connected to a home loan is the lender.

Make sure to get a copy of the invoice, then check your disclosures you were sent (you may have agreed to pay).

Find a mortgage professional, preferable one that is a Mortgage Planner, who lives and works in your state and have them review your paperwork to make sure you did not sign something that states you would pay for the appraisal in the event your loan does not close.

Once you have some better information (and I suspect you will) then you will probably have to get in touch with the lender that ordered the appraisal, and the appraisal company. Take this issue to the owner to get this set straight. Hope that helps!

Actually this is a huge problem that I have had with appraisers in the past. Your loan officer probably asked the appraiser to estimate a value before ordering the appraisal. The appraiser said ...The loan officer thought it worked and submitted it to underwriting but it was probably denied. The problem is that an appraiser cannot usually offer a guaranteed number and there is the problem.

I have argued with appraisers that this appraisal was to be used for the purpose of obtaining financing and since it was the inadequate appraisal that hindered this, there should be a small trip charge and the rest should be forgiven. In some cases an appraiser will update the comparable sales or information to try to make the deal work but if he is unwilling to do so, do not pay him a dime. The burden is on the loan officer's company, since the order originated from them, not you.