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Industry’s Dirty Little Secret:: Altered Reports


hausdok
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By David Brauner, WRE Editor

Editor's Note: Though this article deals with appraisals, there are some interesting parallels here, because some inspectors have experienced this themselves.

Now you see it, now you don’t: that’s what appraisers are saying about data that is disappearing or changing after a report leaves their desktop. Here’s what is happening and why, according to appraisers, vendors and other industry insiders.

A certified appraiser, who wishes to remain anonymous fearing blacklisting, recently contacted her errors and omissions insurance provider to report a potential liability issue. Let’s call her Ms. Smith. Smith noticed a PDF report inadvertently attached to a request sent to her from an AMC (appraiser management company). When she opened the PDF attachment she noticed that her original appraisal was altered. “I clicked on the PDF attachment and found that it was a copy of the original appraisal that I had sent to them, except this PDF report was altered and my signature was gone. There was added data on several pages and several pages were removed including my cover page, letter of transmittal and the summary of salient features. Also missing was the additional active listings page. The active listings photo page was there but data was added,â€

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I sure found out this week that PDF inspection reports can be changed.

It sure helps to keep old reports on file.

Got a call Mon from a fannie mae rep asking if I wrote, [the new home in question], needed over $200,000 in repairs that I inspected June 07.

Come to find out somebody completly changed my report, and added several lines to my origional report, I guess it was to get a loan to make repairs on a home that already lost two hundred thousand $ plus in value in the past year and half.

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Originally posted by dspec

I sure found out this week that PDF inspection reports can be changed.

It sure helps to keep old reports on file.

Got a call Mon from a fannie mae rep asking if I wrote, [the new home in question], needed over $200,000 in repairs that I inspected June 07.

Come to find out somebody completly changed my report, and added several lines to my origional report, I guess it was to get a loan to make repairs on a home that already lost two hundred thousand $ plus in value in the past year and half.

Hi,

If you've copyrighted your reports, that's grounds for a lawsuit. Did you know that if you're using Microsoft Word that you can encode your report so that any changes they make from the report that you send them are highlighted?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

Originally posted by dspec

I sure found out this week that PDF inspection reports can be changed.

It sure helps to keep old reports on file.

Got a call Mon from a fannie mae rep asking if I wrote, [the new home in question], needed over $200,000 in repairs that I inspected June 07.

Come to find out somebody completly changed my report, and added several lines to my origional report, I guess it was to get a loan to make repairs on a home that already lost two hundred thousand $ plus in value in the past year and half.

Hi,

If you've copyrighted your reports, that's grounds for a lawsuit. Did you know that if you're using Microsoft Word that you can encode your report so that any changes they make from the report that you send them are highlighted?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

I, for one, didn't know that.

It's pretty tough to alter a .pdf with 128-bit encryption, isn't it?

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