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VOL. 124 | NO. 118 | Thursday, June 18, 2009

State Fines Appraiser, Suspends Certification

By Tom Wilemon

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Alan R. Price, a real estate appraiser based in Olive Branch, committed legal violations “indicative of fraudulent or intentionally misleading conduct,” according to a judgment handed down by the Tennessee Real Estate Appraiser Commission.

The commission fined Price $20,000 and suspended his appraiser certification for two years.

The commission issued the final order in March, but it did not become public until this week – 60 days after the judgment and a period during which Price could have sought a judicial review. Price did not challenge the judgment, said David R. Grimmett, the lawyer who represented him during the proceedings.

Attempts by The Daily News to contact Price were not successful by press time.

The commission’s investigation involved four Memphis properties: 537 Laclede Ave., 4240 Lansford Drive, 1418 Bonnie Drive and 4342 East Mallory Ave. Two review appraisers for mortgage companies, the purchaser of one of the properties and a representative of Fannie Mae filed the complaints against Price.

The commission ruled that Price committed multiple violations of Tennessee state laws requiring appraisers to abide by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, including the ethics rule, the conduct section and standards rules.

Price said the Laclede property was in average condition and had been adequately maintained when it was actually gutted down to the walls and floors. He also listed the age of the 92-year-old property as 20 years.

With the Lansford Drive property, Price failed to disclose that it was being sold for more than the listing price or that the seller was paying $5,900 in closing costs.

With the Bonnie Drive property, he stated the house was in livable condition when it needed a new roof. He also stated on an appraisal that there were no comparable sales to the property within a year when four properties had sold, including two foreclosure sales.

Price overvalued the Mallory Avenue property by misidentifying its neighborhood with one that was 4.5 miles away.

The commission concluded that “the numerous significant errors of omission and commission attributed to (Price) in the above four appraisal reports are indicative of fraudulent or intentionally misleading conduct on his part.”

However, the commission gave Price the opportunity to have his certification reinstated after the two-year suspension if he completes 67 hours of appraisal courses and passes exams.

The suspension of Price’s appraiser certification follows another punitive action the commission took in January against Thomas W. Farris Sr. of Southaven for appraisal work in Memphis. Farris permanently surrendered his license after a state investigation determined he engaged in fraudulent conduct.

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