“Can I sue an appraiser?” “Should I sue the appraiser?”  As a lawyer working in the field of valuation liability and regulation, I’ve seen hundreds of cases filed against real estate appraisers by borrowers and property owners, variously claiming that an appraisal for a loan was either too high or too low or made some other kind of error.  Borrowers and other parties thinking about suing an appraiser should know the following:

  • Most claims by borrowers and property owners against appraisers are unsuccessful and result in no monetary recovery for the borrower.  In other words, the borrower loses.  Part of the reason for this is that the borrower is not the appraiser’s client in appraisals for mortgage lenders and the stated purpose or “intended use” of the appraisal is for the lender’s evaluation of a mortgage transaction. 
      • The appraiser’s opinion of value is usually defensible as of its effective date.  An appraisal is not a guarantee of present value or a prediction of future value.

          Peter Christensen

          I am an attorney and principal of the Christensen Law Firm. The matters that I handle and the clients whom I serve are focused on valuation services. My work ranges from the regulatory and structural details of providing valuation services to professional liability and disciplinary issues.