The most common search question by appraisers and appraisal management company personnel that leads to the Appraiser Law Blog is some form of: “What is the statute of limitations for suing about an appraisal?”
Because this is so frequently misunderstood by appraisers, let me say this first: the relevant time period for suing an appraiser or AMC about an allegedly bad appraisal has nothing to do with USPAP’s minimum 5-year record keeping requirement. Don’t throw those workfiles away!
So what is the time period for suing about an appraisal? The time period varies by state and by the precise claim asserted, ranging from 1 year in Kentucky to 10 years in Rhode Island, and further depends on whether the “discovery rule” will apply. So, it takes a 50-state chart to answer the question completely. Appraisers and AMCs (who are in the same boat with appraisers when it comes to lawsuits) have access to such a chart at www.readimember.org (registration is required and subject to approval by READI).
For registered members, here is a link to the article and chart. This is the only comprehensive study of this subject available to the appraisal industry that I know of. The chart provides the relevant statutes of limitations periods for appraisal negligence (with code citations), breach of contract and intentional fraud in all 50 states and also indicates whether the “discovery rule” will likely apply to an appraisal negligence claim in each state. The research for the chart required many hours of research on our part.
Peter Christensen is an attorney who advises professionals and businesses about legal and regulatory issues concerning valuation and insurance. He serves as general counsel to LIA Administrators & Insurance Services. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.