The Sheriff and the DDN flunk math

The continuing saga of the “appraisers” hired by the Sheriff, paid by the banks, and handed out as patronage jobs continues.

And now, according to the paper, we know Phil Plummer isn’t crooked, because he won’t hire his sister back- and know for sure that no one can do math in the Sheriff’s office:

Chief Deputy Mike Nolan estimates that the appraisers spend three to five hours on a job, although Plummer said some have said they can do it in 90 minutes to two hours.

Despite the number of work hours that would mean for the appraisers, who typically handled about 1,400 to 1,600 cases year, Plummer said he believes they are doing a thorough, accurate job.

via Sheriff says sister won’t work as an appraiser regardless of ruling.

Do the math- 1,400 cases, 2 hours each (best case), equals 2,800 hours: divide by 8 hours in a working day- and you have these people working 350 days a year! Never mind some take longer- and, one of the appraisers has a full-time job as the Chaminade Julienne Athletic Director.

In those 2 hours, they are supposed to make a site visit, enter the property, compare it to others around it, take pictures, fill out paperwork- for $85. Oh yeah, and we don’t know who authorized that amount:

Also on Wednesday, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge Barbara P. Gorman, said a court committee will study the minimum fees paid to the appraisers. The court is examining how the appraisers came to be paid $85 per property when the court in 1996 set the amount at $60. The court, clerk of courts and sheriff’s offices are searching records to determine who authorized the higher payments but none have been found.

If you wonder how they appraise all of our homes for tax purposes every six years- and wonder where they come up with the numbers- well, now we’re starting to see how screwed up this whole process has been. There is plenty of blame to go around on this mortgage crisis, and the Sheriff is just the local part of the cluster-duck.

It’s time for the Sheriff to be investigated, not for hiring his buddies, but explaining how he paid people to either work 350 days a year, or not really do appraisals at all.

See my other 2 posts on the subject: Now the numbers really don’t add up.

and “The nepotism doesn’t add up”

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5 Responses

  1. Greg Hunter January 14, 2010 / 8:30 pm
    They never get out of the car. Plummer manages drive by looting for the Republicans.

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  2. Alan Scott January 14, 2010 / 10:12 pm
    I rarely find myself on the same side of an issue as David and Greg, but right is right. On an intresting side note, Sheriff Plummer runs the youth wrestling program at C-J, so he works for Mike Raiff part-time and Raiff works for him part-time. Good work if you can get it. It is outrageous to make that kinda dough as a part-time worker. Wonder how the Marianists on Ludlow will explain this one.  Tip of the hat to you Mr. Esrati.

    P.S. The new format isn’t bad, I like the guests and the variety of topics. Keep growing the forum.

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  3. Robert Vigh January 15, 2010 / 10:29 am
    Let me get this straight. Please correct me where I am wrong.

    Bank Forecloses on a property. We then give control of the property of the Sheriff to Auction the property on behalf of the former owner. Prior to the auction the Sheriff must generate three appraisal values of a property and the starting bid on the property will be 2/3rds of average appraisal? If the home is not bought in auction, then the bank buys it and it becomes REO? If it is purchased, then at least the balance of the note owed on the property goes to the bank first and excess goes to the former owner? What is the Sheriff or the courts cut for taking care of the proceedings?

    The banks pay the $85.00 to each appraiser correct? The Sheriff hires the appraisers? So, in a sense it follows that the Sheriff is acting as the HR dept. for the bank? So, we are angry that the Sheriff is directing private money (the banks) to pay for services required by law that the bank must fulfill to his friends as opposed to also having a labor auction for the lowest appraiser to come in? Since the banks are footing the bill, what is there opinion? Has the Sheriff’s values been inaccurate or the paperwork inadequate? Sure it seems like a buddy system of hiring, but I am curious to know what the people involved think (banks and former home owners), I am trying to grasp the public outcry portion.

    Regarding the math, I read Sarah’s post about the time and energy required to appraise a home. Is the exact same amount of effort required to appraise these homes? The same paperwork? If you do five a day all year long, do you think you would find a way to streamline it, cut corners and make it happen? Have these corner cutters been sufficient to meet the banks, former homeowners and auctions needs?

    Please note the large amount of question marks. I am just waiting on more info before I throw in with the moral outrage.

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  4. David Esrati January 15, 2010 / 12:59 pm

    @Robert V The banks have the option to buy back the homes at 2/3 the “appraised” value- but, the home owner doesn’t. Remember, the banks are playing with imaginary money, you and I play with real money.

    The County and the taxpayers get screwed because the collective value of everything drops- and then we have to pay higher taxes for the services to support all this over building.

    The former owner gets nothing unless the auction value is bigger than what they owed- but I’m not even sure of that. Basically, this is a way that banks get to cover their butts- after making bad mistakes. And get the Sheriff to provide muscle to get tenants out.

    Whole thing of valuation shouldn’t be done by the Sheriff- in fact, why not just let the banks auction the homes off- or keep them. They “own” them, since they gave a note on them. Leave the Sheriff out.

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