Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mortgage Fraud Watch List Wins Round 1

by Tanta on 7/05/2007 12:01:00 PM

An update to this post:

A Brevard County judge on Thursday refused to shut down a Palm Bay appraiser's Web site that contained comments critical of the California-based appraisal management company First American eAppraiseIT.

The company was seeking a temporary injunction to prevent appraiser Pamela Crowley from making any comments, or posting comments from others, about it on her Web site, www.mortgagefraudwatchlist.org.

Crowley's Web site serves as a discussion platform for issues in the appraising industry. It also is a place for appraisers to report lending and appraisal fraud, and questionable activities in the industry.

First American eAppraiseIt acts as a middle party, finding appraisers for clients such as banks and mortgage companies.

Circuit Court Judge John Dean Moxley Jr. dismissed eAppraiseIT's request, because the company had not proved defamation or any financial harm based on the postings.

"If it's not defamation at this point, there's no need for an injunction," Moxley said. "What you asked for is not permissible under the law in the state. Therefore, I deny it."

And a word of warning for firms considering SLAPP suits against websites:
So far, one of the best-read postings to the site, which requires a registration, has been about eAppraiseIt's efforts to silence Crowley, Potts said.