The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) is pleased to announce an important win for consumers in Texas. On April 6, 2017, former real estate appraiser Robert Chandler Smith, Jr. (Smith) pled guilty in Travis County District Court to felony charges of false statement to obtain property or credit. As a result, the Court placed Smith on six years of community supervision, imposed a fine and prohibited him from performing real estate appraisals. This criminal prosecution protects Texas consumers from Smith’s illegal and deceptive appraisal activities.
TALCB revoked his license to perform appraisals in 2014, but Smith continued to engage in illegal activity by using the license numbers of other Texas appraisers without their knowledge while submitting appraisals in his name to clients, who paid him thinking they had received a legitimate appraisal report. He was able to avoid detection by not performing appraisals for any “federally related” mortgage finance transactions - where financial institutions verify appraiser credentials via the National Appraiser Registry hosted by the Appraisal Subcommittee. When evidence of his illegal activity came to TALCB’s attention, a cooperative investigation begun with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office led to Smith’s indictment on criminal charges in September 2016, and ultimately this recent guilty plea. Assisted by the Texas Attorney General’s office, TALCB also obtained a Court judgment permanently prohibiting Smith from engaging in real estate appraisal activities and imposing financial penalties.
TALCB appreciates the invaluable assistance of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Attorney General’s Office to stop Smith’s damaging deceits and is pleased with the collaborative efforts highlighting inter-agency cooperation and ending Smith’s fraud on Texas property owners and investors.
Appraisers play a vital role in real estate transactions. TALCB’s consumer protection responsibilities include ensuring the public maintains confidence in the legitimacy of real estate appraisal services. Consumers who become aware of unlicensed individuals or appraisers engaging in deceptive practices should contact TALCB and file a complaint. To learn more about what to expect from the real estate appraisal process and how to file a complaint, select the “Public” tab.