NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After a fight that lasted more than fifteen months, involving Chase Manhattan Bank, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) member John Dingeman was vindicated when Chase agreed to reinstate him to be eligible for appraisal assignments. AGA is an affiliate of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO.
Dingeman was placed on Chase's "Black List" in May 2012 after he refused to release information that was considered confidential in an appraisal report he had completed for another lender indicating that he would be in violation of professional ethics outlined in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Dingeman did not find out that he had been placed on the list until October 2012 when appraisal assignments began to disappear. Unsatisfied with Dingeman's refusal to yield, Chase then appealed to the Arizona Appraisal Board in an attempt to have Dingeman's licensed revoked by claiming the appraisal report in question was substandard. The Arizona's Board found no fault with the report and dismissed the complaint. Chase did not relent and kept Dingeman on the "Black List" until August 2013 when they finally recanted.
At the outset of the fight with Chase, Dingeman reached out for assistance as a member of the Coalition of Arizona Appraisers (CoAA), the AGA and OPEIU. He drew the attention of many of his peers in Arizona along with Peter Vidi, the national president of the AGA, who began to actively press the issue with his connections at OPEIU and the AFL-CIO.
"We worked through our contacts at the OPEIU and the AFL-CIO's Union Privilege to open a dialogue about John's case with Chase," said Vidi. "It seemed very unfair to me that John had been exonerated by the Arizona Board yet Chase refused to relent. When Chase's representative denied that there was a 'Black List,' AGA produced a copy with John's name on it. That did not sit very well with representatives of OPEIU or the AFL-CIO who requested an explanation of Chase's actions."
Shortly after, Chase lost its AFL-CIO Union Privilege favored status and access to millions of OPEIU and AFL-CIO members. "There were probably a number of reasons, many of which I am not aware of, behind the AFL-CIO's decision to withdraw the Union Privilege favored status from Chase, but it was clear to me that Chase's mistreatment of Dingeman did not help matters," said Vidi. "I am extremely proud of John and the efforts that came forth from OPEIU and AFL-CIO leaders to help. This is a perfect example of how AGA works to help protect its members. Appraisers need to understand that the pattern for abuse will stop only when there is one collective voice. That's why professionals joining with the American Guild of Appraisers help to ensure our independence."
After Dingemen was reinstated he reflected, "I was fortunate that I was a member of the Coalition of Arizona Appraisers who had affiliated with AGA and OPEIU. The organizations were concerned and embraced the challenge of righting a wrong. The AGA and OPEIU were the only organizations that stepped up, and not just financially, but all the way to the plate using their leverage to engage in conversations with Chase. When others buckled, OPEIU and AGA pressed on and kept pushing the issue." When asked about the future, Dingeman said, "All real estate agents have a voice via the National Association of Realtors (NAR) regardless of membership, and like the NAR all appraisers will benefit from the efforts of OPEIU and AGA."
Actively engaged throughout the initiative to help Dingeman was Kevin Kistler, director of organization and field services for OPEIU, who said, "John's case was a clear mandate for action and we are pleased with the outcome. Assisting John Dingeman in winning the right to pursue his profession was essential."
ABOUT THE AMERICAN GUILD OF APPRAISERS/OPEIU GUILD 44 - The American Guild of Appraisers/OPEIU Guild 44 seeks to represent the interests of appraisers, developing a strong presence before the U.S. Congress and each of the state legislatures. By working closely and exchanging dialog with other like-minded organizations, the AGA works to educate consumers about the appraisers' non bias, independent role in the value process, while ensuring the accountability of both the appraisal profession and the financial institutions with which the appraiser provides services.
ABOUT OPEIU - The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO represents more than 104,000 members in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. OPEIU represents employees and independent contractors in banking and credit unions, insurance, higher education, shipping, hospitals, medical clinics, utilities, transportation, hotels, administrative offices and more.
Professional organizations and Guilds affiliated with OPEIU are a diverse group that includes nurses, pharmacists, chiropractors, appraisers, podiatrists, clinical social workers, minor league baseball umpires, teachers and helicopter pilots.
SOURCE American Guild of Appraisers/OPEIU Guild 44