The decision in this case, which was filed as a putative class action, was rendered in the context of a motion for class certification. As such, it is rather skimpy concerning the details of the arrangement between Amerisave and Nova. Nevertheless, it appears that the arrangement was as follows:
- When a consumer applied to Amerisave for a mortgage loan, he/she would receive a RESPA-compliant AfBA disclosure statement setting forth the nature of Amerisave’s affiliate relationship with Nova.
- After giving the consumer that disclosure, Amerisave would order an appraisal from Nova.
- Nova in turn would order the appraisal from an independent appraiser, monitor the status of the order to ensure that the appraisal was delivered in a timely fashion, have the appraisal report reviewed by an independent third party and, if the report was deemed acceptable, deliver the report to Amerisave.
- The consumer would be charged a $100 appraisal review fee for Nova’s services as well as the fee that Nova had to pay the independent appraiser for his/her report.
- The only thing of value that would pass from Nova to Amerisave as part of this arrangement was a return on Amerisave’s ownership interest in Nova.