In the Matter of CoreLogic, Inc., a corporation, File No. 131 0199
I write to you today on the topic of the purchase of Ala Mode technologies by Corelogic. Ala Mode technologies is a software company primarily in the real estate business, and more specifically & primarily geared toward use by real estate appraisers. Ala Mode provides the software for completing & reporting the actual appraisals and is the largest software firm in this industry by quite a degree. Corelogic as you may know, has a hand in many industries, but is primarily also in real estate and mortgage financing areas. The complaint I have, as do thousands of others, is that Corelogic has purchased Ala Mode. For an industry like this, where there has been so much consolidation already, and there are very few small players in the process left, Corelogic is becoming a full-on monopoly in the appraisal industry. This purchase will help solidify this. AVMs (automated valuation modules; Zillow, etc.) pull data from some public sources and MLS systems across the country. However, Corelogic, by purchase of Ala Mode, will have a distinct advantage over all of the others by getting actual human verified data from thousands of appraisers across the country, thus creating a monopoly in that field as well. You see, about a decade ago when the real estate industry went into melt down, congress stepped in and worked to help protect independence for the appraiser (with mixed results), as it is important for humans to see, judge, verify, value, and report on real estate without pressure or influence to keep the real estate market in check. Since Corelogic is already the MLS (multiple listing service- where all listings and data are reported) for many major market areas across the country, hires appraisers through their own appraisal management company, provides the service to deliver these completed reports to many of the lenders across the country, and now owns the platform in which the majority of this work is already performed on, a company with this much involvement in the process can effectively put an independent appraisal professional, firm, or small appraisal management company out of business should they decide to 'cut them off' from the giant system of real estate they are working on consolidating. In addition, the more Corelogic owns of the system, the less of a competitive advantage smaller appraisal firms, appraisal management companies, credit unions, small banks, and any of the supporting industry individuals will ever have a fighting chance of being truly independent ever again. The size of Corelogic is fast becoming overwhelming to the appraisal industry and I truly believe this purchase needs to be examined. I do not know much about trade laws, (I know nothing honestly) but I know that I choose to work as a self-employed individual, where I protect the risk of buyers, sellers and lenders in the real estate world every day. This purchase and consolidation will perhaps be a catalyst to putting myself and thousands of others out of self-employed work in the short term. Thank you for your time.