Attorney Information

The average person's chance of receiving a fair and competent appraisal report for their divorce is as poor as their chances of winning the lottery. The reason is simple. There is no regulation for personal property  appraisers. Anyone can represent themselves as an appraiser. The IRS is aware of this problem. They have taken steps to protect their interests. They require a qualified appraisal by a qualified appraiser. An appraiser is held liable for under valuing an estate or over inflating the value of a donated item. This is of little consolation to the average everyday consumer.

With little or no information available for attorneys in regards to appraisals, it is hard to challenge an incompetent appraiser. Once you know what to look for in the appraisal report, you will be able to effectively challenge a poor report.


An appraisal offers a reasoned opinion of a defined type of value, as of a given date, supported by facts gathered in the appropriate marketplace. A value is not a value because an appraiser says so. It is supported. Unfounded opinions of value should be treated as such.

Many think that being an auctioneer or an antique dealer qualifies them as an appraiser. This is far from the truth. Many self proclaimed appraisers, without hesitation will use an auction sale to determine an items fair market value. While auction values are a good indication of liquidation value, they are not a good indication of fair market value. When an appraiser is researching fair market value, they must research the market where the most sales occur for the item being appraised.

Appraisals By Chuilli

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Appraisals By Chuilli ♦ 403 S. Mission Street ♦ Wittenberg, WI 54499 ♦ 715-297-2457


Many appraisers lack sufficient credentials. Their solution is to embellish of falsify their credentials.

Some common areas where appraisers misrepresent their accomplishments and abilities are as follows: qualifications, competency, expertise, professional designations, membership in a professional society and misleading parties with designations not related to appraising or personal property.

  • 1.)  Each type of appraisal assignment is only good for a specific intended use. (what the report is being used for). Since appraisers seek different values in different assigments, the intended use must be stated in the report. A fair market value assignment would not be the same if an appraiser was seeking replacement value or a liquidation value.
  • 2.) To avoid third party liability an appraiser must name the client and any intended user.
  • 3.) An appraisal must state the type of value and must site the appropriate definition and source of the definition.
  • 4.) Each appraisal report must list 3 dates. 1) date of report, date or dates of inspection and the effective date. (Effective date: the date that the value opinions are good for).
  • 5.) All limiting conditions must be stated in the report. Almost all appraisal assignments have limiting conditions. Limiting Condition: any assumption the appraiser makes that would affect the value (i.e. it is assumed that all mechanical, electric and electronic devices work and function properly).


An appraiser's PH.D is insignificant if the degree is not related to appraising or a specialty such as jewelry, art, firearms etc.

The statement Certified by the Appraisal Standards Board. The appraisal Foundation does not certify appraisals or appraisers.

If an appraiser uses a personal profile to state their qualifications in the report, read it over to find out which of these relate to personal property appraising. If it is not appraisal related, it should not be listed.

Being a town chairman for 10 years, having military service, or being a real estate broker is not qualifications for appraising.



In dissolution of marriage appraisal assignments, there are 5 effective dates. The correcto one to be used depends on the state that has jurisdiction.

1) Date of Filing.  2) Date of seperation.  3) Date of Decree.  4) Date of Trial and..  5) The courts discretion. It is never the date of inspection or the date of the report.


Jerry is an appraisal procedure specialist and offers appraisal consultation to attorneys. If you feel your client has received a poor appraisal, he will examine the report and provide you the necessary information to effectively challenge it.


Untrained self proclaimed appraisers have no idea of what information an appraisal must contain in order to be credible. They also have no clue as to the requirements of the many different assignments. All appraisals must comply with legal requirements or state statutes. It is unethical to render an appraisal report that does not comply with the requirements. Appraisers are required to know the requirements of each type of appraisal assignment.

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