FAQs

Frequently asked questions by each stakeholder.

Who is Clearbox designed to benefit?

All Clearbox solutions were designed to benefit all stakeholders by promoting the engagement of qualified, ethical appraisers. Clearbox promotes greater transparency around the appraiser selection process.

Does Clearbox create a national blacklist?

No. Clearbox subscribers create their own lists. Each of these lists is private and only available to that particular subscriber. Clearbox does not rate or score appraisers.

What sources have you collected data from?

We have built our database from a variety of sources including (but not limited to): State Appraisal Boards, the Appraisal Subcommittee, public records, our background check provider, and from Clearbox appraiser registrations.

Is the information in Clearbox secure?

Yes, we have several layers of protection including multiple firewalls, numerous backups and we use the most secure encryption technology available. Additionally, only our subscribers have access to the Clearbox database. We do not store any credit card or payment information.

What is Fee Survey?

Fee Survey™ is inclusive of all three methods called for in Dodd Frank—independent fee survey (that’s us) a government fee schedule (the VA) and an academic study (Georgetown University). We look at the mean, median and mode for each product in each county of the US. We’ve added the appraiser population as well as the overall county population to give you an idea of the supply/demand for appraisers in each area. There isn’t a more comprehensive survey to be found anywhere.

Can we integrate the data into our own systems?

Yes, Please visit our API page for more information on data integration.

Background checks are confusing. What type of background screening does Clearbox do?

We have standardized the background screening process and aggregated data that is unique to Clearbox. Click here to see a comparison.

What does it cost for an appraiser to create their profile?

The ClearCheck is a $125 annual fee, which includes your profile, CBOX™, Fee Survey™, Area 56™ and a Background Check. Our background check profile option is just a $39 annual fee but limits you to a profile and Fee Survey (limited). For an overview of our Appraiser Pricing options, please Click Here

How do I renew my profile and background check?

Log into your Clearbox profile. Once you are logged in, click on your name in the upper right hand corner and then click “edit”. You will be redirected to a screen that says “settings”, click on “billing” in the upper right hand corner. This page will show you your billing invoices, click on the most recent invoice to make a payment. Your background check will be automatically reordered once payment is received.

What if I don’t want anyone to see my background check?

The background check is included as part of your annual fee. Background checks can sometimes take several weeks to be returned. You will be notified when we receive it and it is available for your review. After you review it for accuracy, you can make the choice whether you wish to make it viewable to our subscribers. Unless you choose to share your results, your background check will remain private. Background Checks.

If I already have a background check, can I use it for Clearbox?

No, we cannot accept background checks from any outside source.

My email address has changed. How can edit my account?

Log into your Clearbox profile at Clearbox.com using your old email address. In the upper right hand corner click on your name and then click edit. You will be redirected to the “settings” page where it will say account information. Under username, you can enter your new email address.

What would happen if I get on a Lender or AMC exclusionary list?

You would have to contact them directly. Each must have their own policies and processes for rebuttal. Clearbox merely stores and manages data for others.

Will Clearbox send me appraisal orders?

No, Clearbox does not handle appraisal transactions. Clearbox helps provide you with the tools and information to connect with Lenders and AMC’s.

Do I have to include my social security number or tax id when I create my Appraiser Profile?

Yes it is necessary to collect your social security number and your birthdate in order to run an accurate background check.

Do I have to include my standard fees?

The fee schedule is not a mandatory field but Customary & Reasonable Fees is a really important issue for appraisers. It is vitally important that your clients have access to a robust database in order for them to be able to make informed decisions.

How do I upload my sample appraisals?

Sample appraisals can be uploaded under “Geo Territory & Fees”. Click on “edit” next to one of your territories and then click “Choose File”, this where you can attach a copy of your sample appraisals.

Is it unethical to upload sample appraisals?

No, according to USPAP you may provide samples provided confidential information is redacted. The other option is that you secure a release from the client. Sample appraisals while not a Clearbox requirement , may be a requirement of your client.

Where can I upload my continuing education?

Scroll towards the bottom of your profile to the area that says “Education”. Click on “Add A Course”, this is where you can add the type of continuing education, course title, provider, date and amount of hours.

Why do I have to upload my continuing education certificates?

It is not a requirement to upload your continuing education. This is a service Clearbox provides for you as way to create a digital file cabinet for you.

What do I do if my background check is not correct?

If you would like to dispute your background check you can do so by clicking the “Email a Dispute” link in the “background check” area in your profile. We are the only system whereby you are the first set of eyes who views your background. You can dispute your background check before any of your clients might be prejudiced by incorrect information. You and only you decide on whether or not to make your background check viewable.

How will I be contacted by your subscribing AMCs and Lenders?

Your profile will be viewable to our AMCs and Lenders who can search by geographic territory, credential criteria, name, licensing number, and many more search fields. Once they have selected you they will contact you through the information in your company profile to add you to their list permanently or for a one time assignment.

I have already had my background check run by my state appraisal agency. Why do lenders and AMCs need a background check?

There are a number of reasons why your clients need to run your background check. The role of the state is to ensure that you have met minimum licensing criteria. Each state has different policies around types of acceptable behaviors. Your clients may and do have different standards. A good analogy would be that a driver’s license is not a guarantee that the credential holder is both competent or ethical. Your state agency does not allow your clients to view your background check so that they can make their own decisions.

What does it cost to create a profile?

The background profile is a $39 annual fee, which includes your profile, Area 56™ and a Background Check. For an overview of our Pricing options, please Click Here

How do I renew my profile and background check?

Log into your Clearbox profile. Once you are logged in, click on your name in the upper right hand corner and then click “edit”. You will be redirected to a screen that says “settings”, click on “billing” in the upper right hand corner. This page will show you your billing invoices, click on the most recent invoice to make a payment. Your background check will be automatically reordered once payment is received.

What if I don’t want anyone to see my background check?

The background check is included as part of your annual fee. Background checks can sometimes take several weeks to be returned. You will be notified when we receive it and it is available for your review. After you review it for accuracy, you can make the choice whether you wish to make it viewable to our subscribers. Unless you choose to share your results, your background check will remain private. Background Checks.

If I already have a background check, can I use it for Clearbox?

No, we cannot accept background checks from any outside source.

My email address has changed. How can edit my account?

Log into your Clearbox profile at Clearbox.com using your old email address. In the upper right hand corner click on your name and then click edit. You will be redirected to the “settings” page where it will say account information. Under username, you can enter your new email address.

What would happen if I get on a Lender or VMC exclusionary list?

You would have to contact them directly. Each must have their own policies and processes for rebuttal. Clearbox merely stores and manages data for others.

Will Clearbox send me orders?

No, Clearbox does not handle transactions. Clearbox helps provide you with the tools and information to connect with Lenders and VMC’s.

Do I have to include my social security number or tax id when I create my Profile?

Yes it is necessary to collect your social security number and your birthdate in order to run an accurate background check.

Where can I upload my continuing education?

Scroll towards the bottom of your profile to the area that says “Education”. Click on “Add A Course”, this is where you can add the type of continuing education, course title, provider, date and amount of hours.

Why do I have to upload my continuing education certificates?

It is not a requirement to upload your continuing education. This is a service Clearbox provides for you as way to create a digital file cabinet for you.

What do I do if my background check is not correct?

If you would like to dispute your background check you can do so by clicking the “Email a Dispute” link in the “background check” area in your profile. We are the only system whereby you are the first set of eyes who views your background. You can dispute your background check before any of your clients might be prejudiced by incorrect information. You and only you decide on whether or not to make your background check viewable.

How will I be contacted by your subscribing VMCs and Lenders?

Your profile will be viewable to our VMCs and Lenders who can search by geographic territory, credential criteria, name, licensing number, and many more search fields. Once they have selected you they will contact you through the information in your company profile to add you to their list permanently or for a one time assignment.

I have already had my background check run by my state agency. Why do lenders and VMCs need a background check?

There are a number of reasons why your clients need to run your background check. The role of the state is to ensure that you have met minimum licensing criteria. Each state has different policies around types of acceptable behaviors. Your clients may and do have different standards. A good analogy would be that a driver’s license is not a guarantee that the credential holder is both competent or ethical. Your state agency does not allow your clients to view your background check so that they can make their own decisions.

What are the advantages to subscribing to Clearbox?

The advantages are many but simply they fall into 3 categories – compliance, risk and recruiting. Interagency Guidelines issued on December 10, 2010 reinforce the need for lenders to perform appropriate due diligence on their fee panels. We collect the data and give you the tools to manage your lists efficiently. The risk associated with continuing to do business with those who have cost you and other institutions financial harm is costly. If you need to add an appraiser to your panel we have a list of every licensed appraiser in the US.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a bulletin on October 30, 2013 on Third Party Oversight. While ordering a background check is not mandatory, due diligence is. Most everyone has concluded that a background check is just one of many things that must be considered.

If you need to recruit appraisers to your fee panel Clearbox has a robust database with extensive information about each registered appraiser.

If I’ve had appraisers on my fee panel for years why would I need Clearbox?

Initial vetting of your panel is a key consideration but so is constant monitoring. Clearbox would notify you if there is any change in disciplinary actions or background check behavior. Both due diligence and constant monitoring are regulatory requirements.

We are a new AMC and need to grow our list. How can I leverage Clearbox?

With just a few clicks you can search on a geographic territory, qualifying criteria such as expertise in a given specialty or years of experience, designations, etc. and find a list of potential appraisers for your assignment.

We are an established AMC with an expansive list. We already have staff for vendor management. Does SELECT™ replace that function?

No, but it surely will help with reducing costs. You will need fewer dedicated Full Time Employees (FTEs) in that function. With the implementation of Dodd Frank and fees associated with the number of appraisers on your fee panel it will be exceedingly meaningful to “right size” your fee panel. What was yesterday’s marketing advantage is tomorrow’s operational nightmare.

Our institution is proactively seeking to do business with minority and women owned businesses. Do you have that information?

Yes we do. Our search features are extensive because we collect a massive amount of information on the appraisal community.

Must we expose our lists to other subscribers?

No. Your lists are confidential to you. You decide through your administrative tools who may have access to your lists and which appraisers you would like to add to your lists.

We do business with mortgage brokers and correspondents. Can I give them access to our list of “approved appraisers”?

Absolutely. That was one of the reasons we designed Select™. Lists are dynamic and change regularly. You can now provide access to your lists in “real time” instead of sharing outdated lists in PDF format.

How do we comply with the Mandatory Reporting requirement in Dodd Frank?

We have standardized the complaint process so that it is not necessary for the party filing the complaint to be a USPAP expert. Most, but not all states, will accept our electronic delivery called CBOX™. Your complaint, with all of the documentation, is then tagged to the appraiser’s profile, private to you, for safe record keeping.

How would we publish Fannie Mae’s AQM list without violating their rules?

The lender would simply add these appraisers to their exclusionary list where they would blend in with the rest of their list. Your lists can then be shared with your third parties as you so choose.

We have decades of information on appraisers. Why should we share proprietary information with anyone else?

You would not be sharing your proprietary information. Your lists are proprietary and will remain so.

Keeping up with State laws is overwhelming. What tools do you have that might assist?

We developed a central hub called Area 56™ specifically to address this need. We tract legislation on the state level for appraisals and BPOs. We also maintain a database of registered AMCs.

What is CBOX™?

CBOX™ is a complaint clearinghouse that State Appraisal Boards may opt to use. We’ve created a portal through which AMCs and Lenders can file complaints in a standardized format. We’ve simplified the reporting on the front end by identifying the most common deficiencies found in appraisals. On the back end, for regulators, we’ve tied those complaints to the USPAP violation. We’ve developed tools to assist you with processing, filing, and administering complaints.

What happens after the disciplinary action is administered?

We post each State’s disciplinary actions, if there is one, to X-Files™ after we receive notification from the State.

Can regulators access X-Files™ and view actions by other States?

Yes, if you are a participating regulator you will have access to all collected disciplinary actions. This would be an immensely effective tool to assist with reciprocity.

Can we use your standardized complaint form and link it to our website?

Yes, just contact us and we will help create a link for you.

Can Select™ be used to audit appraisers for their continuing education?

Yes, if the appraiser has stored their CE certificates within their Select™ profile. If you made it mandatory it would be a simple and cost effective solution to also maintaining up to date contact information, complete with demographic data, for your registry.

Do you have any tools to manage AMC registrations?

Within Area 56™ we have created a national registry of AMCs. You can search to see which AMCs are registered and where they are registered.

About Us

Clearbox®,LLC was founded to address the complex landscape of compliant processes and data management. Better information and transparent processes promote integrity. The Clearbox® suite of products offers solutions to all stakeholders- Appraisers, Real Estate Agents and Brokers, Lenders, Appraisal Management Companies and Regulators.


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Contact Info

9927 Stephen Decatur Highway, Suite G-16
Ocean City, MD 21842

info@clearbox.com