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Loose Lips Sink Ships

Posted Jan 16, 2013
Written by Abigail Athanasopoulos
Category General

This phrase was coined during World War II as part of a propaganda campaign urging soldiers and civilians alike to be careful about information they communicated in written or spoken word. In a way, this phrase is pertinent today as it extends to the medical profession and businesses engaged in financial reporting. In fact, confidentiality and privacy are now part of the law since 1990 as the Gramm Leech Bliley Act. How does this law apply to appraisers?  Assigning value to personal property is a form of financial reporting and falls under this law.  

The personal and financial information contained in an appraisal document may be extensive, and must be protected properly. Clients should understand that the appraiser is required to protect their privacy and private information and this should be confirmed by agreement.  Privacy obligations continue and do not end when the assignment is complete. According to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), client files must be securely stored for not less than 5 years, or 2 years after any litigation in which the appraiser testifies.  At the conclusion of this obligation, files and images should be duly shredded, not thrown in the trash.

Think about it! Loose lips can sink ships.