As noted in the article, Landsafe is a large generator of fees for Countrywide. I am an appraiser who used to do independent fee appraisals for Countrywide BEFORE Landsafe was invented. Keeping the appraisers independent and paying them their full fee kept the product top quality because top quality appraisers were attracted. Landsafe came along in 1996 as a fee-split operation for appraisers. For example, the borrower is charged over $400 for the appraisal and the appraiser gets $250 to $275 of the fee, the rest going to Landsafe -- for nothing -- just acting as the intermediary. There is no sound reason for Landsafe to exist other than as another cash cow for Countrywide, screwing both the borrower and the appraiser on the appraisal fee. Typical appraiser fees are $350 +/- and most of the really good appraisers do not want or need to work for the chicken feed paid by Landsafe. Consequently, the appraisers Landsafe attracts tend to be new and/or inexperienced and the quality is sub-standard, contributing to the mess Countrywide is in (homes are over-valued or other significant mistakes are made, etc).