Monthly Archive: October 2013

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GSEs Still Finding Problems with Home Appraisals

Three years after the creation of a database seeking to standardize the home appraisal process, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to see major issues in numerous appraisals submitted by mortgage lenders, American Banker reported Sept. 12. Fannie Mae conducted a sampling of appraisals and determined that 17.6 percent contained contradictory information, typically pertaining to the condition or quality of the property, Robert Murphy, the GSE’s director of collateral and single-family risk policy, told a Phoenix conference of risk managers. He added that those two factors are the most important in determining a property’s value. Elevated appraisals contributed to the...

Why are Appraisers Furious at Fraud by their Peers while Corporate Lawyers are Complacent? 1

Why are Appraisers Furious at Fraud by their Peers while Corporate Lawyers are Complacent?

I have done a series of articles about the efforts of honest appraisers (which began in 2000) and loan brokers to alert the lenders, the markets, and the government to the twin fraud epidemics (appraisals and “liar’s” loans) committed by lenders’ controlling officers that drove the financial crisis. Honest appraisers could have profited greatly by becoming dishonest appraisers who would be given the lucrative assignments by fraudulent lenders’ controlling officers and their agents. Instead, honest appraisers suffered serious losses of income because they refused to succumb to the extortion efforts of the fraudulent lenders and their agents. A national survey of appraisers...

Financial Crisis Looming 2

Liar, Liar…Pants on Fire

My money is definitely on another financial crisis I recently read a summary of an interview of James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley. When Gorman was asked about the chances of another financial crisis like the one we had 5 years ago occurring, he replied that “the probability of it happening again in our lifetime is as close to zero as I could imagine”. To this statement, my reply is quite simply “bull—-!” Here are the reasons why another financial crisis can happen in the next few years. Government and personal debt remain at unsustainable levels. The US budget is...

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Appraisal Guidelines

In the August edition of the AppraisalPort Newsletter, I reported on some of the general information covered at the National AI Connect Conference in Indianapolis, July 23-25, 2013. This was a great conference, covering a wide range of topics. This month, I want to pass on some information covered in one of the breakout sessions for residential appraisers. The session was titled, “Residential Chief Policy Roundtable” and included presentations from Fannie Mae’s Robert Murphy, the Appraisal Institute’s Bill Garber, HUD’s Ada Bohorfoush, and the VA’s Gerald Kifer. At Fannie Mae, Murphy handles many of the issues regarding appraisers and the...

Appraisers Expect Continued Growth 2

Appraisers Expect Continued Growth

Appraisers Expect Continued Growth: Appraisal Institute Survey CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire: Appraisers anticipate continued growth in mortgage lending appraisals and in specialized areas of consulting, according to a recent survey conducted by the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. Commercial appraisers said the top five areas of growth in the next one to two years (in order of potential) are mortgage lending appraisals, land valuation, litigation valuation/forensic appraisal, real estate consulting (fee-based) and right-of-way/easements. Residential appraisers said the top five areas of growth are mortgage lending appraisals, review appraisal services, real estate owned/foreclosures/short sales,...

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What Can the Government ‘Shutdown’ Teach the Appraisal Industry?

First of all, let’s be clear… it was not really a complete ‘shutdown.’  A large majority of federal workers were still at work, but for those who were furloughed, it was uncomfortable and scary for sure.  Though the can has officially been kicked down the road for a few more months, we will face another ‘crisis’ soon enough.  So, what can this debate teach us about appraising?  It turns out… quite a bit. Why did Congress and the President choose to delay the real problem with our national debt and budget—yet again—rather than just deal with the problem?  Why was...

AMC License Bonds 1

Appraisal Management Company (AMC) License Bonds. Are They Working?

Current AMC Bond Requirements Eighteen states now require AMCs to carry surety bonds to be properly registered to operate in those states. The required bond amounts vary from $10,000 in New Mexico to $100,000 in Washington.  A list at the end of this post shows the required bond amounts in each state. Are AMC Bonds Working? The requirement for AMCs to carry bonds serves two purposes.  First, the bond assures that if an AMC fails to comply with its financial obligations under a state’s AMC law, there will be funds available up to the limit of the bond to pay those...

Borrowers to Refinance with No Appraisals 3

Knowing When to Say NO

I wish I never took that assignment One comment often encountered when investigating a complaint is “I wish I never took that assignment”. Another is “I should have walked away when I saw the property.” How can you avoid that uneasy feeling when completing an assignment? If this is a typical residential mortgage transaction, things may go fairly smoothly. If the assignment involves appraising a property in a divorce, estate, tax appeal, or anything that might end up in litigation, you should meet with your client to assess whether there could be trouble ahead. One way to avoid this type of surprise is to not consider assignments as being routine. Each assignment regardless of purpose or intent has...

Review Appraisers Need to be the Voice of Reason 9

Will the Madness Ever Stop???

Review Appraisers Need to be the Voice of Reason Having spent the day commiserating with my fellow appraisers, I have to admit the policies and procedures of most reviewers, underwriters and lenders have finally crossed the line from insane to inexplicable. It was bad enough, 23 years ago when an appraiser was asked to document two independent sources of data or to provide interior photographs to show each room. Then not to long ago some appraisal management companies started to believe that when FHA asked for two photos to show an oblique view, they actually meant the appraiser had to...

Appraisers E&O FDIC Exclusions - Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 3

FDIC Exclusions in Appraiser E&O Policies

Many appraisers don’t know about or don’t understand the new FDIC and “regulatory agency” exclusions found in many appraiser E&O policies. Why is it relevant to know if your policy has an FDIC or regulatory agency exclusion of some sort? The main reason is because the FDIC sues appraisers for professional negligence — such lawsuits are discussed in prior posts: here and here. How do you determine if a policy being offered to you contains an FDIC exclusion? First, no policy sold by LIA in its appraiser E&O program contains any FDIC or similar regulatory agency exclusion. If you are...

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