Virginia Enacts New AMC Law
Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation (H.B. 408) April 11 that made Virginia the 10th state to enact new regulations regarding the operation of appraisal management companies. The new law will become effective July 1.
Under the law, AMCs operating in Virginia will be prohibited from influencing or attempting to influence the development, reporting, result or review of a real estate appraisal through coercion, extortion or collusion by withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment or future business from an appraiser.
AMCs also will be prohibited from: removing an appraiser from an AMC’s panel without first giving written notice to the appraiser; altering an appraisal report; or requiring an appraiser to provide the AMC with a digital signature or seal. The legislation also states that AMCs cannot prohibit an appraiser from disclosing in the appraisal report the actual fees charged by an appraiser for appraisal services, and that the compensation of an appraiser shall comply with the requirements of the Federal Housing Administration.
Virginia’s law is different than the other nine laws currently in place in that it does not require that AMCs register with the state appraiser board or another government agency. Opponents of a registration process persuaded Virginia legislators to mistakenly believe that the state does not have the authority to regulate many AMCs that are owned by federally regulated financial institutions, or to provide valuations in conjunction with loans that are overseen by the federal government.
The other states with AMC laws currently in place are Arkansas, California, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Legislatures in at least 15 other states are currently considering similar proposals.
For more information on H.B. 408, visit http://legis.state.va.us/.