Category: AI

Proposed Amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines in Mortgage Fraud Cases 1

Sentencing Guidelines Proposal

Proposed Amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines Speaking at a March 14 hearing in Washington, D.C., the Appraisal Institute urged a federal judicial agency to require the use of real estate appraisals when calculating loss in mortgage fraud cases. In prepared written testimony, Appraisal Institute President Sara W. Stephens, MAI, told the U.S. Sentencing Commission, “We believe the Commission should adopt a special rule for determining the fair market value of real property if the mortgaged property has not been disposed of by the time of the sentencing. However, this rule should require use of real estate appraisals prepared by qualified...

Borrowers to Refinance with No Appraisals 1

FHA Borrowers to Refinance with No Appraisals

More FHA Borrowers to Refinance without Appraisals The Obama administration announced March 6 that the Federal Housing Administration would reduce fees that have prevented some FHA borrowers from refinancing at ultra low rates over the past year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The change will reduce fees through what’s known as a “streamline” refinance, which is reserved for FHA borrowers who refinance into another FHA-backed mortgage. The process does not require borrowers to verify income, employment or credit — and it does not require a new appraisal, which means that underwater borrowers can refinance, the Journal reported. Many borrowers who...

AVMs No Substitute for Real Estate Appraisals 0

AVMs No Substitute for Real Estate Appraisals

With lenders facing myriad challenges and consumers seeking cost reductions, it might be tempting to take a shortcut with real estate valuation — but the negative impact could be significant and long lasting. Some lenders utilize automated valuation models in certain cases. However, AVMs are not real estate appraisals; the two are not comparable. An actual appraisal typically requires the appraiser to visit the property and to perform a visual inspection. This enables the appraiser to accurately report property information, which they then verify. Appraisers use their experience, expertise and education to determine which comparable sales to use and what...

Comparable sales in declining market 0

Comparable Sales in Declining Markets

Appraisal Institute Helps Appraisers Choose Comparable Sales in Declining Markets The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers published guidance to help appraisers know when and how to use distressed sales, such as foreclosures, as comparable sales. Such knowledge is particularly crucial in the current market where distressed sales are common, creating complex valuation challenges. The Appraisal Institute noted that appraisers often use comparable sales (or “comps”) to help develop an opinion of value. But in today’s distressed real estate market, many potential comparable sales represent foreclosed properties. Some owners have complained their home’s values have fallen because appraisers...

Appraisal and AMC Fees Separated on Revised Settlement Forms 4

Appraisal and AMC Fees Separated on Revised Settlement Forms

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the second proposed version of a new Consumer Disclosure Form Feb. 1 that includes clear disclosure of any fee paid to a “Local Appraisal Company” and to an “Appraisal Management Company.” The Appraisal Institute reported last month that the CFPB is in the midst of developing a new form that would replace the existing HUD-1 settlement statement. In December 2011, Appraisal Institute representatives met with CFPB officials about the new form. The CFPB has indicated that several versions of the proposed form will be developed and tested with consumers by focus groups, with a...

Appraisal Institute Seeks Separation of Appraisal and AMC Fees 2

Appraisal Institute Seeks Separation of Appraisal and AMC Fees

The Appraisal Institute continues to represent the interests of its members in ongoing rulemakings resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act, including the separation of appraisal and appraisal management fees in order to provide transparency to consumers. Last November, AI and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to separate appraisal fees and appraisal management fees. Last month, Appraisal Institute representatives met with CFPB officials about a new Consumer Disclosure Form slated to replace the current HUD-1. The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes, but does not require, separation of appraisal and appraisal management fees on these...

Appraisers Not to Blame for Distressed Market 1

Appraisers Not to Blame for Distressed Market

Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Appraisers Not to Blame for Real Estate Woes / Distressed Market Many in the real estate industry have tried to blame the market’s distressed condition on appraisers, saying that appraisers are at fault for producing opinions of value that don’t match a home’s contract or sales price, delaying a recovery in the housing market. But appraisers don’t set the market; they reflect what’s happening in the market. It’s important to keep in mind that appraisals completed for mortgage transactions are not provided to confirm a sales price; they are used to assist lenders in making lending...

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Appraisal Institute Calls for Transparency on Home Buyers’ Forms

Appraisal Institute Calls for Transparency on Home Buyers’ Forms saying that consumers deserve to know what they’re paying for, the Appraisal Institute asked the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 16 to require more transparency on home buyers’ forms. In a joint letter with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, AI asked the CFPB to separate appraisal fees from administration and processing fees on the settlement forms that consumers receive when purchasing a home. Created by Congress, the CFPB oversees consumer disclosure laws and is authorized to develop new forms to inform consumers and charges assessed...

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Appraisal Institute Launches Opinions of Value Blog

The Appraisal Institute launched its new blog, Opinions of Value, on November 14. Content will feature the appraiser perspective on legislative and regulatory issues, enhanced discussion about recent industry media coverage and thoughts from AI leaders about upcoming trends. While a great deal of content exists in the blogosphere, the Appraisal Institute is uniquely qualified to provide expert analysis on all appraisal-related topics because the organization is the nation’s oldest and largest professional association of real estate appraisers with more than 24,000 members in 60 countries.

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AMC Oversight Bill Signed into Law in Illinois

New AMC Law in Illinois August 31, 2011 – Illinois became the 29th state to enact a law that provides for comprehensive oversight of appraisal management companies. Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1539 into law Aug. 26, and it took effect immediately. Under the new law, AMCs are required to register with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which would have significant authority to “ascertain the qualifications and fitness of applicants for registration and pass upon the qualifications of applicants for registration” and allow AMCs to be disciplined for “professional incompetence” and “gross malpractice.” In addition, the...

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