Category: Appraisers News

Individual Adjustments to the Detriment of the Bigger Picture 10

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Focusing on individual adjustments to the detriment of the bigger picture… Growing up, my parents used to refer to my inability to see the forest through the trees. This simply meant not being able to see the bigger picture because focus was so narrow that I only saw what was right in front of my eyes. Fortunately, I am older now, and (usually) better at seeing the bigger picture. I suspect this is a common phenomenon in all walks of life, and particularly in our work. This can happen in many aspects of the appraisal puzzle. One of the most...

Modernizing Appraisals: It seems we're stuck in 1989. 46

Modernizing Appraisals & Being Stuck in 1989

Modernizing Appraisals: It seems we’re stuck in 1989… On November 16, 2016, the Housing and Insurance Subcommitte held a hearing on “Modernizing Appraisals: A Regulatory Review and the Future of the Industry.” Subcommittee discussed modernizing appraisals to benefit American consumers. The hearing focused on necessary changes to the appraisal industry. Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) explained: “Appraisals are one of the cornerstones of the home-buying process. Issues that impact appraisers also impact nearly every American buying or selling a home, in rural and urban areas; in high- and low-income neighborhoods. Yet when it comes to the regulatory regime surrounding appraisals,...

Line Item Adjustments for Every Little Difference? 8

Bugged About Adjustments

Illogical line item adjustments… Appraisers, I’ve recently ‘come in contact with’, in a semi-official capacity, a recently completed appraisal report. In looking at the adjustment grid pages for 5 comps, items jumped out at me. These do not appear logical. All comps, except one, have sale or list prices at even thousand dollar figures = $XXX,000. The one is $XXX,950. These are pretty typical in our market. Very seldom do we see these in odd numbers, unless the listing agent is trying to be cute, and buyers accept the oddity. For line item adjustments in the report, the appraiser has...

Expert Witnesses Don't Include Appraisers - You Are NOT Invited! 13

Appraisers Are NOT Invited!

“No room” for any additional expert witnesses representing appraisers’ interests… Who are the Valuation Professionals? Appraisers are unbiased and impartial in determining the market value of a property. We have the most training, both in the class room and in the field. We continually improve our skills and knowledge. We are the first to see market trends and continually monitor our coverage areas for triggers of market change. We are held to the highest standards. Appraisers are the valuation professionals that protect the consumer. If the above statement is correct, someone please provide some insight into why not one appraiser...

Freddie Mac Criminal Aspects of Its Appraisal Free Mortgages 33

Freddie Mac Criminal Aspects of Its Appraisal Free Mortgages

Freddie Mac is opening itself up to over 150,000± potential individual lawsuits… This is a response from Mike Ford to Kenneth Harney’s article, “Freddie Mac planning appraisal-free mortgages”. I represent the American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU, AFL-CIO, and the real estate appraisal-related consumer and taxpayer interests of our more than fifteen million± AFL-CIO members, retirees and their families. I’m prompted to write this open letter regarding your recent well written & researched article, titled “Freddie Mac planning appraisal free mortgages”. Regrettably, it was too brief to cover several additional critical aspects of the issue, but I assume the Chicago Tribune’s...

Automated Revolution Valuation Imposters 14

Automated Revolution, the Valuation Imposters

Along comes the automated valuation revolution… The appraisers we need, to keep consumers protected, are the very ones being driven out of the business. They are being forced out by big banks and AMCs (who much too often provide zero benefits to consumers). Everyone seems to have forgotten that these services (provided by AMCs) used to be part of the bank’s responsibility for every loan. It was just the cost of doing business. Then came the AMCs and banks’ profits had to go up. After all, they lost a whole department. Now they pass the expenses along, mostly on the...

Wells Fargo & Inflated Appraisal Fees: The End of AMCs? 5

The End of AMCs?

Wells Fargo has agreed to a $50 million settlement over inflated appraisal fees. Think about this for a minute….. The people bringing the lawsuit (the “Plaintiffs”) claim that Wells Fargo violated Federal law by charging homeowners more than the amount Wells Fargo paid for Broker’s Price Opinions (“BPOs”) and improperly concealing these “marked-up” charges. So, Wells Fargo was charging customers more for BPO fees on defaulted loans than the actual fees charged by the vendor. Is this any different than the use of an AMC? From the case: “Wells Fargo does not identify any provision in any of the numerous...

AMC Indemnification & Catchall Certification 7

AMC Indemnification

Appraisers signing off catch-all certification… When we crafted the language in the AMC Act back in 2011-2012, we followed what most every other state included insofar as indemnification was concerned. (225 ILCS 459/165) Sec. 165. Prohibited activities. (8) Requiring an appraiser to sign any sort of indemnification agreement that would require the appraiser to defend and hold harmless the appraisal management company or any of its agents, employees, or independent contractors for any liability, damage, losses, or claims arising out of the services performed by the appraisal management company or its agents, employees, or independent contractors and not the services performed...

Property Inspection Waiver: Fannie Mae Offering to Waive Appraisals 44

Fannie Mae Waiving Appraisals

Property Inspection Waiver, getting back to the old days of fogging a mirror… Appraisers, Effective 12/10/16, FNMA will have a new program in place which will allow LENDERS to waive appraisals on certain refi’s, if it is offered through the automated Desktop Underwriter (DU) loan documentation process. See the attached PDF. Key points from the PDF (emphasis mine): Property inspection waiver (PIW) is an offer to waive the appraisal for certain refinance transactions. Property Inspection Waiver offers are issued through Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) using Fannie Mae’s database of more than 20 million appraisal reports in combination with proprietary analytics from...

The RPR® Epidemic – Online Valuations vs Trained Appraisers 10

The RPR® Epidemic – Online Valuations vs Trained Appraisers

Consumer protection goes right out the door as consumers learn to trust these online valuations over a local, highly trained appraiser. Realtor Property Resource® is a private automated system just for Realtor® members. They are making great strides in promoting this service, and more and more agents are using this system to create their CMAs to present to owners. I recently reviewed a report provided by the listing agent which included sixty-nine pages of every imaginable piece of information. To an owner, this must look very impressive. However, to anyone who understands what a “Comparable” sale is, this report was...

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