Appraisal Waiver Questioned by Legislators
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Late Friday afternoon, VaCAP learned the Financial Services Committee Chairwomen. Maxine Waters and Senator Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, sent a letter to the Appraisal Subcommittee Chairman Arthur Lindo inquiring around the circumstances of the North Dakota Appraisal Waiver that was granted a few months back. The exact verbiage used in the letter to describe the waiver was “unprecedented with minimal justification.” This speaks volumes as to their concern.
Congress has repeatedly recognized the essential role that appraisals play in both safety and soundness and consumer protection. That is why it is so concerning that the ASC, the primary federal organization with oversight over appraisal and appraiser standards, has acted to waive appraiser certification requirements with minimal justification.
VaCAP leaders did not have time to analyze the situation on Friday but recognized the importance of sharing this information with our members and immediately sent the press release to our members. See the press release here.
Over the weekend, this news has been shared on social media. Not just by VaCAP, but by many other organizations and appraisers as well. We are happy to see appraisers comment and supportive, but not all the comments were supportive.
While we respect everyone has their own opinions and we would never think less of anyone that has a different opinion, there are appraisers that have criticized the letter and have blamed it on a political agenda by the Democratic Party. It is hard to believe that some in this profession have such a narrow view. Appraisers analyze facts. Is this not what we do to support our families?
VaCAP could care less if you are Republican, Democratic, Socialist, Independent or believe Mickey and Minnie Mouse are the best to lead our country. When anyone, regardless of political affiliation, committee, race, religion, etc., is supportive of our profession we should be supportive and appreciative. Public trust is why appraisers are licensed. Public trust is why FIRREA was passed; Public trust is embedded into our standards.
Not only is the North Dakota Waiver a public trust issue, it is an appraisal profession issue as well. If no appraisers are utilized in North Dakota, what will become of our North Dakota colleagues? What happens if a waiver is granted to another state? Then what?
Rather than criticize those that are trying to help and protect our profession, we should take advantage of the attention on our profession. We have so much more we can share with Chairwoman Waters and Senator Sherrod. Would you agree?
We should start with appraisal waivers being granted by Fannie and Freddie. Are they not harmful to the public, the housing market, the economy the appraisal profession?
What about bifurcation? Are these products not harmful to the public, the housing market, the economy, the appraisal profession? Shouldn’t Mark Calabria, Director of FHFA receive a similar letter as Arthur Lindo asking for justification of bad acts?
Then there is the raising of the de minimis to $400,000. Customary and Reasonable fees. AMC abuses. Are these topics not important to appraisers and harmful to the public?
Every appraiser needs to stop what they are doing and contact Chairwoman Waters and Senator Sherrod Brown and express your concerns on these other harmful actions.
We have their attention. Now is the time for action!
House Financial Services Committee:
Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs: