Appraisal News and Appraisal Tips For Real Estate Appraisers - Your source for appraisal industry news, appraisers' opinions, and discussions of appraisal issues

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AGA Fights to Overturn Federal Regs Cutting Appraisers Fees

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Guild of Appraisers (AGA), a national organization of real estate appraisers that is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO’s Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), announced today it has retained a law firm as part of a broad-reaching effort to overturn recent federal regulations that dramatically cut the fees that appraisers are paid to perform appraisals, and threaten the viability of professional appraisal practice and the reliability of appraisals used in real estate transactions. In the aftermath of the national financial collapse brought on in part by badly underwritten subprime loans, Congress...

Computerized Appraisals Win in HARP 2.0 0

Computerized Appraisals Win in HARP 2.0

Sanctioned use of computerized appraisals using algorithms and computerized databases of property data to determine a property’s value. The federal government, with the reluctant support of the two leading professional appraisal organizations, has sanctioned the use of computerized, appraisals using algorithms and computerized databases of property data to determine a property’s value. Can more widespread use of computer-driven valuations by programs called Automatic Valuation Models or AVMs, in mortgage origination be far behind? Millions of homeowners use AVMs to check the value of their homes on a half dozen web sites. Even though more sophisticated versions have been developed for...

Valuation Support Services (VSS) Appraiser Panel Agreement 2

Valuation Support Services (VSS) Appraiser Panel Agreement

Appraiser will indemnify and hold harmless VSS… Frank Gregoire, with Appraiser Active Blog, added a post yesterday about AMC Appraiser Indemnification. Valuation Support Services (VSS) Standards & Approval Documentation Requirements and their Appraiser Panel Agreement can be accessed in Frank’s post here. Here’s a snippet below: Page 4: Conviction of Crimes: VSS is unable to enter into associations with individuals, who have been convicted of or plead guilty to any crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust, or have been convicted of or plead guilty to any felony or misdemeanor. Appraiser warrants he/she has truthfully and accurately answered the “Additional...

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The FDIC Suffers a Setback in Case Against Lender Processing Services and LSI Appraisal

As reported in prior posts, the FDIC, as receiver for failed lender Washington Mutual, sued appraisal management company LSI Appraisal and its corporate parent Lender Processing Services for breach of contract and gross negligence on May 9, 2011 (see post here), and on July 22, LSI and LPS filed a motion to dismiss. In that motion, LSI argued that the FDIC’s gross negligence claim should be dimissed based on the economic loss rule, that the FDIC’s alter ego claims against LSI’s affiliated corporate entities (including LPS) should be dismissed because the allegations were legally insufficient, and that the remaining breach...

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Show and Tell

Everybody complains that the states aren’t doing enough to police the profession. Appraisers are running amok. Fraud is rampant and the states are twiddling their thumbs while caseloads grow exponentially. The handful of published state disciplines nationwide are a mere droplet compared to the vast ocean of chicanery that’s rising out there. Right? My question is, where are all the settled cases from the various professional standards and ethics committees of the big appraisal organizations? There should be a generous compendium of meaty disciplines somewhere. But there isn’t. If you go to their websites you’ll find plenty of references to...

Interior photos picture this 0

Picture This…Or Not

Maybe you should ask the homeowner if it would be alright to take the picture at all. When a consumer calls the department in a rage and wants to know “what law says that an appraiser can take pictures inside of my house?”, Houston, we have a problem. Actually, not Houston…and not the department. You, the appraiser and the client who ordered it have the problem because we will make it your problem. Law? There is no law for interior photos. There are guidelines and stipulations cloaked as requirements. That’s it. But, we do have privacy laws, don’t we? Clients,...

NAIFA & ASA Concerned about HARP Reliance of AVMs 0

NAIFA & ASA Concerned about HARP Reliance of AVMs

ASA and NAIFA Send Joint Letter to FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Expressing Concerns on HARP Program Reliance of AVMs and Requesting a Meeting On October 25, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA) submitted a joint letter in response to yesterday’s announcement by the FHFA and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) involving greater reliance on automated valuation models (AVMs) to value collateral property. In the letter, ASA and NAIFA expressed concerns regarding the GSEs quality control standards being used to ensure...

Could New Surety Bond Laws Really Curb Problems with AMCs? 4

Could New Surety Bond Laws Really Curb Problems with AMCs?

Could new surety bond laws really curb problems with Appraisal Management Companies? Unfortunately, a fair share of real estate professionals don’t know much about the surety bond process and how it helps regulate the industry they work in. However, with the recent implementation of new surety bond requirements for appraisal management companies, understanding how surety bonds work should be a growing interest for a number of real estate professionals. 1. Appraisal Management Company bonds function as legally binding contracts. When Appraisal Management Companies purchase a surety bond, they’re entering into a legal contract. Each surety bond that’s executed binds three...

No appraisal required HARP 1

No Appraisal Required Under New HARP

Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to “attract more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their home mortgage.” The announcement was made in conjunction with the government sponsored enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. HARP will now allow borrowers to refinance even if they are underwater. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 894,000 borrowers have used HARP, of which 70,000 were underwater. FHFA announced several enhancements to HARP, including eliminating the appraisal requirement. The appraisal is no longer required if a reliable automated valuation model (AVM) estimate...

VaCap Letter to VA Regarding UAD 1

VaCap Letter to VA Regarding UAD

Concerns regarding the decision of the VA to adopt UAD William Stewart Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) October 21, 2011 Dear Sandy, As president of the Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals I wish to express to you our members’ deep concern regarding the decision of the VA to adopt the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD). Our association has been active in our state regarding this issue and we feel this idea will only harm the quality of appraisals that our Veterans will receive in the future. It is for certain that the homeowner or new purchaser will not understand the appraisal...

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