Stop S.2155 in the Senate

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
VaCAP Board

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Stop Senate Bill 2155 in the Senate, Fake Claim of an Appraisers ShortageCall to action to oppose Senate Bill 2155, also opposed by an overwhelming majority of Americans…

Appraisers,

We are placing an immediate nationwide call to action to oppose Senate Bill 2155 currently in the United States Senate.

Senate Bill 2155 has a provision, (sec 103) which allows a bank to waive an appraisal in rural communities. This will be detrimental for homeowners and communities in rural areas. A loss of income will also occur for appraisers who cover rural counties.

To see the text of S.2155, click here.

The Independent Community Bank Association has been hard at work promoting this bill. To see what they have been sending to the legislators, click here.

This bill has bipartisan support of 25 cosponsors and we need everyone to contact their representatives and express your concerns with sec 103. We need to take action quickly as this bill will be discussed and voted on within the week.

It does appear we have consumers on our side. The AFR (Americans for Financial Reform) conducted a poll and an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose Senate Bill 2155 and rolling back Dodd-Frank. See the poll results here or posted below.

This does not mean that Congress will listen, so we need to be vocal NOW!

A sample letter to use as a guide has been written by Lori Noble. See the sample letter here or below.

To find your Legislator, click here.

Sample letter by Lori Noble

The Honorable (Name)
Office Address
Washington, DC 20510

RE: S.2155, Section 103, False Claims of Appraiser Shortage

Dear Senator (Name),
I am writing today about the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, referenced as S.2155. As a Certified Appraiser in (STATE), I am concerned about Section 103 and specifically the exemption of appraisals for real estate located in rural and underserved areas. There are a few points we would like to share as a professional valuation provider in our rural regions.

Mortgage lenders are trying to convince lawmakers there is a shortage of real estate appraisers in our country, specifically in designated rural markets and this simply is not true. There has always been a limited number of appraisers in remote regions but area appraisers respectively serve those sectors of the market place. Section 103 would allow banks to blanket more than (% coverage) percent of the state. To claim there are no appraisers in that much territory is simply false.

The problem is, the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act caused a proliferation of Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s), although not required by law. It is noted publicly that AMCs control more than 80 percent of mortgage market appraisals in the United States. The perceived intent was for them to act as intermediary between lenders and appraisers to eliminate coercion, protect consumers, and provide fully independent appraisals to clients. The opposite effect has happened and it is harming consumers with excessive fees, causing inferior quality appraisals, and fake claims of an appraiser shortage. Lenders and third-party AMC affiliates caused the market push back because of poor business practices and not investing in the cost of doing business in rural regions. To offset the negative economic factors affecting appraisers who will not work for 50 percent the market rate (which lender/AMCs call reasonable), they have created a false appraiser shortage narrative that seriously harms the safety and soundness of housing markets and the public.

I appreciate that community banks and credit unions want to be involved in appraisals, but am concerned about the possible gaming of the system as proposed. Without clarification, one can imagine the scenario where a bank would contact three out of area appraisers, offer them a low fee to be declined, and move forward with no neutrality to their internal valuation processes.

Section 103 defies the logic, intent, and the spirit of FIRREA for which it was written. Further investigation is recommended for transparency, real facts about allegations of a fake appraiser shortage, and where fees paid by consumers to third party lender affiliates for appraisals is going. I assure you, not all is going to appraisers and there is not accountability for the difference.

Thank you for your consideration. Appraisers are more than willing to serve our community bank and credit union customers across the country. Please contact me at (phone number) to discuss further as I am available to answer any questions you may have regarding this very sensitive housing economy matter.

Sincerely,

Name
email
phone

 

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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49 Responses

  1. MD appraiser says:

    Done and shared. Every appraisers should be calling and emailing their elected officials.

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  2. Carl says:

    I contacted my senator but doubt it will do any good. We are outnumbered by the lobbyists and unfortunately, non-rural appraisers won’t care.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      It’s all coming so fast these days. We’re just working people not fairly represented. Money is not speech and corporations are not people. Isn’t it like all about the ratings when they package these loans up? Don’t worry, regardless of what happens, consumers are learning. They/we get wiped out so frequently these days. If we could just prop up this housing market for a wee bit longer…

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    • Cort says:

      Not true about non-rural appraisers not caring. I work in the metro-Detroit area which is primarily suburban and urban, but I also service some rural areas. 67% of Michigan is classified as mostly rural or totally rural per census data. I have emailed both of our state Senators on this matter. This is something that affects us all.

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    • Cort says:

      Well Carl, not true about non-rural appraisers not caring. I work in the metro-Detroit area which is primarily suburban and urban, but I also work in some rural areas. 67% of Michigan is classified as mostly rural or totally rural per census data. I have emailed both of our state Senators on this matter. This is something that affects us all.

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  3. Shen Valley Appraiser says:

    Sent a plea last week to the two VA Senators – to please research the claims of a shortage based on faulty data. Also, asked them how many “cookie cutter” and/or tract houses they see in Rural Virginia and emphasized Rural houses are the very ones that cannot be valued with any accuracy by other methods.

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  4. misguided says:

    This could effect all of us. Once they get their foot in the door with eliminating appraisals for rural areas, they can eventually include all appraisals! Call, write your senator.

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  5. Koma says:

    Done. The next crash is a coming and we know why, but they (again) will not listen. 

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    • Cort says:

      No doubt about that. Moody’s just last week downgraded the credit quality of RMBS”s (residential mortgage backed securities) that have “hybrid appraisals” as valuations for the collateral within the bundled securities. By the way, to any one of you all out there that are doing these “hybrid” pieces of excrement … shame on you. You are part of the problem, and you are actively participating in the destruction of your own field. Stop doing them! They will go away if no Appraisers do them … unless of course you actually like being paid $50 to $75 for an “appraisal”.

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  6. Dan says:

    I contacted Bob Corker about this when Dave Towne first fired the warning shots.  I got a response from Corker that says the following –

    Dear  ………….. Thank you for contacting my office regarding S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts. As you may know, I voted against the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. Both then and now, I favored improvements to our financial regulatory system to prevent future financial crises and to put an end to taxpayer bailouts. However, the Dodd-Frank Act did not strike the right balance between the costs and benefits associated with many of its new regulations. Since the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, community banks and credit unions in Tennessee and across our country have faced an overwhelming and disproportionate regulatory burden.For this reason, I, along with 22 of my Senate colleagues, cosponsored S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. This bipartisan bill provides much needed regulatory relief to community banks, credit unions and regional banks. It also includes important new consumer protections for veterans, senior citizens and victims of fraud. These reforms are long overdue and not only will help our community banks better serve hardworking Americans but also will ensure small businesses have access to the credit they need.S. 2155 was reported out of the Senate Banking Committee favorably by a vote of 16-7 on December 5, 2017. While more work remains, I believe this bill is an important step in the right direction and hope we are close to getting this over the finish line. Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me as I serve you in the United States Senate. Sincerely, Bob Corker United States Senator  

    Clearly, Bob failed to read the logic of my letter as I was very precise in the dangers of this bill.

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    • e. j. b. says:

      Corker’s a Jerk,  Cost ? AMC’s  Benefits ? None that I can see.

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    • Anna R Todaro says:

      So repeal Dodd-Frank or allow the Rural Properties not to go through AMC’s for ordering. Don’t waive the only unbiased and impartial person in the transaction.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Rural people are not real people, they don’t deserve the same consumer protections as the rest of us civilized folk in cities. Don’t you guys understand how this works by now? The government persons represent the interests of corporations primarily, otherwise they won’t have funds to run campaigns. Representatives spend over 2/3rds of their working time “dialing for dollars”, it’s a real news story disclosure from a jr congressperson recently, look it up. They were paid to support this decision and they will be good corporate employees and run this through. Those dang rural guys, the markets move slower, there is a lower capture rate for origination leads. The goal is maximum productivity in the interest of lenders. Citizen protections is yesterdays news, they’re not even loaning real money so what’s the problem anyways?

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  7. Coach says:

    I contacted Senator Mark Warner and this was his response:

    “Dear ….,

    Thank you for contacting me about proposals that would provide regulatory relief for small and medium-sized financial institutions.  I appreciate the benefit of your views on this issue.

    I believe targeted, meaningful relief for community-based financial institutions and other institutions, like regional banks, where appropriate is needed.  In particular, this Congress I have co-sponsored several measures to provide regulatory relief so that financial institutions can lend to small businesses and families in Virginia, while strengthening consumer protections.

    On November 16, I joined Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) to introduce the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), bipartisan legislation to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks and credit unions and provide new protections to consumers. This bipartisan bill, which currently has 12 Democratic cosponsors, 12 Republican cosponsors, and one Independent cosponsor, is the result of years of tough negotiations among Democrats and Republicans.  The goal is simple: to help Main Street by rolling back unnecessary and burdensome regulations on credit unions and small community banks while ensuring that larger banks remain subject to the rules of Dodd-Frank that I helped put in place after the 2008 financial meltdown. This proposal makes targeted, commonsense fixes that will provide tangible relief to the community banks that are lifelines for smaller and rural communities. It also strengthens protections for veterans, the elderly and other consumers, and encourages community-based lending to boost economic growth and create jobs.

    The largest financial institutions will still face a strict regulatory regime. This bill ensures that all banks over $100 billion—the 38 largest institutions—will continue to be subject to rigorous stress testing “to evaluate whether such bank holding companies have the capital, on a total consolidated basis, necessary to absorb losses as a result of adverse economic conditions,” as was required in Dodd Frank. It also does not modify the capital, leverage or Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) requirements imposed by the Fed on large banks, and the bill does not make any changes to narrow which banks are subject to the requirements. Further, banks that the Fed has labeled “systemically important” will continue to make living wills.

    The bill will modernize regulations in a way that makes sense for small financial institutions, benefitting consumers and encouraging economic growth. S. 2155 primarily benefits credit unions, community banks, midsize banks, smaller regional banks and custody banks. It also includes important, significant protections for veterans, senior citizens, victims of fraud and people who fall on tough financial times.

    This package includes a number of provisions related to community banks and credit unions that would increase their ability to extend credit to Virginia small businesses and families, while maintaining important consumer protections. The legislation recognizes that some of the compliance requirements on small banks either are unnecessary or do not reflect the difficulty that many community banks, especially in rural areas, face in complying with them. The Virginia Bankers Association said this bill “provides meaningful reforms that will enable many banks – especially community banks – to expand their lending and investment while, most importantly, reducing the red tape borrowers face when seeking credit under the current regulatory structure.”

    This bill institutes several important consumer protections. It allows consumers to get one free year of fraud alerts, which will help consumers who have been impacted by situations like the Wells Fargo scandal or whose identities or personal information has been stolen. The bill provides unlimited free credit freezes and unfreezes, which helps consumers impacted by data breaches like the Equifax hack that compromised the personal information of approximately 145 million. It protects the credit ratings of Veterans from being wrongly penalized by medical bill payment delays by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as establishing a dispute process for veterans seeking to remove adverse actions already on their report. To protect seniors from exploitation, banks will be encouraged to report suspicious behavior if they suspect their customers could be getting financially scammed. It prevents mortgage companies from immediately kicking tenants out of their rentals if the landlord is foreclosed upon. Young adults with seriously delinquent private student loans will be allowed a one-time offer to remove negative reporting from their credit reports after making a series of on-time payments.

    This legislation passed the Senate Banking Committee 16-7 on December 5, 2017.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

    Again, thank you for contacting me. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at http://www.warner.senate.gov.

    Sincerely,
    MARK R. WARNER
    United States Senator”

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  8. VaCAP Board VaCAP Board says:

    It looks like the Senate is sending out form letters in response to this bill. We encourage everyone to make sure they contact their House of Representative Legislators as well. 

    Other avenues to get the message out should also be used as well. Resources such as Twitter and comments of your representatives Facebook page maybe more effective. Why not do all?

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Betcha a pepsi and a bear skin the form letter was written by the same organization which wrote the bill. Drumroll…. Written by special legal writers employed by the corporations being regulated or deregulated at the time. The reps were handed form letters from interested parties. Boy, it must be nice to be an advocate, they make it like really easy.

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  9. Lee Marple on Facebook Lee Marple on Facebook says:

     

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    • MD appraiser says:

      Thanks Lee.

      “The bill also rolls back appraisal requirements for higher-risk mortgages in rural areas, further risking dangerous mortgage practices. This and many other provisions ignore the causes of the crisis and are solutions in search of a problem. Instead of narrowly tailoring rules to address specific concerns in the marketplace, the bill creates massive new risks in the housing market.”

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  10. koma says:

    Not a peep from my representatives. Wonder why ?

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  11. EJ says:

    Received a form letter from both of mine in GA   

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  12. Shen Valley Appraiser says:

    The Senators and the Banks already have blurbs from Mark Warner, Virginia Senate sponsor & a local Bank President on the local radio news hailing the “consumer protections” and “boon” to Rural economies by loosening the banking regs on regional banks and urging “quick passage”.

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  13. Trevor says:

    I’m a compliance officer at a small bank in a rural area, and we struggle with appraiser shortages all the time. We have some very remote areas that most appraisers won’t travel to. An appraiser shortage or lack thereof is a local issue, so the blanket statement that the appraiser shortage issue is fake is just an industry trying to protect its interests.  That said, while I’m generally in favor of S 2155, I know that our internal evaluations are generally garbage, so we will likely not take advantage of any new regulation allowing us to bypass appraisals for certain transactions.

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    • EJ says:

      Pay a reasonable fee to the appraiser and get rid of your AMC that takes over 50% of what your client pays & see how many appraisers you come up with. I too work a rural area but I refuse to travel 50+ miles for less than $400 & up.

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      • Trevor says:

        We don’t use an AMC and we typically get charged $400-$550 even for local appraisals. We don’t really care what you charge, we just pass it on to the borrowor. We still have a shortage of qualified appraisers.

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        • EJ says:

          Your one of the few. I’d work for you at those prices if they are in my coverage area. I guess if your in the upper rockys or some such place you might have a shortage but not here in the swamps of GA.

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  14. Trevor says:

    I’m in rural Idaho, and some of our communities are 50 miles outside a population center. How can we do a mortgage loan if no appraisers will go out that far. Just increase your fee to account for the extra time and expense. Maybe I’m over simplifying things in my mind, but that seems logical.

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    • misguided says:

      Trevor, which counties in Idaho?

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      • Trevor says:

        Lately, we’ve been having issues with Teton County. No one wants to go out to Victor or Driggs.

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      • misguided says:

        Have you tried Gena Howald at Teton Valley Appraisals?

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        • Trevor says:

          I’ll have to check our approved appraiser list to see if she is on it. If not, I will definitely look into adding her. Thanks for the referral.

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          • Advocate says:

            Have you tried reaching out to appraisers that are not on your ” approved appraiser” list? That maybe your problem if you have not. What efforts has the bank done to recruit more appraisers? You can easily find appraisers on the ASC roster in your area and probably with the state licensing board as well. Reach out to appraisal groups in the area.  Most appraisers would love to work directly with a bank and avoid amcs.

            Tristar bank in Tennessee has filed for a waiver stating there is an appraisal shortage. There are numerous appraisers that reached out to Tristar stating they cover the area. Tristar informed those appraisers they were not accepting new appraisers for their roster…Make sure your bank is not creating a self inflicted problem.

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          • Desiree Mehbod Desiree Mehbod says:

            Hi Trevor, did you reach out to Dustin Harris and Gena Howald?

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    • Trevor I often work in Los Angeles. Its more than 45 miles from my area of Long Beach to the San Fernando Valley area of L.A. City. On a good day that’s an hour and 15 minute drive. In rush hour its 2 hours. Each way. MY minimum fee for a non complex “nothing special” assignment out there is $600…though I usually try for $650 and have turned less down depending on cash flow trend at any given moment. I also collect a check at the door from the owner or non loan client OR they can deposit it direct to my bank account before I go there. If its complex or high end figure $1,000 to $3,500+-.

      Any AMC I associate with can also do the same thing to get me paid as fast as I insist. (One actually does). How much of your difficulty relates to AMCs falsely telling the appraisers they cant ask for more money do to TRID? I’m may be difficult to work with in terms of no tolerance for idiotic stips or revisions requests, but if you ever have to go to court and rely on my report; or have me testify, there are few that are better. You tend to get what you pay for. In Idaho, Florida, DC or Cali,

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  15. Hi Trevor

    I have covered Driggs, Tetonia, and Victor for 18 years. I go out there weekly (in fact, just came home from there). You will find our work to be high quality and efficient.

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  16. Eric Kennedy says:

    There is a shortage.. of Appraisers TIME and RESOURCES. To me the strategic problem is that appraisals have become too expensive and too hard to get accomplished for the lender. This is not an appraiser problem it is an AMC problem and this is what needs to be exposed at all cost.  The lenders want and need a third-party valuation and we have to figure out a way to get them to them reasonably and quickly. First thing is getting rid of the middle man at all cost.  It bothers me that REVÀA does not appear to be trying to stop this bill either. It would appear it could be highly damaging to their members also?? If a rural area is being under served then waive the friggin AMC requirement and allow the local Appraisers the resources to expand and cover these areas. Easy Peasy. STOP blaming the Appraiser because your damn fries were cold at the drive through!! Not everything is OUR fault.

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    • Koma says:

      Eric, How do you get the lenders to get rid of the middle man when they the lenders own, in some cases, the AMC’s?

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      • Eric Kennedy says:

        The only system that works at present that protects the borrower, lender and Appraiser is the VA rotation panel.  The only solution I have thought of is to Federally mandate that each State establish and maintain a panel copying the VA model for ALL GSE work.  Credit Unions and others would be exempt.  AMC’s are redundant on day 1 and Appraisers can all work together for a change to establish consistency in reporting and adjusting.  It’s got to happen because what we have now is nothing but a cash grab by the AMC’s who are making $Millions with no disclosure.  It’s redunculous.

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    • “quickly” is not my obligation. I reserve special turn around time accommodations for highly valued, regular customers. Not those that want to nickle and dime me over fees or send me email blasts. When and if I can deliver a product in 3 to 4 days I do so. If the assignment requires 10 to 14 days for any number of reasons then THAT is how long it will take. Not counting the appraisal which is ALWAYS ordered at the last minute the typical conventional loan app takes 20+ days to fund. Lenders have a choice. Wait to the last minute to order the appraisal so no one pays appraisal fee for a loan that will be denied for other reasons; or they can have appraisal ALL done by 20 days. Order it when escrow is opened!

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  17. Eric Kennedy says:

    I cover a rural area and used to work with 4 other Appraisers and 2 staff people.  NOW – it’s just me and my 8 year old care with 165K miles.   It takes me as long now to complete a report due to SCOPE CREEPS and AMC BS as it did 20 years ago using film and no internet or MLS.  What’s wrong with that picture??   SIMPLIFY the process and get rid of the WASTE and OVER MANAGEMENT of the Appraiser.  There were plenty of rules in place in 2007 but the REGULATORS (AARO) were not enforcing them then – or now.   We need much less Barney Frank and a bit more Barney Fife and everything would be alright. 

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  18. Kenneth Smith says:

    I live and work in one of the under-served counties in Indiana. There is no shortage of appraisers. But there is a shortage of appraisers that want to submit to the AMC model.

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  19. Koma says:

    A county next to one of the ones I serve now is rural and a shop closed due to the two appraisers retiring. I used to cover it, but the county data is partially online, you have to stop in to the court house every time (Mon-Fri only), the agents hardly put anything on the MLS and good luck getting good GPS/cell service in the mountains. Even with all of that (not complaining with the first part I love that part) the clients just do not want to pay for me to go out there. Believe me I’m not trying to gouge them, but I incur additional cost and I want to get paid for that additional cost. I’m not a charity. 

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  20. Brad Bassi says:

    I live in Temecula, Ca and my ranch, 5 miles east of Temecula and 11 miles east of I-15 freeway is designated Rural By new bill. I am north of San Diego. That is interesting. I am 10 minutes from Ralphs and barrons grocery stores. So if I am rural i guess so is San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. Heck I guess Escondido might be to. Folks this is a flipping mess. The US government hard at work. Guess I will be having some fun now in my business. Hard to believe

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  21. Cort says:

    Folks, since the Senate already passed this thing, it is now time to barrage your congressmen with messages before they have a chance to vote on it. Perhaps congress can do some tweeking to the section of the bill relating to appraisals before they put it to a final vote. Changes to a bill happen all the time in the different chambers before a final passage, so all is not lost yet, however it will take the effort of all of us (and our friends and neighbors) if there is any hope of adjusting this bill. Educate your neighbors and friends about how important this is… not simply because its a job killer for us personally, but rather because it is yet another step closer to another stroll down the “yellow brick recession road”. I know that’s still fresh in all of our minds, but your friends and neighbors may have short memories. Good luck, and get out there and start advocating for your future!

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  22. e. j. b. says:

    In other words Bend over & kiss your A** good bye ! 

    Rick W. Allen 12th District, Georgia
    Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee on Agriculture
    Congress of the United States // House of Representatives // Washington, DC 20515″ 426 Cannon House Office Bldg Washington DC, 20515

    Dear Mr. Brown:
    Thank you for contacting me with regards to S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this very important issue. As you may know, S. 2155 seeks to reform regulations for smaller financial institutions and provide consumer protections for veterans, senior citizens, and victims of fraud. Additionally, this legislation aims to promote economic growth in rural communities. On March 14, 2018, the Senate passed S. 2155 by a vote of 67-31. This bill has now been sent to the House for further consideration but it has not yet come to the floor for a vote. Rest assured, I will continue to closely monitor this situation and I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should I have the opportunity to vote on this legislation.   As always, I appreciate your thoughts and look forward to hearing from you in the future.

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Stop S.2155 in the Senate

by VaCAP Board time to read: 3 min
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