Posts tagged Appraisal Management Companies

Appraiser No More ~ copyright AppraisersBlogs

Appraiser No More, Think I’ll be a Lawyer

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I heard from an old friend today that worked as an appraiser in Raleigh, NC for at least a dozen years. Shortly after 2009 and the HVCC, he (like so many others) started looking for career options. After appraisal reports kept requiring more and more pages, had more and more restrictions (far too many that were totally useless and had nothing to do with the home’s value), and his fees kept going down instead of up, he discovered that it would take him less time to get a law degree that it did to get his appraisal license. And, that he would get paid for his time and education. When you think of a doctor or an attorney, does a real estate appraiser cast an equal shadow for skill, knowledge, pay?

At a time when more and more demands are being made on the appraisal profession, the most highly qualified are being lost to other industries. Today’s appraisals seem to be geared towards “statistics,” like there is a magical “statistics fairy” that provides high quality real estate information (more…)

Appraisal Non Sense

Is it now Necessary to Confirm the Verifiability of the Confirmation?

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It appears that we, as an industry, have finally reached that all time high of stupidity in action. I was recently instructed by an appraisal management company to provide additional MLS sales on a grid to demonstrate market support for my opinion of value because I agreed with the origination appraisal. Had this been something other than a typical residential subdivision where the appraisal used sales from the same development, perhaps I would understand this requirement. Still, one wonders at what point have we crossed into the twilight zone of appraisal review. (more…)

Appraisal Bias Appraiser Pressure ~copyright AppraisersBlogs

Appraisal Bias and Appraiser Pressure: Why All Appraisals are Always Wrong

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Real estate markets cooled down in the fourth quarter of 2014, and despite historically low interest rates, refinance volumes dropped as well. The increasing pressure on lenders and real estate agents to maintain loan and sales volumes has brought about renewed interest in appraisal accuracy and increasing concern that residential real estate appraisals are inflated.

A recent Wall Street Journal article asserts that

“home appraisers are inflating the values of some properties they assess (appraise), often at the behest of loan officers and real estate agents, in what industry executives say is a return to practices seen before the financial crisis.”

This is a legitimate concern. It is widely believed that faulty appraisals (more…)

FNMA CU Training

New Fannie Mae CU Training Video

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Appraisers,

FNMA has released a new training video that helps lenders understand how to PROPERLY use Collateral Underwriter, which in some cases has not been happening since Jan. 26, 2015.

By reviewing this info, you can learn how to write reports that pass the CU evaluations, and make your reports more complete and accurate. But keep reading.

One thing I find interesting is CU assigns a unique ‘appraiser number’ for every appraiser who has reports submitted by Lenders to the CU.  They don’t just use the appraiser’s license number by itself. (more…)

Rules Compliance Regulations ~copyright AppraisersBlogs

CU and Appraiser Regulation

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Whether you believe Fannie Mae’s comprehensive rollout of Collateral Underwriter will finally weed out the lazy form-fillers or it will end up euthanizing the aging residential leg of the profession once and for all, is not the subject of this article. There are plenty of blogs, articles, and seminars that are wrestling with the efficacy of CU and its long-term impact.

To be sure, the profession has entered the new age of big data. Residential appraisers will need to navigate regression analysis, heat maps, trend lines, oblique aerial images, and especially how to tie it all together into something meaningful.

From a regulator’s perspective, the new paradigm creates compliance challenges for appraisers and AMCs. Collateral Underwriter will be analyzing its own model data and data provided by an appraiser’s peers. Everyone needs to be aware that Fannie Mae’s label of “peer” is not necessarily synonymous with the USPAP definition of “peer”. (more…)

Enough is Enough ~copyright AppraisersBlogs

Original Comparable Photos

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I recently received an AMC update and reminder about the need for and why actual comparable photos are necessary. My reply:

Original Comparable Photographs: Scope of Work Point 3: Inspection of the comparable sales from at least the street. This requirement does not tie the appraiser to a specific time for that inspection.  Geographical competence would have the appraiser in the area of the comparables many times, and depending on the appraiser’s experience, for many years. Taking a photo a month, six months,  a year or more after the sale, does not represent the sale’s condition at the time of the listing/sale. If the assignment is done in February in our Michigan area, what good are comp photos when there is two feet of snow covering the house and site? This archaic lender requirement should be brought to the technological times of today.

Point 2: Inspect the Neighborhood. Are we to photograph the entire neighborhood? If you have to in #3 why not in #2?  The reason being we can get aerial photos from the internet.  But wait, can’t we get comparable comp photos from the same place? The difference being??? (more…)

CU survey results

“Should CU be Transparent” Survey Results

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FNMA’s CU is causing a big industry ruckus. ICAP member Keith Wolf, SRA, AI-RRS, created a survey in January because opinions being posted across multiple message boards and blogs are fragmented. The results of this survey are out and show that a vast majority of appraisers believe Fannie Mae CU should be transparent.  Nearly 70 percent of appraisers said that they will increase fees to cover the extra work CU may cause and 80 percent believe that CU risk scores will cause lenders and AMC clients to request appraisers to fit comps to the CU model.  Also 73 percent believe that CU transparency violate Appraiser Independence by influencing choice of sales to get a better CU score. Below you will find the results of the survey. (more…)

Call to action C&R fees

Call to Action in Support of Virginia Senate Bill Requiring AMCs to Pay Appraisers C&R Fees

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Appraiser Colleagues,

Finally, you have an opportunity to get what you have been screaming for: customary and reasonable fees for your work.

On January 23, 2015, Senator Martin offered Senate Bill NO. 1445, requiring appraisal management companies to pay appraisers customary and reasonable fees. The bill mirrors the language in Dodd-Frank. A copy of Senate Bill NO. 1445 as introduced is attached. (more…)

Appraisers join us and fight back

Appraisers, Pull Together and Fight Back!

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Dear Real Estate Appraisers of America,

To date, each of you have invested years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars to create your real estate appraisal career. No small feat. You have sacrificed greatly to get to where you are. And, now you are feeling as if everything you have worked so hard for is being stolen away from you.

Tragically, over the last 5 years there has been a whirlwind of events that has resulted in a very frustrating situation for appraisers. AMCs who have been permitted to increase profits by driving down appraiser fees and constantly push for dangerous turnaround times, have largely taken control. Lenders, Fannie Mae, and the like continue to creep up the assignment requirements to dizzying levels.

In spite of this awful situation, there seemed to be no one on the offensive to directly attack the harmful onslaught. Who is out there making real moves to bring appraisers the changes they so desperately need? (more…)

CU is here dont panic

Collateral Underwriter Starts Today – Don’t Panic!

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Fannie Mae’s new “tool” for lenders is the Collateral Underwriter (CU). This is a review program available to lenders so that they can compare the work of an appraiser on a property to other work the appraiser has done and to what other appraisers have done on appraisals of the subject property. This program compares your report to others. Comparing your work to all of the information they have in their database, using data from other appraisers to evaluate your work.

DON’T PANIC! Remember when the UAD came out and there was great angst among residential appraisers? Yet when the dust cleared, life went on and we adjusted. The same will happen with the CU. Many of you may not know that there has been review system called an AQM or Appraisal Quality Management that was designed to look at you through an Appraisal Management Company. The AQM is a software system that compares reports to industry standards and requirements.  It has been in place for several years.

The CU (more…)

Flushing appraisal regulations

The Systematic Destruction of Residential Appraising

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Not so long ago I had multiple clients. They would call me if they needed my professional services and trusted me to perform a satisfactory service. I’m a streetwalker. I drive and walk the streets looking at houses and photographing them from the street (outcalls) and sometimes going inside to determine condition (in calls).

This worked well for many years until the Federal Government got involved in the late 1980s. The Feds discovered that a few streetwalkers had exaggerated their claims of professionalism and service and declared in the 1989 DIARRHEA that all streetwalkers must be licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate. The states got together and formulated a set of rules for streetwalkers they called USCRAP that outlined in minute detail how streetwalkers were to do business.

Well, we studied USCRAP, passed the tests and got our state certifications and went back to walking the streets like before. Unfortunately (more…)

Collateral Underwriter (CU) U concern and solution

Network of State Appraisal Orgainzation’s letter to FHFA Director Watt Regarding Fannie Mae Collateral Underwriter (CU) Program

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For over the past couple of months, VaCAP has participated with 18 other State Appraiser Coalitions in drafting an unified response to Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter Program. Their letter to FHFA Director Watt briefly outlines their concerns, offers recommended solutions, as well as asking for a meeting to discuss the issue for the benefit of all vested parties.

Please take a few minutes to peruse the letter below:

Dear Director Watt:

On behalf of the independent state professional appraiser organizations signing below, I invite your attention to concerns expressed by the majority of real estate appraisers regarding Fannie Mae’s announcement making their Collateral Underwriter (CU) program available to lenders and their third party affiliates (but not to appraisers). (more…)

Sealed Files on Appraisal Scheme

Court Won’t Unseal Files on Washington Mutual Appraisal Scheme

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A federal judge said he will not unseal files related to an alleged appraisal rigging scheme that Washington Mutual launched in an effort to favor mortgage lenders just before the 2008 market crash, Courthouse News Service reported Dec. 3.

The case involves a federal class action suit launched in 2008 in San Jose, California, by Felton Spears Jr. and Sidney Sholl who claimed that Washington Mutual, Lender’s Service Inc. and appraisal management firm First American eAppraiseIT colluded in 2006 to create inflated mortgage-loan appraisals that allowed the bank to sell aggregated security interests in the properties at inflated prices.

At Washington Mutual’s direction, eAppraiseIT and Lender’s Service hired former bank employees as appraisal business managers (more…)

Industry update FNMA CU

Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter – Industry Update White Paper

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Folks…

I just found this document (PDF attached) written primarily from a ‘lender’ perspective about the upcoming Collateral Underwriter, which applies only to 1004 and 1073 form reports effective Jan. 26, 2015…but probably will be carried over to the 2055 and 1075 form reports after the initial shake out cruise.

13 pages – will help you understand what FNMA will be looking for in terms of appraisal report QC functions performed by AMC’s, and the lender’s appraisal review departments.  Knowing what they will be checking will help you avoid those errors.

Your first level of defense is to (more…)

Some Good News for Appraisers

Some Good News….For a Change? – 2nd Annual List (A Work-In-Progress)

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Last year, around Thanksgiving, I had put together a list of some positive things going on for appraisers.  It was/is all-too-rare that we hear positive news regarding the appraisal profession. There is an awful lot of complaining that goes on, most of it justifiable, but little good news that gets shared.  Part of the problem is that there is no central source for information regarding our profession which appraisers might utilize in order to find out what is going on across the country and affecting our profession, and could be used to enhance our industry and the citizens in each of our own states.

From what I have seen, most of any good news is being generated on a state basis.  Every small victory in one state can be viewed as a seedling for development and further improvement in 49 other states and other territories.

What you see here is a draft, as I am hoping that those reading (more…)

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