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

Alleged Racial Discrimination Debunked: Security Bars Removal Required by Law 13

Security Bars Removal Law Debunks Alleged Racial Discrimination

Complainant stated appraiser told them they should remove security bars from windows. Complainant stated this is evidence of “racist discrimination”… Security bars on bedroom windows is against code…  This morning I received the results of a California State Information Act Request I made regarding an alleged case of racial bias in Allendale, Oakland, California which was settled May 2024. I requested any and all documents in the case involving the appraiser because I didn’t have the complainant’s name or property address. I only had the appraiser’s name which I won’t post in text. Complainant stated appraiser told them they should...

Gov't-Indulged Middlemen Are Wrong RX for Battered Borrowers, The Infirm 9

Gov’t-Indulged Middlemen Are Wrong RX for Battered Borrowers, The Infirm

The U.S. government impoverishes homebuyers as it does the chronically ill – by promoting the use of middlemen who prey upon them. A cadre of such middlemen was created decades ago as a firewall between Big Pharma, the insurance companies and the pharmacy chains. Called “pharmacy benefit managers,” they were to negotiate drug prices, streamline distribution and manage lists of prescription drugs covered by insurance plans. But since the government has gone whole-hog into health care under the Affordable Care Act and into drug-price controls under the Inflation Reduction Act, things have gotten crazy at the slop trough. Today, according...

Exposing Predatory AMCs 40

Exposing Predatory AMCs

Exposing the inner workings of these predatory AMCs and their corrosive influence on the housing market.  Cindy Chance’s recent comments about the concerning practices of some appraisal management companies (AMCs) have struck a chord with many in the real estate valuation industry. Chance is shedding light on the troubling ways in which certain AMCs have come to wield significant power and influence over the appraisal process, often to the detriment of both appraisers and the public. The growth of AMCs in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis was driven by the misguided belief that they could help “ensure the...

Reforming the Appraisal Review Process: The Illogical Reality of Mortgage Appraisal Reviews 23

The Illogical Reality of Mortgage Appraisal Reviews 

Reforming the appraisal review process is essential to maintaining the integrity of the real estate market and protecting consumers and homeowners.  In mortgage financing, the appraisal process is often seen as the foundation of accurate property valuation and market stability. However, beneath this façade of reliability lies a troubling rift: while real estate appraisers must navigate stringent licensing protocols and scrutiny, the individuals reviewing the appraisals often operate with minimal oversight, instead leaning heavily on automated systems and algorithms. This stark disparity not only undermines the credibility of the review process but also revives the threat of past missteps, once...

CFPB | Bureau Crackdown: Unfair Practices Hurting Consumers 17

CFPB Crackdown: Unfair Practices Hurting Consumers

Bureau is currently investigating various fees associated with obtaining a loan, with the goal of identifying any that may be particularly burdensome or concerning for borrowers. As we all know many AMCs are not paying Customary & Reasonable fee as required by TILA. They have consistently pushed down the pay of Appraisers while making undisclosed profit off consumers and prioritizing cheapest and fastest over quality and competency. The CFPB has been in communication with individuals behind the scenes and are concerned with what has been shown enough to include AMCs in their data collection process. Now is the time to...

Appraisal Fees & Value: Lessons from Picasso & Steinmetz 26

Appraisal Fees & Value: Lessons from Picasso & Steinmetz

Picasso answered “$5,000 madam.” “But it only took you five minutes.” “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”  The Appraisal Institute has been a source of frustration and criticism within the appraisal profession for quite some time. I must admit that I have also expressed my dissatisfaction with them. Nevertheless, I must acknowledge that the new CEO, Cindy Chance, appears to be a positive change and is making some valuable points about our profession from her new position. In particular, she recently discussed appraisal fees in a piece she wrote. In this excerpt, she shares two stories that provide...

Unresolved Complaints Filed with HUD 47

Unresolved Complaints Filed with HUD

The “unresolved complaints” may not be as clear-cut cases of discrimination as they are being portrayed. The lack of resolution in the fair housing complaints filed with HUD regarding alleged appraisal discrimination has become a pressing concern for all parties involved. As highlighted by Peter Christensen, HUD has received over 200 such complaints since 2020, yet has failed to make a determination on the merits of any of them, either way. This suggests that the complaints are not as straightforward as they may initially appear, and that there are significant challenges in distinguishing legitimate grievances from those driven by other...

Fannie, Freddie's Offshore Gambit Imperils Privacy of Millions 31

Fannie, Freddie’s Offshore Gambit Imperils Privacy of Millions

The offshore firm will data-mine millions of images showing the personal spaces of U.S. homeowners and tenants.  Fearing the Chinese government could access sensitive user data through the video app TikTok, House lawmakers passed a bill last month that would ban the app if it isn’t sold to new owners. But a greater peril looms. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are reportedly “bench-testing” an arrangement with a foreign AI firm in which the offshore firm will data-mine millions of images showing the personal spaces of U.S. homeowners and tenants. If your home was appraised for a refinance or...

Escaping the Black Hole: Appraisers Fleeing Mortgage Lending 23

Escaping the Black Hole: Appraisers Fleeing Mortgage Lending

Climbing out of that black hole is nearly impossible. It’s one reason why many appraisers are vacating mortgage lending appraisal assignments.  This “discrimination settlement” hit the fan last week in a news feed I get. Another appraiser (in CA) settles a discrimination complaint: Oakland homeowner settles with appraiser, lender after $300,000 lowball appraisal The entire case is based on allegations by the homeowner, who had decided the value of the home was more than the appraised amount, before the appraisal was done. But when one reads through the story, one has to question whether the appraiser truly was biased against...

Fannie & Freddie's AI Appraisal Photo Recognition 46

Fannie & Freddie’s AI Appraisal Photo Recognition

A colleague recently shared an important heads up regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s plans to implement photo recognition AI to analyze appraisal photos. This technology can scan a single photo and extract over 100 data points related to quality, condition, and repairs. For example, it can identify flooring types, appliance models, and even assess light levels in a room. Later this year, the GSEs plan to run all appraisal reports through this AI and cross-check the appraiser’s stated quality and condition ratings. If the AI’s analysis differs significantly from the appraiser’s, it will automatically generate a complaint letter to...

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