New Fannie Mae CU Training Video

Fannie Mae CU training video

Training admits that CU use of CENSUS BLOCK GROUPS


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.

Secondly, this training will show you how Lenders are able to search all kinds of appraisal data, for your work, and how your submitted reports (and the data within) compares to ‘other appraisers’ and public records, and their proprietary AVM ‘model’ which selects “up to 20” additional so-called comparable properties.

This training also admits that the CU’s use of CENSUS BLOCK GROUPS is not how most appraisers search for comps and collect data. So I’d recommend not getting highly agitated about this. However, the training also admits that CU/FNMA uses CENSUS BLOCK GROUPS because that info is readily available to THEM.

Most dramatic to me is the CU process in its entirety is giving UNLICENSED people at the Lender (and by extension to their AMCs) the ability to act like an appraiser. The presumption is that CU data is more accurate than the decisions made by the local appraiser.

CU is an overwhelming process for most untrained people and those who don’t have ‘boots on the ground’ in the local area. CU is an attempt to turn imperfect real estate into perfectly scientific analysis and electronic decision making.

It’s no wonder to me that some Lenders are deciding NOT TO USE the CU for appraisal report evaluation.

Dave Towne
Latest posts by Dave Towne (see all)
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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6 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I always love it when the instructions for assembly arrive 2 months after I purchase a product.

    “CU is an attempt to turn imperfect real estate into perfectly scientific analysis and electronic decision making.”

    CU is far more than that. CU is FNMA’s first step towards exploring a new world (call it planet YourAnus). A world where fully automated valuation takes place on a daily basis and traces of appraisers can only be found in fossils.

  2. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    I watched the video and sent it on to as many appraiser friends as I could.

    Its an eye opener.

    1. Its main functions are far too complex for non appraisers to accurately perform or even understand.
    2. IF made available to appraisers BEFORE we ever select our comps, it would prove to be an OUTSTANDING aid to improve appraisal quality. At a minimum we would see more facets that require extended explanation so those on the other end know the answers to the questions without ever having to kick the reports out to ask them.
    3. The “model” or so called ‘peer’ adjustments are really pretty broad. Again, IF and only IF we had this program appraisers would have greater comfort making adjustments derived from the market but which exceed the ranges they traditionally consider ‘acceptable’ to FNMA-Yeah, I know FNMA doesn’t dictate adjustments. Sure. The old 15% / 25% 6 mos guidelines did just that. Now that they are gone, their wills till be residual hesitation to make the necessary big adjustments for site and GLA that many markets dictate.
    4. What FNMA created was a GREAT tool for appraisers and no one else. Unfortunately they derived us of it and ONLY gave it to those that don’t understand appraisals to begin with.

    For what its worth, the video seems like it is going to be encouraging a lot of 5% condition adjustments for differences between C2 and C3-although it is stated as being exemplary only.

    IF used by an appraiser before comparable sale selection AND after DRAFT report completion this could be a phenomenal tool to help us be self policing, prepare better appraisals AND to show those who would think about cheating WHY its not a good idea (aside from character and integrity). Eventually THEY WILL GET CAUGHT.

    As is there are many negative issues with CU-including the possibility of being blacklisted with no opportunity to rebut or even know why!

    Folks, you need to consider joining me in the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) so that we can try to get access to this system. The national interest is one of consumer protection-in addition to OUR interest, and frankly right to this product. It was OUR data that made it possible.

  3. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    sorry for typos-in a hurry. “would Still”
    and “deprived” not derived.

  4. Avatar Mary says:

    I just received my first request from a lender to explain the exclusion of four comparables from a recent report. Two of them were already included in the report. The other two were too large in gla. This is unreasonable.

    Is anyone charging extra for the additional research time and if so how much?

  5. Mary, I’d bill them the same amount you would for a desk review on top of the fee with the explanation that it is for out of scope work arising from violation of FNMA CU licensing agreement.

    Seriously. I MIGHT indicate a willingness to waive the surcharge this one time provided they assure you of future compliance and give them a link to the video.

    They are very specifically supposed to read the report to assure you have not already addressed these kinds of issues; and secondly ONLY ask about new comps that would reasonably result in a different conclusion which are truly similar.

    If they take punitive action, then turn them in to FNMA for violating CU license agreements.

  6. Avatar Mary says:

    Thank you. Boy just when you think this industry has sunk as low as it can, it hits a new bottom.


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New Fannie Mae CU Training Video

by Dave Towne time to read: 1 min