Troubling Times at Fannie Mae

David Brauner
Latest posts by David Brauner (see all)

Appraisers should be concerned by Fannie Mae’s lack of transparency about its Appraiser Quality Monitoring system (AQM). In their published guidance and in various interviews, in the upcoming print edition of WRE (January 2015) and elsewhere, they remain mum on the specifics of a process that can potentially end an appraiser’s career.

If they have rules, procedures and guidelines in place to evaluate the work of appraisers in a fair and consistent manner, they are not making the details public. We believe it’s time that they do so.

This is from the cover story in the upcoming print edition of WRE, now in production:

Just as Fannie Mae promised in their July 2014 AQM FAQ, appraisers are now beginning to receive warning letters that their appraisals contain inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or data anomalies that may warrant “further action” should such behavior continue. Fannie Mae says that the intent of these communications is for “training and educational purposes” and to provide appraisers with an opportunity to improve their work before Fannie places them on the AQM (do not use) list. Appraisers across the country are receiving such letters from Fannie currently.

In their written response to WRE, Fannie Mae seems to be saying “trust us.” Simply follow Fannie Mae requirements and you will have nothing to worry about.

To its credit, Fannie Mae has laid out examples of unacceptable appraisal practices in their published guidance; FNMA’s 16 Deadly Sins, as Richard Hagar, SRA calls them in his WRE/OREP webinar Keeping off Fannie Mae’s New Appraiser Black List. But who is making the often subjective determinations on these infractions and using what criteria? How does the review process work? Who sits on these ominous sounding “review panels/management committees”? These folks may hold your career in their hands someday- do you blindly “trust them” to be fair? What are their credentials? Do they have local competency? How qualified and experienced are they? What’s the mix of automation and human review? How are appeals handled? As this process kicks into high gear, will Fannie Mae have sufficient staff to review every rebuttal thoroughly, fairly and in a timely manner- while you wait with your livelihood on hold? Is the process open, fair and consistent? If it is, please show us.

We know of at least one appraiser who had to sue HUD to get the agency to follow its own guidelines to give him due process. Fannie Mae has yet to publish guidelines: how will they be held accountable? Meanwhile, the process is moving forward with appraisers getting warning letters every day. Fannie Mae is running AQM in secrecy and with no accountability to appraisers. Fannie Mae continues to hold its cards close to the vest and the career ending consequences of running afoul of AQM make it incumbent upon them to open up about the specifics of how this process works. If their aim is truly to correct bad appraising, this should be a no-brainer.

Upcoming February Webinars:
Part 1: Keeping Off Fannie Mae’s New Appraiser “Blacklist”
Presenter: Richard Hagar, SRA
February 5, 2015, 10 – 11:30 a.m. PST

 “Thanks so much for offering this webinar.  It has increased my knowledge tremendously on Fannie Mae requirements, the UAD, and information on how to perfect my work as best as possible.  I am definitely interested in a webinar on the UAD and the quality and condition ratings.  This information is invaluable.”  -V. Harrill

Fannie Mae’s new Appraiser Quality Monitoring system (AQM) creates a do not use or “blacklist” should you run afoul of their new guidelines. For the most part, once you are on the list, you can no longer perform work for the Nation’s 15,000-20,000 lenders. For many, this will mean hard times. This Webinar provides an overview of how the system works, what it reports to lenders, what it takes to get an appraiser on the “bad boy” list and how you can stay off it.
Part 2: Fannie Mae’s AQM: Understanding Quality and Control Ratings
February 12th, 2015, 10 – 11:30 a.m. PST

The best explanation of the Q & C ratings that I have seen so far.” –J. Fischman

Fannie Mae is ramping up AQM which means increasing numbers of warning letters are being sent to appraisers for incorrectly or inconsistently applying Quality and Condition (Q&C) ratings across their appraisal reports. State boards are also beginning to file complaints against appraisers alleging incorrect Q&C ratings, making it more important than ever for appraisers to have a clear understanding of how to determine and apply Q&C ratings. Richard Hagar shows appraisers how to navigate Fannie’s Q&C rating system and stay out of trouble with state boards and Fannie Mae.

Republished from Working RE Online.

David Brauner

David Brauner

Senior Insurance Broker for, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors, and other real estate professionals in 50 states. Publisher of Working RE magazine. He has been involved in providing E&O coverage for appraisers for over 25 years. He can be contacted at or (888) 347-5273.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Lori Noble says:

    Appraisers have to “navigate” through something we’re not even privy to; this notion is insanity. The Army would scoff at such a notion.

    “Trust us” they say. Well, that didn’t work so well during the liar loan and sub prime epidemic that caused the credit crisis did it? So, by ego perhaps, scrupulous alignment, or the new “trust us” initiative, bias is back in the new CU.

    One of the most significant values of appraisal services is found in verification(s). In fact, it’s one of the most valuable components of my service which fees are based upon. For the government agency to embark on this latest power grab to “define markets” and once again align lenders and ‘show’ them how to apply undue influence on the valuation process is an absolute disgrace considering the chain of events the past decade.

    Change is constant; there is no black box the GSE and their robots can capture with infinite market wisdom in perpetuity, but they can surely pretend.

    Have a great day!

  2. Baggins Baggins says:

    Still waiting on something visually comparative from FNMA. If they’re so sure about ratings, they should be able to provide a visual reference guide for real property UAD ratings guidance. Still waiting. Still waiting.


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Troubling Times at Fannie Mae

by David Brauner time to read: 3 min