Devastating Impact of a Blanket Waiver

Many Appraisers Will Not Work for Appraisal Management Companies

Appraisal management companies do not understand the nuances of the appraisal profession, nor do they understand the challenges many rural properties bring.

The Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals has submitted an official comment to the ASC opposing the State wide appraisal waiver request in North Dakota.

VaCAP has submitted a public comment expressing concerns over the much larger consequences in allowing such a request. A blanket waiver of appraisals up to $500,000 for a 5 year period will have a devastating impact on housing, not only in North Dakota, but across the country. We envision a snowball effect with other states following and submitting waiver requests as well.

We know each and every appraiser realizes the danger that could happen if this waiver is granted, not only in North Dakota, but across the country. Please take the time to comment. The deadline is July 1st.

See VaCAP’s comments below and to submit you own comments, click here.

The Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCAP) is a non-profit coalition of boots on the ground appraisers who support sound, ethical practices in the appraisal profession.

Although we have no direct knowledge of specific issues in North Dakota, we are concerned that granting a broad appraisal waiver, such as the one requested by the State of North Dakota will have far more reaching consequences than just North Dakota; Consequences that would devastate communities and destroy the housing market. Are we ready for another financial crash due to the removal of the only unbiased party to a real estate transaction?

An appraisal shortage has been claimed by lenders and their agents, appraisal management companies, across the country. This could not be further from the truth. Do delays sometimes happen? Absolutely. Are rural properties more difficult to appraise? Yes. Do they take a little longer? Yes they do. This is true for all parts of rural America and is not unique to North Dakota. Why all the talk of an appraiser shortage?

Appraisal management companies are their own worst enemy. Many have 17 plus page engagement letters, require constant updates on the progress of the report, unrealistic turn times and fees lower than what appraisers were earning 20 years ago. Simply put, many appraisers will not work for appraisal management companies under these conditions. Further, appraisal management companies do not understand the nuances of the appraisal profession, nor do they understand the challenges many rural properties bring. The mindset that each property fits squarely into the box without exception is simply false.

Appraisal management companies will email all appraisers on their approved list requesting fee and turn times. Appraisers are given nothing more than an address and must take time to research the property before quoting a fee. From experience of never getting any assignments, many appraisers simply will not waste time responding to those email blasts. The amc chooses the least expensive appraiser, regardless of their qualifications or availability.

A normal and reasonable turn time to receive an appraisal is 5-7 business days; longer for more complex properties or during busy seasons. Most amcs require appraisals back in 2-4 days, including non-business days of Saturday and Sunday. This pressure constrains the appraiser in the amount of work that can be accepted and most appraisers businesses are not set up to allow for this scenario. Add the lower fees paid by most appraisal management companies and appraisers simply solicit more profitable, less stressful business.

So what are the alternatives?

S2155 recently passed and allows for waivers under certain circumstances. VaCAP is not a fan of this legislation, as our concern is no one is overseeing the lenders and amc in their efforts to locate and engage appraisers. However this legislation has passed into law and while certainly not ideal, at least offers a better alternative than a blanket waiver.

Removing the appraisal management company from the process and lenders directly engaging appraisers will shorten the turn time and increase the fee to the appraiser. More appraisers would be willing to work with lenders under these circumstances, appraisal management companies are the issue.

Lenders could and should reach out to the state coalitions for assistance in locating qualified appraisers that cover areas where difficulties arise. This was suggested several times in the past and not one coalition has been contacted to our knowledge. Why grant a waiver when help has been offered and simply ignored?

Granting the waiver request with such broad terms in scope and time will only trigger more requests of such magnitude, further eroding an already damaged housing market. We ask if a waiver request is granted and the lender does not obtain an appraisal from a credentialed appraiser, that lender be responsible for that loan until the day it is paid in full. Taxpayers and investors should not be responsible for reckless actions of the lender. Consumer protection should always be placed ahead of lender convenience and profit.

VaCAP thanks the ASC for allowing us to comment on behalf of the dedicated appraiser professionals in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

VaCAP Board
Image credit flickr - Alejandro Mallea
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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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Advocate says:

    There are some very good letters and comments. It is truly sad there are only 29 comments as of this writing. Why are appraisers not willing to speak up for themselves or the profession? Are appraisers independently wealthy and do not need to provide for their families?

    Please take 5 minutes and advocate for our profession. If you don’t, others will dictate your future!

  2. Ryan Lundquist on Twitter Ryan Lundquist on Twitter says:

    Just left a comment. Thanks.

  3. 1. States should be taking lead positions on these individual state issues.
    2. We were contacted by a ND AGA Member and got involved early on (first go around). To date not even an acknowledgment was received from the ND Coalition, though one member thanked us unofficially.
    3. On receipt of a bulk letter from ND Coalition asking people to write ASC we again wrote to ASC disproving the shortage claim.

    Advocate is 100% right. If we can only get 29 people collectively to write ASC then it is our profession itself that is the problem. People too busy to try to help themselves. Too many with a “Let someone else do it attitude” though we tell folks repeatedly it really is a numbers game.

    Do we need thousands of letters? No. But certainly in the 100+ range. It’s not always even the content of a letter. One or two others will write definitive issue letters. The rest of us need to write whatever we can, short and sweet, even if it is to say I support the AGA, or Coalitions, or AI or ASA or other groups position.

    • Avatar Taunya says:

      This is a systematic problem. Even changes to our standards does not elicit response from our profession. The problem in this case may be “NIMBY”. It doesn’t affect the appraiser outside of ND. Although it might, it doesn’t now. And the average appraiser trying to balance work, family and their sanity just doesn’t see the need to write one more thing, make one more point that doesn’t affect them.

      This is why we need a collective voice like the NAR. Wish that organization would step up for us since they make us be members.

      • Avatar Advocate says:

        I respectfully disagree. This does impact every appraiser, not just those in North Dakota. If this waiver is granted, this will snowball to every other state and before you can blink 49 other waiver requests will be submitted. Then what?

      • Agree re NAR and I’m really happy to hear so many more appraisers participating in NAR summits and forums, but no NAR president has responded since the last gentleman.

        R.E. Appraisal is simply not high on NARs radar. Though it should be.


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Devastating Impact of a Blanket Waiver

by VaCAP Board time to read: 3 min