Author: AppraisersBlogs

Unresolved Complaints Filed with HUD 24

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 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...

Fannie Mae Census Block Grid Adjustment Raises Redlining Concerns 29

Fannie Mae ‘Census Block Grid’ Adjustment Raises Redlining Concerns

“FNMA’s collateral underwriter tool has a line item adjustment it makes on every comparable called Census Block Grid.”  In a recent discussion within the comments section of an article titled ‘The Censorship of Appraisers,’ an appraiser shared a concerning statement from an underwriter about an adjustment made by Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter tool. The underwriter revealed that the tool uses a ‘Census Block Grid’ adjustment (CBG) to evaluate comparable property values. This adjustment, which modifies values based on median home values within specific census blocks, raises concerns for potentially reflecting practices akin to redlining – a discriminatory practice that is...

Appraisers to Subsidize UWM Underwriters' Salary 41

UWM Underwriters Subsidized by Appraisers

The $29 fee also happens to nearly match the average hourly base salary of $29 for UWM underwriters.  United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) began an aggressive campaign in September 2021 to recruit appraisers for their new Appraisal Direct system, which aimed to cut out appraisal management companies as middlemen. Through repeated emails, they urged appraisers – both current and former, alive or deceased – to partner directly with UWM through ANOW. Despite claims that this system would benefit appraisers by providing higher fees and faster payments, the reality did not match the hype. Fees offered by UWM through ANOW were well...

AI to Counter the Flawed Appraiser Bias Narrative 26

AI to Counter Flawed Appraiser Bias Narrative

In reality, appraisers have a great story to tell, but we have a long way to go to refocus the terribly flawed “appraiser bias” narrative onto facts and science.  Last week’s email from Cindy Chance, the CEO of the Appraisal Institute, marks an important and long overdue shift in the organization’s approach to addressing accusations of bias in the appraisal profession. For too long, appraisers have faced sweeping claims that their valuations are biased against certain groups, despite appraisers’ ethical standards, rigorous training, and lack of financial stake in transactions. As Chance acknowledges, the Institute should have done more to...

ChatGPT Appraisal Error Sparks Ethics Debate 40

ChatGPT Appraisal Error Sparks Ethics Debate

A recent post by an appraiser trainee on an online forum described a troubling situation involving the use of ChatGPT to generate content for an appraisal report. The trainee admitted to using ChatGPT to write a market summary section without properly reviewing it first. This resulted in factual inaccuracies making it into the final report delivered to the client. Upon discovering this, the client, a local bank, threatened to file a complaint against the trainee. The trainee is now considering falsely claiming to have personally written the problematic section in an attempt to avoid consequences. “Hey everyone, I recently used...

The Lack of Transparency in Appraiser Compensation 16

The Lack of Transparency in Appraiser Compensation

The current system of bundling appraiser compensation with third-party fees can lead to confusion and frustration for both appraisers and consumers.  In their letter to the ASC, NAR highlighted the importance of appropriate compensation for appraisers. They stated that fair and reasonable compensation is critical to attracting and retaining high-quality appraisers, as well as allowing them to invest in their skills and education. However, the current system lacks transparency when it comes to reporting appraiser compensation. The issue lies in the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) form, which requires an aggregate appraisal fee to be reported. This means that the fee...

Recap of the 4th Appraisal Bias Hearing 9

Recap of the 4th ASC Appraisal Bias Hearing

On February 13th, 2024, the fourth ASC appraisal bias hearing took place. For those who were unable to attend, the video of the hearing has been included below. The hearing was a crucial event for the appraisal industry, and it is important for all appraisers to be aware of the discussions and topics addressed. The panel of witnesses included: David Bunton, President, The Appraisal Foundation E.C. Neelly IV, Executive Director, Mississippi Real Estate Appraisal Board Maureen Sweeney, Principal, Maureen Sweeney, Real Estate Appraiser Ltd. Melissa Tran, Director, Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board Jillian White, Chief Executive Officer, Appraisal Insights...

Class Valuation Maximizing ROV Conversion Rates 47

Class Valuation Maximizing ROV Conversion Rates

It’s truly mind-boggling that a company would brag about their higher ROV conversion rates for the ROV process as if it’s some kind of badge of honor. Recently, Class Valuation took to social media to boast about their Reconsideration of Value’s process (ROVs), claiming higher conversion rates and urging clients to choose them for a confident closing. Any company that is touting they have the highest ROV conversion rates should raise some red flags. The process of ROVs is meant to be a last resort when there are legitimate concerns or discrepancies in an appraisal report. It should not be...

Shane Lanham Countersuing Black Homeowners for Defamation 28

Shane Lanham Countersuing Black Homeowners for Defamation

Shane Lanham, a Maryland appraiser, has found himself in a difficult situation as he is being sued in The United States District Court of Maryland. However, he is not backing down and fully intends to fight these allegations through trial. In addition, he is countersuing the accusers for defamation and seeking $500,000 in damages. Lanham firmly believes that the accusations of racism against him are baseless and he has engaged a consultant with significant experience in handling such cases. To ensure he has the best chance of success, Mr. Lanham has engaged a consultant with extensive experience in similar cases....

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