Author: Dave Towne

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...

Low Value = Material Deficiencies? New HUD ROV Policy 39

Low Value = Material Deficiencies? New FHA ROV Policy

The implication that if the VALUE is too low, then there must be “material deficiencies” present, is deeply troubling!  Up until recently, there has never been a standardized policy for mortgage loan related Reconsideration of Value (ROV) requests after an appraisal has been submitted. Now there is, per the attached PDF HUD/FHA mortgage letter. The GSE’s have similar policies. I’m not opposed to having a standardized ROV policy. However, these policies are in keeping with the new initiatives surrounding alleged and often unproved appraisal bias and discrimination claims. But when one reads deeper into the reason for implementing these procedures,...

Marcia Fudge Leaving HUD Is Good News for Appraisers 38

Marcia Fudge leaving HUD!

Marcia Fudge is also the current co-chairperson of the PAVE Task Force Committee, so that group’s philosophy may also be modified with her resignation.  I read a number of web provided publications oriented to our appraisal work, and lending. This popped into my email yesterday from Inside Mortgage Finance Publications: “As IMFnews went to press Monday, Marcia Fudge announced that she will step down as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, effective March 22. A Biden appointee, Fudge, 71, did not provide a specific reason…” USA Today: “Fudge vows not to run again “Don’t look for me...

UAD Redesign Timeline 5

UAD Redesign Timeline

Appraisers, to see more about the upcoming new UAD currently in design, read the Updated Timeline link in the message below. My concern at this point is ‘training’ materials will be available in Q4 2024, but actual implementation of the ‘new reporting process’ won’t begin until Q3 2025 with limited production, into 2026. Note that in the future “form numbers” won’t be used. Instead, the assignment instructions will be based on a scope of work for the loan process on the particular Subject property. As someone who’s potentially interested in ‘training’ appraisers on the new process, it seems to me...

Is the Iceberg Turning? 19

Is the Iceberg Turning?

Appraisers, it seems this past year has been like furiously paddling against a giant iceberg containing frozen lending assignments in the North Atlantic ocean while in a rowboat with one paddle! The entire 2023 has been one chilling episode in terms of mortgage lending appraisal assignments for appraisers. While it’s too soon to tell for sure, a giant sea-going tug boat with high horsepower diesel engines powering twin propellers mounted on azipods has arrived on the scene to help direct and push that iceberg into warmer waters, releasing a flood of more assignments! I read lots of ‘stuff’ relating to...

Another bad word to avoid 61

Another ‘Bad’ Word to Avoid!

To lighten the load somewhat from discussions about current highly restrictive language use in appraisal reports that tends to circumvent actual reality and truth – which can positively or adversely impact property market value, replaced with only generic, non-offensive words, I present this cartoon. It’s another word to avoid using: Obfuscation of real and accurate market data using correct written descriptions, replaced with wokeism to foster an unworkable ideological agenda, is one reason why skilled appraisers are shifting their work to non-mortgage lending clients who actually want to understand the true reality of regional and neighborhood areas, and how market...

Appraisal Bias Mantra is Largely False Reporting 16

Appraisal Bias Mantra is Largely False Reporting

Just How Commonplace Is Appraisal Bias?  Folks, about the only entity examining in depth the details behind all the allegations about appraisers being inherently biased is the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Housing Center. They are proving that most of the allegations are mostly a dump truck load of bovine substance. Click here for their latest expose. Report: Just How Commonplace Is Appraisal Bias? – theMReport.com Within this report are these statements from AEI: “When comparing appraisals for people of color to those for non-Hispanic white people within the same geographies, a new study by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Housing...

Reality of Today's Appraisal Environment; Discriminatory Falsehood 10

Reality of Today’s Appraisal Environment

Proving discriminatory activity is hard, which is probably one reason HUD is dragging their collective feet in resolving the filed complaints.  The real scourge of what’s been happening to appraisers for the past 5 years (yes, it started prior to the last election) has been revealed by Mr. Isaac Peck, in this article. You really need to read it, perhaps again, if you saw it come through your email on Wednesday October 25. Isaac has allowed me to “re-broadcast” his article. Yes, it’s a ‘sales promotion’ but it contains critical information appraisers need to know about. The first paragraph, contained...

Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic Low 32

Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic Low

Appraisers, I’m almost reluctant to distribute this article, but the reality is what it is. Per the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the loan application volume is at another low point in our history. The article in Mortgage News Daily titled “Mortgage Application Volume at Lowest Levels Since 1996” in this link provides context. For a related perspective, the article contains a graph, which can be expanded to show mortgage rates and application volume for decades. The brown line in the graph shows 30 year mortgage rates – since early 1971. The light blue indicates the loan application volume, which corresponds...

The Unbiased Reality of Census Tract Data Dump... Open Letter to FHFA 11

The Unbiased Reality of Census Tract Data Dump… Open Letter to FHFA

Folks, the following letter was sent to FHFA by an appraiser I know. It was sent in response to the ‘first’ data dump FHFA made which uses CENSUS TRACT data to try to convince others that appraisers are biased by using ‘people demographics’ contained in Census Bureau info. You can find that ‘dump’ here. The writer of that first FHFA dump was identified by name, and included an email address. So the appraiser wrote a respectful email to Mr. Russell. It turns out, shortly after this FHFA document was released, Mr. Russell left FHFA. So this nice letter sent several...

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