Category: Collateral Underwriter

Appraisal news for real estate appraisers and real estate professionals regarding the Collateral Underwriter (CU). News relating to the Appraisal Industry.

Reforming the Appraisal Review Process: The Illogical Reality of Mortgage Appraisal Reviews 23

The Illogical Reality of Mortgage Appraisal Reviews 

Reforming the appraisal review process is essential to maintaining the integrity of the real estate market and protecting consumers and homeowners.  In mortgage financing, the appraisal process is often seen as the foundation of accurate property valuation and market stability. However, beneath this façade of reliability lies a troubling rift: while real estate appraisers must navigate stringent licensing protocols and scrutiny, the individuals reviewing the appraisals often operate with minimal oversight, instead leaning heavily on automated systems and algorithms. This stark disparity not only undermines the credibility of the review process but also revives the threat of past missteps, once...

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...

Fannie Mae to State of Maryland: DROP DEAD 33

Fannie Mae to Maryland: DROP DEAD

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae and her twin, Freddie Mac, have a message for the State of Maryland: Kindly disintegrate. A snubbed Maryland task force is close to filing its report to the governor. It attempted, in vain, to obtain detailed information about the government-sponsored twins’ valuation algorithms – tools that have replaced many home appraisals in the Old-Line State and resulted, some contend, in a feedback loop and run-up in home prices. The task force was formed on the reasonable premise that the state has an interest in the twins’ activities, since Marylanders will be left with the clean-up costs,...

The One-Mile Rule: Prudent Policy or Modern Day Redlining? 8

The One-Mile Rule: Prudent Policy or Modern Day Redlining?

…whether through redlined maps or implicit “one-mile rule,” the result can be undervalued properties in historically marginalized neighborhoods.  Throughout the history of mortgage banking and lending in the United States, underwriting policies have significantly influenced the appraisal process for home purchases and refinances. Appraisers must follow underwriter appraisal review guidelines meticulously to ensure their appraisal reports are accepted by the lender. Unfortunately, in the past, these policies became the basis for redlining, wherein certain communities were systematically denied access to mortgage credit. In this article, we delve into the historical context of underwriting policies and their influence on the appraisal...

Is the GSEs "Appraisal Modernization" Really Just Mass Appraisal? 18

Is the GSE’s “Appraisal Modernization” Really Just Mass Appraisal?

Mass Appraisal tend to exhibit a regressive nature…  In the intricate landscape of real estate mortgage financing, the notion of appraisal waivers recently dubbed “Value Acceptance”, by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), has stirred considerable debate. The most recent statistics show Value Acceptance accounts for up to 40% of all mortgage approvals. It is presented as part of the GSEs “Appraisal Modernization” initiative, which aims to streamline the mortgage appraisal process. However, a closer examination reveals potential drawbacks, raising questions about its efficacy and impact on the housing market. Despite its roots in a methodology designed to support appraisers, Value...

Majority of Reviewers Had Very Limited Field Experience 22

Majority of Reviewers Had Very Limited Field Experience

It was my experience that the majority of reviewers, FNMA included, had very limited field experience. Which is painfully obvious when they request baseless revisions for “more or better comps”.  I’m a Certified General Appraiser that started appraising in 1984, almost 40 years ago! Spent the majority of my career appraising both residential and commercial properties in a major metropolitan market. I had my own appraisal firm for a number of years, prior to the AMC model which dissolved years of relationship building with clients large and small, almost overnight! Like most of you, I really enjoyed appraising and was...

Fannie Mae Filed a Complaint Against Me 39

Fannie Mae Filed a Complaint Against Me

An appraiser shared the following with us which was posted on one of the appraisers’ groups. Fannie Mae filed a complaint against me with my state appraisal board. Here’s what happened. The Report In June of 2021, I completed an appraisal for a conventional purchase. The appraisal was ordered by an AMC on behalf of a lender. At that time, the real estate market was still being wildly affected by the COVID pandemic. Remote work was in full swing, and consumers were desperately seeking to get out of the cities. Prices for all types of residential properties were rising rapidly,...

Fannie's Loan Buyback Sophistry Relies on Modifying Analysts' Behavior 9

Fannie’s Loan Buyback Sophistry Relies on Modifying Analysts’ Behavior

“Many of the repurchase letters make no sense,” said the insider. If analysts don’t write enough defects on those files, they get hammered. If analysts fall short of their peers in “production points,” it’s considered their fault, said the insider.  At the heart of Fannie Mae’s valuation system is a tool that shunts a subset of the millions of loans purchased by the mortgage giant each year into a “high risk” pool. Fannie then pressures and incentivizes a corps of in-house analysts to create further doubt about the loans in order to send repurchase demands to lenders for up to...

The New & Improved Fannie Mae FRAUDULATOR 2.0 42

The New & Improved Fannie Mae “FRAUDULATOR 2.0”

Originally known as Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter (CU), and subsequently Collateral Underwriter 2.0 (CU-2)i this always dubious product of Fannie Mae is increasingly being referred to by some, if not many American Appraisers as The Fraudulator / Underwriter 2.0 (FU-2). To be clear it is not limited to the Collateral Underwriter (CU & CU-2) software. The new Fraudulator (FU-2) combines the CU products with their numerous improper uses. The end result of which includes OUTRIGHT FRAUD being perpetrated against banks via the repurchase letters Fannie Mae now issues on a quota based system rather than because of legitimate appraisal defects....

Forms Redesign Extended Into 2023-24 8

Forms Redesign Extended Into 2023-24

What once was a ‘three year’ project to redesign and implement revised appraisal forms has morphed into one taking far longer. Actual implementation and use of ‘new forms’ are not scheduled to happen until (presumably) early in 2024, but could be extended even further. By 2024, the currently used ‘forms’ will be 19 years old, and the current UAD overlay entering ‘teenage hood’ at 13. For context, the current Planet Mars Perseverance Rover mission to successfully plan and land scientific instruments took only 9 years! Details for the ‘forms redesign extension’ are based on the announcement from Fannie Mae (and Freddie...

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