Proposed Rule to Eliminate C&R Fee Tabled
Yesterday morning, I attended the Georgia state appraisal board hearing on the proposed rule to eliminate the C&R fee law they have in place. You know, the one that is similar to the one in Dodd-Frank.
The Georgia appraisal board apparently is being investigated by the FTC for their law. They thought that the FTC vs the Louisiana case was a ruling in favor of the FTC when in fact it was not, and wanted to avoid any sort of notion that they were price fixing or of anti trust.
The board received letters from appraisers and others in the 30 day time frame, and yet, here I was at the board meeting the ONLY appraiser to show up and speak up about it.
The board president made a simple statement to start which altered my initial comment. He stated the state appraisal board was here to protect the public and not the appraisers. They are here to license and regulate appraisers. Very true.
So I processed to get my opportunity to speak and made it clear that removing this law completely, would do more damage to the public, but appraisers as well and the state. How so? Well, if AMCs have no state rule as far as C&R goes they would resort back to pre Dodd Frank days and be able to pay whatever they wanted, even lesser than they do now which would most likely result in appraisers to stop working with AMCs and create that false narrative of a shortage. It would harm the public as there may be less appraisers for lender work, faster and cheaper appraisers doing less quality work to make up for the lack of good fees thus leaving the public with more garbage valuations. It would harm the public because now we would be back to the narrative that we need more AVMS, hybrids, desktops and cheaper valuations to make up for the lack of appraisers willing to work for pennies on the dollar.
I stressed to them that they shouldn’t be bullied by the FTC, that they need to talk with other agencies, the Louisiana attorneys and many others, to understand what went on in the case before making such a radical decision, and seek alternatives. Maybe it’s a simple rewriting of the law. Maybe there is nothing wrong with it period.
I spoke about many other things as well, in the time allotted to me, such as bid requests, trainees, AMCs leaving appraisers unpaid, and how allowing AMCs to charge borrowers a certain amount and pay themselves more than the appraiser or seek out the cheapest is not protecting the public.
At the end, the board president stated that he was prepared to make a motion to adopt the rule change and drop the law. However, after hearing me speak, as a certified appraiser and the President of the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA), and thanks to some of the letters sent, they unanimously voted to table the proposed rule change and seek further advice and information, and do more research before proceeding any further.
While not a gigantic win, it’s a win nonetheless, and I applaud those who took to time to write letters. I just wish more appraisers would have come to the meeting to speak up in person.