Hybrids Take Another Hit

AMC Registration Act, Hybrids Take Another Hit, & Appraiser Liability Webinar

Registration Act, reinserts the definition of “appraisal firm”…

Bifurcated (Hybrid) Appraisals Take Another Hit

Last week VaCAP shared some information questioning the legality of these products in Virginia. This week Phil Crawford, Voice of Appraisal, talks about the ethical side of them and how appraisers completing these could be on the receiving end of legal actions. Listen to show E206 at Voice of Appraisal

NAR Appraiser Liability Webinar

On July 17, 2018, the National Association of Realtors along with Peter Christensen from LIA, presented a Webinar on liability issues for appraisers. A strong concern about the certifications exists that open up liability to the appraiser. The webinar was recorded and lasts about an hour. There are lots of good suggestions on how to stay out of trouble on this webinar. VaCAP recommends everyone listen to Peter Christensen’s advice.

From our sister coalition in Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signed SB 2617

Amends Illinois Appraisal Management Company Registration Act & Illinois Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act.

Effective immediately this law provides that federally regulated appraisal management companies shall register with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and pay all fees associated with registering a federally regulated appraisal management company. In addition it allows:

  • The Secretary to investigate an appraisal management company at any time.
  • Allows the Department to set fees for appraiser panels and the national registry.
  • Allows the Department to take disciplinary action for failure to pay appraiser panel fees or national registry fees.
  • Allows the Department to consider an applicant’s moral character when granting or denying a registration.
  • Excludes an appraisal management company from being registered or included on the national registry list if the company is owned by a person who has had his or her appraiser license or certificate refused, denied, canceled, surrendered in lieu of revocation, or revoked.
  • Requires that an applicant shall submit his or her fingerprints to the Department of State Police and pay all fees associated with a criminal history records background check.
  • Allows an administrator, executor, or guardian of an appraisal management company to apply for a registration.
  • Defines “multi-state licensing system”.
  • Provides that the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation may require participation in a third-party, multi-state licensing system for the licensing of certified general real estate appraisers, certified residential real estate appraisers, associate real estate trainee appraisers, and real estate appraiser education providers; and registration of appraisal management companies.
  • In the provisions of the Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act of 2002 concerning criminal history record checks, provides that the Secretary may designate a multi-state licensing system to perform the checks.
  • In the Appraisal Management Company Registration Act, reinserts the definition of “appraisal firm”.
  • Provides that the Act does not apply to an appraiser firm whose ownership is appropriately certified under the Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act of 2002 or an appraiser management company solely engaged in non-residential appraisal management services.
  • Provides that federally regulated appraisal management companies shall register with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation solely for specified purposes and are otherwise exempt from other provisions of the Act.
  •  Makes other changes

See the entire legislative act, follow this link.

In addition, Illinois has completed a fee survey. It is very well done. See PDF below

VaCAP Board
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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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Advocate says:

    It is time for appraisers to talk with your Senators and Congressman about these hybrid products. Appraisers need  to redirect the conversation back to public trust and not on AMC and lender profit. There are more reasons not to complete these garbage products than there are to complete them.

    Fannie Mae should be embarrassed that they did not learn anything from their mistakes 10 years ago. I guess that is why they are still under government control. They simply can not be trusted to do the right thing.

  2. Avatar Mike says:

    Did anyone else see where the CEO of Fannie Mae is resigning? I guess he does not want to take the blame for the next crash.


  3. Avatar Milton P says:

    Does anyone know where this idea of a bifurcated product started from anyway? I would be willing to place a wager it was in one of those “behind closed door meetings” at CRN. That entire group seems to have a huge question of ethics surrounding it.

    Clarocity has been the vocal promoter of these products for quite some time. If they are the brainchild behind bifurcated products, it speaks volumes about their credibility.

    In case you have not followed it. Clarocity lacks the capital to cover their day to day operating expenses. Rather than pay the loan, back Clarocity issues stock in lieu of payment. The stock is at the new norm of 2.5 cents per share. Give it a month and it will be even lower.


  4. Avatar Pat says:

    Great job guys!!!!

    Thanks for all you all do.

  5. Avatar Koma says:

    All states should have a C&R fee schedule. I can’t prove it, but now that Virginia has a C&R fee schedule mysteriously some AMC’s have cut their rates $100-$150 ($275-2055, $325-1004) in neighboring Maryland to make up the difference in profit lost in Va.  Do not know each appraisers situation so I’m not going judge, but I will not take that work if they are not willing to pay my fees.

    • Avatar BIG BOSS MAN says:

      Actually they should just let appraisers who run a business be like anyone else out there and charge whatever the hell they want to charge. You don’t like it go somewhere else. You want a cheap appraiser go find them.

      C&R is in no other industry but the appraisal industry. Created by amcs and more to justify their existence and charging way above what an appraisal should cost while justifying finding the lowest appraiser. There should be no such thing as C&R. Amcs are not needed and serve no purpose period other than to save some poor underwriter time to review a report.

      • Big Boss, if it were really that simple. Just like a minimum wage law assures (or ws intended to insure) that all people are protected against virtual slavery by unscupulous employers, C&R recognizes the concept in an area where public trust is critical that “You do not hire a starving man to guard the buffet table.”

        If you charge 10% more than I do and we both take from 6-10 hours to do an assignment and we both do it per USPAP. Both doing our own work as we claim then so be it. Let the market dictate fees.

        BUT in a system where effectively ALL the work comes out of a closed process where fees are established BEFORE the appraiser is ever contacted, and then appraiser are (wrongly) told TRID forbids subsequent negotiations; then minimum fees MUST be set to assure minimum quality is maintained. This isn’t a new concept.

        While I agree re AMCs, I also know banks are NOT going back to staffing up their own appraisal departments with qualified people to handle appraisals. I look for solutions within the framework that either exists; or that can reasonably be achieved. It doesn’t mean most of us wouldn’t prefer your idea.

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Hey Mike, what’s your fee and turn time?

          Management company translation 2018: The lender we work with has already charged the consumer $X+. We do not share the consumer fee or peer fees with the appraiser and they must provide quotes completely in the blind. Cost savings from reduced cost of appraisal services will not be returned to the consumer. We reward the appraiser whom advocates on our behalf with the lowest fee, with the majority of work assignments. We are contracted with the lender at a fixed consumer fee amount, any instances of higher than expected appraisal service cost will be recognized as one time exceptions which we will cover from our general funds pool. We value our ‘partner appraisers’.

          Big Boss, the move towards C&R was intended to force separated billing from amc’s while still allowing fee flexibility for those appraisers whom provided more costly specialized service in mortgage lending. The theory was if the management company is providing a valid and valuable service, the lender should pay them in addition for that service over and above what an appraiser would receive in the ‘absence of’ dealing with an amc. The rule was intended to force the amc’s to either pay fairly or for lenders to be compelled out of the interest of having competitive consumer fees, to drop amc’s and return to internal distribution instead. (aka cost plus vs cost.) The C&R rule was justified due to a sudden restriction in fair trade and access to the distribution market for appraisers. The sudden proliferation of amc’s was brought on by the now sunsetted but still present in AIR, HVCC rules. (aka separation from loan production).

          Appraisers fees were cut in half. Distribution was suddenly biased based on fee. FDIC appraiser selection guidance based on skill and not fee was ignored. 130,000 or roughly 55% of all appraisers quit the industry in the next 10 years. The management companies response to this loss of vendor servicers was to then capitalize on the losses they created, promoting hybrid alternative valuation products which double their profit margin again and further accelerate licensed appraiser attrition. Amc’s market advantages were confirmed and became institutionalized when individual workers with such robust overbearing influence over the valuation process were not required to be individually licensed.

          These companies establish compliance with the safe harbor rule CFPB put forth regarding C&R in Dodd Frank Reg Z rules for appraisal independence ‘because the appraiser showed the reasonableness by accepting it’ (or similar language.) Logic indicates the C&R rule was completely subverted and is currently implemented in the opposite way the spirit of the rule was intended.

          “Please advise when the fictitious CFPB safe harbor rule interpretation on C&R will be rescinded.” Please advise when the counter productive separation from loan production rules will be rescinded.

          • Hey Baggs, for most AMC orders I see; I try to bid somewhere in the range of 3 to 4 times more than I think they will accept. I  take the time to do that in case they are keeping note of average fees for spurious C&R ‘reports’.

            Typical TAT for them is in a range of from a week-after-hell-freezes-over to about two weeks-from-never.

            …except for my friends AMC. As long as he keeps paying me the same day as the field inspection, typical not overly complex C&I turn time is 10-14 working days and residential TAT can be as quick as they need it…because he PAYS enough for exclusive use of my time.

  6. Virginia has minimum fees set at the VA rate. However, they don’t appear to have any intent to enforce them; blaming the lack of enforcement on the FTC case further south.

    Until we deal with this on a FEDERAL level we will see not meaningful C&R fees. WHY should federal regulations be treated as a states rights issue? Absent federal regulations for federally regulated transactions there would BE NO appraiser licensing to begin with. It ALL started due to FIRREA – NOT because states ever saw a need.

    Note the wording of the Illinois regs. Appears to exempt appraiser firms right along side commercial AMCs. So a national franchise appraiser firm appears to be exempted. For example William Fall Group? MetroWest?

    I fail to see where sharted-hybrid appraisals have taken any meaningful hit at all.

    Also a survey asking appraisers what they charge in FNMA transactions automatically includes fees paid by AMCs since no one is doing any significant work for Fannie without an AMC. Survey size was far too small.

    It also appears Illinois appraisers are either working for minimum wages or they have discovered miraculous ways to cut out 1/4 to 1/3 the time needed for a good appraisal. 1025 for $525. Really? 1073 Condo for less than SFRs? Even though condos by their very nature are more complex forms of ownership with more variables than typical tract sfrs?

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Remember, non qualified persons direct the ‘fee’. Persons whom would never be qualified to even be trainees now ‘manage’ the appraisal process. Professionalism in appraisal distribution is at an all time low. These people don’t return calls or emails, they brush off appraisers, get rude and push fees down. Whatever the lender wants is whatever they do, non accountable non licensed individuals.

  7. Baggins – Look on the bright side…TAF is now FINALLY going to take steps to clarify what “At the time of assignment” means.

    Finally, the ONE thing that has made appraisers jobs near impossible for decades is going to be addressed! Once this is done, protection of the Public Trust will have been forever preserved.

    Ridiculous distractions like adequate fees; independence from interference by interested parties, false complaints, etc. will no longer stand in the way of the most pressing of all issues. WELL DONE TAF!!!


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Hybrids Take Another Hit

by VaCAP Board time to read: 2 min