Appraiser Talkback Blog and Survey: Only 4 percent (4%) of survey takers so far say they “never” experience unrealistic time pressure from AMCs, (“given the scope of the assignment”). To the follow-up question: “Does the time pressure result in a product that is less reliable for the end user, compared to a report where adequate time had been allowed?”: Only 25 percent (25%) answer “never.” Does this mean that time pressure does result in lower quality reports much of the time? What’s your experience?
To the question, “Overall, are you satisfied with the AMCs you do work with?”: Only 30 percent (30%) say they are “never” satisfied, with 70 percent (70%) being satisfied overall, at least some of the time. Is the key finding the “good” AMCs to work with and firing the others? What do you say? Take the survey today—even if you don’t work with AMCs, there are questions about Fannie’s new 1004MC form, the new education requirements, copyright and security issues and the future of the profession. The impact of HVCC on the profession and on your practice will be published nationally and read by regulators, legislators and other interested parties. Find links at WorkingRE.com and OREP.org to Talkback Blog and Survey.
“Appraiser Rater” of AMCs: Get the lowdown on AMCs from the appraisers who work with them at the Appraiser Rater section of the OREP/Working RE Talkback Blog. Enter the debate and stay connected about HVCC, AMCs and the state of the profession. Visit WorkingRE.com and click Appraiser Talkback Blog.
Petitions to Reconsider HVCC: (WorkingRE.com, Sidebar Info: HVCC Petitions)
Freddie Mac Clears the Air: For a clear and helpful Q&A on the HVCC that separates fact from fiction, see WorkingRE.com, Sidebar Info: Freddie Mac HVCC Q&A. Also find in Sidebar: NAR letter.
Free Fannie HVCC Webinar: Please visit WorkingRE.com for the link to Fannie Mae’s newest guidance on the HVCC – a recorded web seminar you can access for free (Sidebar Info, Fannie Mae’s Guidance on HVCC).
What Regulators Think: You will find posted at WorkingRE.com a response from the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) to an inquiry made on behalf of an appraiser by Peter J. Visclosky (D – IN) from the U.S. House of Representatives (Sidebar Info: FHFA Letter Regarding HVCC). The response letter from FHFA states in part: “The Code (HVCC) does not alter the fundamental business models that exist in the appraisal industry, nor does it alter the fees or charges of any participants in the valuation system.”
FHA: Automatic Roster, Renewal instructions
FHA appraisals are not affected by HVCC and business is good. The FHA and the Appraisal Subcommittee are working together to create a seamless renewal process for appraisers on the FHA Roster, according to Donna Tomposki, Director of the Home Valuation Policy Division within FHA’s Office of Single Family Program Development. If an appraiser’s license/cert. number is an exact match to the National Registry at the ASC.gov (Appraisal Subcommittee), the renewal will be reflected automatically on the FHA Appraiser Roster within 24 to 48 hours of when it is updated on the National Registry. Many appraisers have expressed confusion on how to ensure their information conforms. For step-by-step guidance directly from FHA on how to ensure that your Roster information matches the ASC, visit FHA Seamless Renewal Process, WorkingRE.com, Premium Content (unlocked).
Directory of Appraisal Management Companies
This directory will save you time searching for Appraisal Management Company (AMC) work. This PDF report is an updated listing of 140 AMCs. The directory is compiled and updated by a fellow appraiser and marketed through OREP/Working RE. It is designed to save you the search time of finding the companies that use appraisers nationwide. There is no guarantee of work and you will have to apply to each AMC, just like with any lender. The price is $49 and can be purchased at WorkingRE.com or OREP.org via a secure Web site here. OREP insureds will find a link to purchase at a group discounted rate ($40). A PDF list will be e-mailed to you by the author shortly after purchase. Please remember to include a current e-mail.
Bank Appraisers needed Valuation opportunities for Bank REO Properties
Amid the current housing market crisis, the nation’s banks and financial institutions need qualified real estate valuation experts for third-party services on their foreclosed and troubled real estate properties, both residential and commercial. This is one intermediary source that matches work with appraisers and other vendors. There is a onetime registration fee. Orders are awarded on a bidding system, so there is no guarantee of work. Appraisers/vendors keep 100 percent of their negotiated fees. Through an affinity relationship, OREP insureds qualify for a $115 discount at sign up. Working RE readers also qualify for a $75 discount under the same agreement. To learn more and to obtain the group discount code(s), please visit OREP.org or WorkingRE.com and click Bank Appraisers Needed. You will find links for more product information as well. (No Longer Available)
Security Solution: Protecting Appraisals & identity
We learned in the last issue (Altered Appraisal Reports) how vulnerable appraisal reports are to being sliced, diced and, in some cases, plundered after they leave your desktop. A new technology allows appraisers to accurately associate their identity and credentials to an unalterable “true copy” appraisal report using fingerprint technology. Appraisers now are able to track all those who view their “true copy” appraisal reports. The system provides guaranteed assurance of the authentication, security and accountability of appraisal reports without impeding existing technology. See page 30 for more or visit OREP.org and click Appraisals and Identity Security Solution (in Benefits). (No Longer Available)
WorkingRE.com information Destination!
WorkingRE.com is an information destination for tens of thousands of appraisers and inspectors every month who peruse the special features, sidebars and 200-plus story library. On average in 2008, 62,000 unique visitors perused the online magazine, sidebars, premium content and story library every month, as measured by Urchin analytics (a Google product). Come see what you’re missing! WRE is published by OREP, E&O insurance experts for real estate professionals. Complete access to WorkingRE.com premium content and story library requires a paid subscription and/or is a free benefit with the purchase of E&O through OREP.
Why Canceling E&O Insurance to Save Money Can Cost You
If your business is slow and you are considering letting your errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy lapse (not renewing) or canceling mid-term to cut expenses, consider this: if you do so, you risk losing coverage for all the appraisals/inspections you completed in previous years. Most every E&O insurance policy is Claims Made and works the same way: if you let your policy lapse, you may be left unprotected should a claim arise from a past report. Switching companies is no problem as most provide prior acts to new clients for free, as long as you make the switch on or before your policy expires. As most (appraiser) claims take several years to surface, letting your insurance lapse or not renewing could be very costly indeed. If you are leaving the profession “tail coverage” is available (call your agent). If you are continuing to work, it pays to keep your E&O in place. To understand E&O insurance more fully, including a list of “Dos and Don’ts,” see Cutting Expenses as Business Slows: Why Canceling Your E&O Can Really Cost You . If your premium has shot up, don’t give up until you call OREP—now in its eighth year: (888) 347-5273.
Feeling a Little Green? Working RE Online
If you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, here’s a painless way to help: You now have the option of opting out of the print version of Working RE in favor of reading it online, saving trees, energy and the other natural resources required to manufacture and deliver the magazine. Next time you’re online, peruse the current issue (the one in your hands) at WorkingRE.com. Just click the cover image and register once with an e-mail address and password. You will be notified via e-mail when each new edition publishes. If you like the new format, simply include your name and mailing address in the login form to be removed from the print mailing. Each current edition of WRE will be posted free online from now on in PDF format. Tell your friends and colleagues!
Working RE’s (free) Email Edition
If you don’t receive WRE’s Online Edition, you’re only getting half the story. WRE Online reaches 40,000–45,000 appraisers twice a month and 16,000–18,000 home inspectors once a month via e-mail. You can opt in to either edition at WorkingRE.com or email email@example.com with “appraiser” or “inspector” e-mail in the subject. It’s free, packed with timely news, and your information is never sold or traded. It’s what the other half knows.
Dealing with AMC user Agreements
To make hard times harder, appraisers are facing new, more unreasonable user agreements that attempt to shift liability from the AMC/entity to the appraiser if anything goes wrong with the loan, no matter who is at fault. Appraisers must sign these agreements to continue working with the AMC.
One agreement contains a “buyback” provision where the appraiser: “agrees that if a mortgage lender is required to repurchase a mortgage loan for any reason in any way related to [among other things] . . . any appraisal report submitted by Appraiser pursuant to this Agreement, Appraiser shall pay [AMC/Entity] an amount equal to the repurchase price paid by such mortgage lender to repurchase such mortgage loan.” The appraiser is further required to “pay the reasonable attorney’s fees of [AMC/Entity] incurred in enforcing Appraiser’s obligations hereunder, including, with [sic] limitation, the obligation of Appraiser to pay [AMC/Entity] an amount equal to the repurchase price of a mortgage loan as set forth above.”
“This agreement basically says I’ll buy back a home if Fannie wants it bought back,” said Jack Towers, an appraiser in Texas. “It is business suicide to sign the agreement. There is a home I did an appraisal on nine years ago that is in foreclosure. Most every appraiser probably has at least one home they did a report on in foreclosure. The AMCs are trying to make appraisers responsible for everything and it’s not right.”
Not much has changed since WRE broke this story last fall: signing these agreements does not abrogate an appraiser’s own E&O insurance coverage; coverage remains in place. However, E&O insurance does not typically provide coverage for third parties, such as an AMC. If an appraiser agrees to hold an AMC harmless, they will be bearing the cost out of their own pocket. This makes any such agreement a business decision; is the continued work from the AMC worth the increased liability burden? Many appraisers say it is not; agreements such as this one are potentially “game enders” for appraisers should they be held to the terms. Even the most careful appraisers say they will not sign because it holds them accountable even if they are not at fault. See FNC-Appraiser Firestorm (Again) at WorkingRE.com, Library, Volume 20.
Higher 1004MC fees – Just Ask?
According to appraiser Dan Umstead, he asked and is receiving a raise due to the complexity of the new 1004MC form. “We started putting the comment All Lenders Please Take Notice on our e-mails about four to six weeks prior to the 1004MC taking effect. I thought it would be good to let our customers know. It has been very effective. Our clients, mainly banks, correspondent lenders and brokers, have understood the need to increase fees,” Umstead said. “We are a small company with just myself and my brother as appraisers. We are both Certified and have been appraising for 14 and 16 years, respectively.”
All Lenders Please Take Notice
“On April 1, 2009, all Fannie Mae loans will require the addition of the appraisal form 1004MC. For any appraisal report that this is required for prior to or after April 1st, our firm will be charging an additional fee for the form inclusion for all types of appraisal reports. All standard appraisal fees will be $$$. Please understand that this new form takes a significant account of the subject’s surrounding market conditions that will be extracted from raw MLS data. We expect numerous misunderstandings of the data by inexperienced underwriters and will likely delay or possibly hinder the loan process. Our firm will provide the best service to work with all clients and lenders on understanding the findings of this new form. For a blank version and FAQ regarding the 1004MC, please visit this site: efanniemae.com/sf/formsdocs/forms/1004mc.jsp.”