Appraisal Friendly Legislation
(Taken from the story Working the System-In a Good Way, first published in Working RE Online News Edition.) Appraisers have some work to do. As you may know, H.R. 4173, which passed the House (See HVCC: Appraiser Last Laugh), has numerous appraisal provisions including the termination of the HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) and language in support of appraiser independence and customary and reasonable fees for appraisers. The Senate is taking up its own bill, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. However, none of the appraisal provisions from H.R. 4173 have made it into the Senate version, according to Bill Garber, Director of Government and External Relations, Appraisal Institute. The hope is that the appraisal related provisions will be added back to the Bill in the House-Senate Conference Committee. This is a critical time for appraisers. “We continue to urge the Senate to include the strong appraisal reform provisions found in H.R. 4173 in its version of the regulatory reform legislation,” said Garber. “We expect appraisal reform will be a point of discussion as the Senate considers the bill on the Senate floor or as part of the House-Senate conference committee negotiations.” Visit Govtrack.us for current status on these bills. Visit Senate.gov to find and contact your Senators regarding this appraiser-friendly legislation.
Is your state regulating AMCs? Nine states have enacted regulation for Appraiser Management Companies (AMCs) as of this writing: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Indiana, Utah, Washington and Oregon. Legislation is also pending or has been proposed in over 20 states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. Most AMC regulations, passed and pending, require a company or person performing business as an appraisal management company to register with the state’s finance agency, appraiser board or in Oregon’s case, the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Each AMC will be required to have a system in place to verify any appraiser being added to their panel holds a license in good standing with the state. To view PDFs of the passed bills, please visit WorkingRE.com, Sidebar Info: AMC State Regulations. For model legislation, see AMC Regulation: Good for What Ails You (WorkingRE.com, Library, Issue 23).
AMC Standards of Good Practice
In an effort at self regulation, the Title Appraisal Vendor Management Association (TAVMA) has released a Standards of Good Practice in Appraisal Management. They have outlined various operating and business practices that AMCs can incorporate into their business models to help ensure that quality appraisals are provided in a timely and useful manner. The standards relate to various operational practices while remaining consistent with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and other relevant federal and state statutes and regulations. To read these standards, go to WorkingRE.com, Sidebar Info; TAVMA’s Standards of Good Practice.
AMC Statement of Principles
For their part, appraiser interests have issued a joint statement of principles for AMCs to adopt and advocate. The Appraisal Institute, American Society of Appraisers, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, Inc. and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers have issued the principles which are intended to promote “mutually beneficial business relationships between AMCs and appraisers.” Adherence to these principles will help ensure that quality appraisals are prepared by competent appraisers in a timely manner. To view the principles, please visit WorkingRE.com, Sidebar Info; Appraiser and Management Company Statement of Principles.
Appraiser (AMC) Rater
Get the low-down on AMCs from the appraisers who work with them at the Appraiser Rater section of the OREP/Working RE Appraiser Talkback Blog. Visit WorkingRE.com and click Appraiser Talkback Blog to find this section plus many more comments and insight from fellow appraisers nationwide.
New HVCC Survey: One Year On
Find the new survey at WorkingRE.com. Sample Survey Questions: Are your FHA appraisal fees from AMCs customary and reasonable?; Are you in favor of regulation for AMCs?; Do you have trouble getting paid by AMCs?; Who should pay AMC services?; Has appraisal quality improved since HVCC?; Do you feel pressure from AMCs to “make a deal work”?; Have you been “dropped” by an AMC for not meeting conditions placed upon you that you felt were not in the best interests of the “appraisal”?; Have you found a sufficient number of AMCs that you are comfortable working with?; Do you believe accurate and professionally prepared appraisals are vital to the health of the real estate industry/U.S. economy/home buyers/taxpayers?; Is refusing to work for unrealistically low appraisal fees an effective strategy for raising fees back up to pre-HVCC levels? Much more at WorkingRE.com/New HVCC Survey: One Year On.
New Desktop Appraisal Product: USPAP Compliant?
First published in Working RE’s Online News Edition, this story covers a desktop appraisal product introduced in February 2010 that is the subject of concern among many Working RE readers and OREP.org members. Find background on the product and guidance issued by the North Carolina Appraisal Board at WorkingRE.com, Premium Content; New Desktop Appraisal Product.
Premium Content Stories
OREP members and Working RE subscribers can also find the following stories that did not make it to print, at WorkingRE.com, Premium Content: Five Ways to Grow Business (Online); How Builders Think (in a down market); Back to School: Marketing to Agents; Next Big Thing: Appraising Small Businesses; 2010 Appraiser Survival Kit: FHA; FHA Reader Question & Answer; Better Appraising from the Inside Out.
Change Happens: Working RE/OREP HVCC Talkback Survey- 5,500 Plus!
To date, over 5,500 appraisers have responded to the Working RE/OREP HVCC Appraiser Talkback Survey. Congratulations to all who weighed in! What you told us over the 12 months about your experiences working with AMCs is making a difference- that appraisals go the lowest bidder nearly every time, that quality is down because of that, that pressure to “make a deal work” still exists, that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct has adversely effected the livelihoods of many of the best appraisers in the profession. How is it making a difference? For one thing, you may recall that many “thought leaders,” regulators and others in this profession debunked any negative feedback on HVCC initially. Today, most realize that what you’ve been reporting all alone is accurate. Most, like FHA, now understand appraiser protections are needed. We’ve seen perceptions and regulations change over the last 12 months. There’s more work to do. We will be providing results and analysis from the survey on an ongoing basis. Your participation continues to matter. We encourage you to make your voice heard in the survey. See below for new reader survey questions. (Survey Now Closed)
War on BPOs
Bradford Technologies’ Appraisal World is dedicated to providing appraisers with tools to successfully compete in the valuation market. They declare war on BPOs to support appraisers and their businesses. For this, they launched new software, CompCruncher™ and the Collateral Valuation Report. For more information please visit AppraisalWorld.com or contact Mark Linne at (303) 995-0899.
Appraisal Security Solution
According to OREP/WRE’s HVCC Appraiser Talkback Survey, there is high interest in appraisal security. Ninety-two percent (92%) of survey takers answered “Yes” to the following question: Is being able to be certain that your clients are receiving an unaltered version or “true copy” of the appraisal reports you send them an important issue to you? 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. To learn more, visit OREP.org and click Appraisals and Identity Security Solution (in OREP Benefits). OREP insureds save $70 on the one time sign up; WRE readers who use the code provided at WorkingRE.com save $35.
Working RE Email Edition: You Don’t Know what you Don’t Know
One thing you may not know is that Working RE Online News Edition publishes many stories you can’t find in print. Important news is breaking nearly every week: if you don’t receive WRE’s free Online News Edition you are missing valuable news and analysis specific to appraising. Working RE Online News Edition keeps you informed and competitive. Designed to keep you up to speed between print issues, WRE Online reaches 45,000 appraisers via email twice a month and 16,000 home inspectors once a month. If you’re not reading it, you’re only getting half the story. You can opt in to either edition at WorkingRE.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org with “appraiser” or “inspector” in the subject. Special Offer Editions: In addition to timely information, in the past few months, you could have learned how to expand your business with energy auditing, how to be a better FHA appraiser and received important announcements, discounts and industry initiatives from the leading technology providers in the business. Save money, stay informed, opt in to Working RE Online today and see what the other half knows.
Upgrade to Certified Licensing Level/FHA Coursework
FHA is providing up to 50 percent of loan activity this year according to published reports. If you want to upgrade your license to the required Certified level, now’s the time. OREP is offering discounted approved continuing education through the OREP Education Network/McKissock. You do not have to be an OREP member to enjoy this current opportunity. Bundled coursework of up to 49 hours is available for licensing upgrades and continuing education at a discount through a link at OREP.org, click OREP Benefits then OREP Education Network.
Increase Business: Directory of Appraisal Management Companies – Just Updated!
This directory will save you time searching for Appraisal Management Company (AMC) work. This PDF report is an updated listing of 150 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. “You never know who has work for you,” says appraiser L. Scott who purchased the directory. “I just received it (the directory). It is amazing- some of these AMCs are actually local appraisal companies that I have worked for in the past.” Note: 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 website (click AMC Directory). OREP insureds will find a link to purchase at a group discounted rate ($40). The PDF list will be emailed to you by the author shortly after purchase. Please remember to include a current email address.