Monday, January 26, 2009

It's time to Regulate Appraisal Management Companies

Appraisal Management Companies typically administer a network of certified and licensed appraisers to fulfill real estate appraisal assignments on behalf of mortgage lending institutions. They often recruit, qualify and verify licensure for their panel of appraisers.

One major problem with Appraisal Management Companies is they are completely outside the regulatory loop controlling real estate appraisers and protecting the public. No state or Federal agency is tasked with the regulation of Appraisal Management Companies. In fact, there is a documented case of Florida Appraisal Management Company owned and operated by an individual that surrendered his Certified Residential Appraiser credential for permanent revocation to avoid prosecution for several complaints. This individual, in fact, was the subject of at least 10 complaints by consumers, lending institutions and other appraisers. His discipline prior to the surrender for permanent revocation included fines, probation, completion of education and a period of suspension.

Appraisers, appraisal associations, the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board and the Florida Association of Realtors believes the failure to regulate Appraisal Management Companies is a danger to the public. Their concern is heightened by the pending implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct discussed in a prior post.

Thankfully, the Florida Association of Realtors has stepped up to the plate and stated their support of an effort to establish regulations for Appraisal Management Companies. During their January 26, 2009 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Florida Association of Realtors passed a motion to support the registration and regulation of Appraisal Management Companies operating in Florida. Draft legislation has been written by a concerned group of appraisers consisting of members of the Appraisal Institute, the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and the Florida Association of Realtors. The Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board supports the concept as well.

The Florida Chapters of the Appraisal Institute will take the lead in securing sponsors in the Florida House and Senate. We will do our best to keep you apprised of the progress.

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