Friday, July 24, 2009

FHFA - Lame Support for HVCC

On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), released a NOTICE with the title "Strengthening Appraiser Independence and Improving the Valuation Process - Update on Enterprise Implementation of Home Valuation Code of Conduct".

Apparently the release is in response to the drubbing the HVCC has been receiving from nearly every segment of the real estate industry. It's a lame response that glosses over many of the legitimate concerns expressed about the HVCC and the manner of implementation. The FHFA conveniently absolves the GSEs of any responsibility and pats them on the back for their recent actions in issuing alerts to mortgage lenders advocating the use of qualified and experienced real estate appraisers. Appraiser Active is not buying it.

Where was the GSE concern about qualified and experienced appraisers prior to May 1, 2009? As is often mentioned in defense of the HVCC, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the OCC, the FED, the Comptroller of Currency, the FDIC and the NCUA and the OTS all have standards for appraisals, appraisers and maintaining appraiser independence. Who has been asleep at the switch for all these years? Have any heads rolled? We must have missed that.

Completely ignored in the HVCC and any communication from the FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the New York Attorney General since the announcement of the agreement is any discussion of penalties for the alleged wrongdoers (WAMU, eAppraiseIT) that prompted the investigation and lawsuit. What's up with that?

There is much more to be said. Unfortunately, it's Friday and I've got to get an appraisal out the door TODAY.

Check back for an update to this post.