Left to right: Kemrie, Cale, Jacques. Frank is the graybeard in the center.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Left to right: Kemrie, Cale, Jacques. Frank is the graybeard in the center.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Some of the NAR Appraisal Committee Leadership and Staff are already participating. In addition to visiting the NAR Appraisal Blog, Appraisal Insight, it's another way to keep informed.
NAR has set up a Facebook page for appraisers. This will allow appraisers to network with each-other and hopefully help the profession stay cohesive. You can access the Facebook page, by clicking the link below:
Appraiser Facebook Page
For those who are not members of Facebook, I would encourage you to sign up. It is a great, fun way to stay in touch with friends, relatives and co-workers. Also, for those appraisers who are clamoring for a
union, this is a great place to start. I'm reminded of a song from the musical Newsies, "We're a union, just by saying so."
Legislators Crack Down on Appraisal
Management Companies(KCPW News) Utah legislators are cracking down on appraisal management companies in an effort to help the housing market. The Utah House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would create a Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Bill Sponsor Michael Morley said some appraisers are not disclosing the market value of a home, but what the lender or mortgage broker wants the home to be valued at."This would simply place a new industry that has a great deal of power over the values that are being placed on real estate under the same requirements that mortgage brokers, and lending institutions, and appraisers are already subject to," Morley said.Morley said appraisal management companies often hire inexperienced appraisers who are susceptible to influence from lenders or mortgage brokers. And Representative Jack Draxler said regulating appraisers is important to the integrity of the housing industry.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Back in January we discussed the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) in THIS POST. Additional information about opposition to the HVCC from Federal Bank Regulators was provided HERE.
Now, we provide this release from the National Association of Mortgage Brokers:
“The HVCC does nothing but drive up costs for consumers and push small businesses out of the market,” said NAMB President, Marc Savitt. “The HVCC will drastically reduce the ability of mortgage brokers to provide consumers with an efficient and cost-effective means of obtaining a mortgage.”
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
From left to right: Frank Gregoire, Rebecca Chase, Virginia Semon, Richard Peek, Robert Rosenau
Friday, February 13, 2009
Their meetings are open. The next is Friday, February 20, 2009 near the Orlando Airport. The cost is only $50.00 and that includes lunch. It would be GREAT to see you there.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Housing Appraisals: Still Blowing Bubbles?
Third-party appraisal managers are supposed to eliminate pressure from Lenders to inflate housing values. But unscrupulous subprime players are Crowding into the market
by Chad Terhune
Home appraisers played one of the less well-known roles in pumping up home values and contributing to the current financial crisis. Retained by Lenders or brokers, they frequently colluded—explicitly or tacitly—in Overestimating the worth of houses to justify large mortgages and the Lucrative fees each member of the real estate food chain received at Closing.
Faced with investigations and lawsuits, the home-finance industry has Agreed to a government-approved code of conduct for appraisals that takes Effect on May 1. The new rules promote the use of middlemen between the Nation's 60,000 freelance appraisers and the lenders and brokers. The Middlemen, known as appraisal management companies, or AMCs, are supposed to prevent lenders and brokers from pressuring appraisers to exaggerate assessments. But among those joining the swelling ranks of this formerly niche business are some of the same subprime players that helped inflate the real estate bubble in the first place.
The new rules grew out of an investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. His probe found that one of the biggest companies in the appraisal business, First American (FAF) in Santa Ana, Calif., allowed the huge savings and loan Washington Mutual to exert pressure for higher valuations. Cuomo sued First American's eAppraiseIT unit in November 2007 for fraudulent and deceptive practices. The suit, which is pending in New York state court, spurred the drafting of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE), now controlled by the federal government, helped negotiate the code with others in the industry and have said they won't buy loans after May 1 that don't adhere to it. Fannie and Freddie have wide influence because they purchase a large share of all U.S. mortgages, providing fresh cash to lenders.Right here in Florida, an Appraisal Management Company is owned and operated by an individual that surrendered his Certified Residential Appraiser credential for permanent revocation.
Larry Holzer surrendered his Florida appraisal license (page 3) in April 2007 after regulators there found he had made numerous misstatements in an appraisal report for a $250,000 home. In a letter to Florida regulators, Holzer agreed there were some "data discrepancies in the body of the report." He said he was distracted at the time by personal issues.
Now Holzer is back in business, running an AMC in Clearwater called Global Appraisal Solutions. The company promises same-day inspections and delivery of a report within 24 hours. In an e-mail, he defended his credentials: "Appraisers and former appraisers are among the more qualified people in appraisal management," he wrote. "When or if such time should come where appraisal management companies are regulated, I can assure you that Global Appraisal Solutions shall be compliant."
Joni Herndon, chairwoman of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, which handled the Holzer investigation, says a revolving door is allowing dubious characters into the AMC market. Speaking generally, she says: "It is not serving the public to revoke their license for dishonest conduct and then allow them to have an appraisal management company. We need to close that loophole.".
Hopefully, bills will be introduced in the 2009 Florida Legislative session to require the regulation of Appraisal Management Companies. Lenders, borrowers and consumers need protection from folks with a record of illegal behavior
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Hagens Berman Files Class Action Against Wells Fargo and Rels Valuation
2009-02-02 18:15 ET - News Release
Homeowners claim companies duped consumers with grossly inflated charges.
Two homeowners in Phoenix recently filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo and its appraisal subsidiary Rels Valuation, claiming the mortgage giant illegally rigged the appraisal process and referred appraisal business to its subsidiary in a scheme to boost profits at the expense of homeowners.
The lawsuit, filed under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act (RICO), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and state law, claims that Wells Fargo requires homeowners to use Rels Valuation for appraisals. In return, Rels Valuation gives Wells Fargo visibility into and control over the appraisal process.
The suit claims Rels Valuation subcontracts the work to independent appraisers, demanding large price concessions then charges homeowners more than double the actual cost of the appraisal.