"You can't make this up," New York appraiser Jonathan Miller riffed in his entertaining blog, Matrix, back in June.
Miller was recounting the frustration of a real estate salesperson who was trying to refinance her own New York apartment with her current lender. According to Miller's telling, the out-of-town appraiser walked into the apartment, threw his hands in the air, and asked "How am I supposed to appraise this thing?"
"The HVCC sets up AMCs as the guardians of appraiser independence, and isn't it ironic that the investigation that prompted the rules centered on an AMC allegedly manipulating the system to please its customer?"
For the largest lenders, AMCs are simply the way business is done today. "When you're ordering thousands of appraisals every single day, the risk to you is extraordinary," says Jeff Schurman, executive director of the Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association in Pittsburgh, which represents a variety of settlement service vendors, including large AMCs. "Would it make sense to hand those off to thousands of [independent] appraisers?"