Monday, October 18, 2010

Federal Reserve Releases Final Interim Rule For Comment - Customary and Reasonable Appraisal Fees

It's HOT off the press! Here is the Interim Final Rule and Request for Public Comment from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to amend Regulation Z, Truth in Lending.

For immediate release:

The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced an interim final rule to ensure that real estate appraisers are free to use their independent professional judgment in assigning home values without influence or pressure from those with interests in the transactions. The rule also seeks to ensure that appraisers receive customary and reasonable payments for their services.

The interim final rule includes several provisions that protect the integrity of the appraisal process when a consumer's home is securing the loan. The interim final rule:

  • Prohibits coercion and other similar actions designed to cause appraisers to base the appraised value of properties on factors other than their independent judgment;
  • Prohibits appraisers and appraisal management companies hired by lenders from having financial or other interests in the properties or the credit transactions;
  • Prohibits creditors from extending credit based on appraisals if they know beforehand of violations involving appraiser coercion or conflicts of interest, unless the creditors determine that the values of the properties are not materially misstated;
  • Requires that creditors or settlement service providers that have information about appraiser misconduct file reports with the appropriate state licensing authorities; and
  • Requires the payment of reasonable and customary compensation to appraisers who are not employees of the creditors or of the appraisal management companies hired by the creditors.
The interim final rule is required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Compliance will be mandatory on April 1, 2011. Public comments are due 60 days after the interim final rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected soon.

The Board is publishing for public comment an interim final rule amending Regulation Z (Truth in Lending). The interim rule implements Section 129E of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), which was enacted on July 21, 2010, as Section 1472 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. TILA Section 129E establishes new requirements for appraisal independence for consumer credit transactions secured by the consumer’s principal dwelling. The amendments are designed to ensure that real estate appraisals used to support creditors’ underwriting decisions are based on the appraiser’s independent professional judgment, free of any influence or pressure that may be exerted by parties that have an interest in the transaction. The amendments also seek to ensure that creditors and their agents pay customary and reasonable fees to appraisers. The Board seeks comment on all aspects of the interim final rule.
HERE is a link to a pdf of the rule. I have also posted a copy of the pdf on SCRIBD. That is available after the jump.

Most appraisers have been expressing interest and concern about how the Federal Reserve Board of Governors would deal with the section of the law addressing Customary and Reasonable Fees. There's quite a bit to chew on in there. To save time, read pages 57 - 59 for an overview, and pages 124 - 130 for the rule.

What do you think?

Just in case the link above goes bad, here's another copy of the notice.
Appraisal Independence FedRes Regs

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