Tuesday, August 23, 2011

American Banker: Appraisal Management Companies Create More Problems

Here'a an opinion piece from American Banker - Appraisal Management Companies Create More Problems Than They Solve. Sure, a couple of the details about the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), and lenders being required to place their appraisal orders with Appraisal Management Companies are not quite right, but it's hard to argue with this comment:

When the final chapter on this housing crisis is written, I hope that I am still around to see those who were responsible for its cause and the feeble attempts to fix it held responsible.

One of the worst fixes is the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. Enacted in 2009, HVCC was spearheaded by then New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. His objective was to rein in appraisal abuses by the lenders sending loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
The author, Richard Booth, fails to point out the HVCC was negated by Dodd-Frank, but let's face it, the replacement has the same effect on appraisers and consumers.

Today many of these AMCs are directly or partially owned by mortgage wholesalers and large national banks. They hide behind the firewall of an independent company, but if they own that company, either in whole or a piece, who are they kidding?

Imagine needing a medical doctor and having to go through an intermediary who will decide which doctor you may visit, and that doctor is chosen primarily on his fee charged, not expertise.

Consumers are paying more for residential appraisals. The appraisers who are doing the work are receiving a fraction of what they once earned. Unfortunately this structure has chased away many good appraisers who are unwilling to do more work for much less money

and
Since the HVCC was enacted I have seen a steady decline in the quality of residential appraisal reports. I have witnessed appraisers who are traveling from out-of-state and without any basic knowledge of the subject community. Understanding the area in which you have accepted an assignment is a basic rule of appraising.
Appraisers are under pressure from their new bosses at the AMCs. An extremely knowledgeable appraiser confided in me that he is forced to produce more comparables within a specific time period, judge the future value of a home in a declining market and most recently provide aerial photographs for the subject property.



Read the entire article HERE.
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