Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pounding the Rock

About a month ago, in a post "About the HVCC and AMCs" we linked to a BusinessWeek article about Appraisal Managment Companies and how the Home Valuation Code of Conduct came to be and that one of the major impacts will be the funnelling of thousands of appraisal assignments through these unregulated enterprises.

It took some time, but some others are getting the memo and expressing concern.

Are Subprime Lenders Up to New Tricks?
Posted By: Diana Olick

Several weeks ago I reported a story about how former subprime lenders were starting new careers in loan modification companies. These are companies that promise, for a fee, to get you through all the red tape with your lender and get you the best modification money can buy. Some of the companies are legitimate, but many more are not. Many are scamming already-scammed borrowers, taking the money and providing no real services.

Then today I read an article in BusinessWeek that literally gets my stomach acid going.

It's reassuring to see that Ms. Olick has discovered that several banks actually operate their own AMCs. My favorite line?

"Sounds to me like this new "code of conduct" managed to take all the bad kids off the principal's bench and assign them to hall monitor duty. "
It's about time some folks outside of the real estate brokerage, real estate appraisal and mortgage brokerage professions start to notice the heavy handed implications of the HVCC. Keep pounding the rock. Alert your local media of the negative consequences and increased costs to borrowers and consumers if the HVCC is implemented as written.

If you believe strongly, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) is accepting contributions for their legal battle.

NAMB President Marc Savitt said in the announcement that the HVCC will drive up costs for consumers and push small businesses out of the market, and that it’s critical for mortgage and real estate professionals to maintain an appropriate level of contact with appraisers to ensure appraisal quality and independence.

We want it thrown out. Our suit will be in court probably within 10 days or so. We’re going to ask for an injunction to have this thing put on hold until it can be heard by the court. Especially with everything going on – we’re trying to restart the housing industry – this is going to delay the process and add cost to consumers.

Let me give you one example. Appraisers can’t work for half price. They’re hurting now. So if you’re making $400 on an appraisal now, and the appraisal management company is going to pay you $200, you’re going to raise your prices. So who ends up paying for that? The consumer.You’re going to have a lot of lost time because you’ll have to have longer lock-in periods. Lock-ins are going to cost more money because they’ll be for longer periods of time.


Anonymous said...

Frank, I have a question about automated appraisals. I am in the process or purchasing a home in FL. The first appraisal came in at 380,000 on a 600,000 contract. The bank performed an automated appraisal which came in at 700,000. Do you think this is a fair valuation and what recourse do I have to get an accurate appraisal?

Frank Gregoire said...

Since I have no way of contacting you, please email me at

You may do that or follow the links to my company page for my telephone numbers