11th March 2015

MetLife Home Loans to pay $123.5M in mortgage resolution

MetLife Home Loans to pay $123.5M in mortgage resolution

Admitted it knowingly made faulty mortgages


MetLife Home Loans agreed to pay $123.5 million to resolve allegations it knowingly made mortgages insured by the government that failed to meet federal underwriting standards, an article in The Wall Street Journal said.

The deal between the MetLife unit and the Justice Department involves loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration.

MetLife admitted as part of the settlement that its banking subsidiary had been aware that a substantial percentage of loans weren’t eligible for FHA mortgage insurance due to its own internal quality-control findings. These quality-control findings were routinely shared with MetLife Bank’s senior managers, including the chief executive officer and board of directors, the Justice Department said.

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6th March 2015

Registration Opens for AI Annual Meeting

Registration Opens for AI Annual Meeting

On March 3, the Appraisal Institute opened registration for its 2015 Annual Meeting, which takes place July 27-29 at the Sheraton Dallas in Texas. Interested individuals are encouraged to register today to receive the special rate before it expires March 30.
AI previously announced that Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photographer, author and Academy Award-nominated film director will be the keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting. Jones will talk about the creative process and how it helped shape his professional career, including 20 years at National Geographic magazine, shooting advertising campaigns for such clients as United Airlines and Dewar’s Scotch, earning two Academy Award nominations and authoring nine books.
The Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting will feature a wide variety of panel discussions, and provide opportunities for networking, continuing education (with the chance to earn Appraisal Institute and state continuing education credit), an awards dinner, vendor exhibits and plenty of options to explore Dallas.
Learn more about the 2015 AI Annual Meeting.

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4th March 2015

Mortgage Rates Rise for Third Consecutive Week

Mortgage Rates Rise for Third Consecutive Week

Mortgage rates rise for third consecutive month.

MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Feb 26, 2015) – Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher amid solid housing data on new home sales and house price appreciation. Regardless, fixed-rate mortgages rates still remain near their late May, 2013 lows.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.80 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending February 26, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.76 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.37 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.07 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.05 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.99 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.97 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.05 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.44 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.45 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.52 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates rose for the third consecutive week in February following solid housing data. New home sales [PDF] beat market expectations at an annual pace of 481,000 units, down slightly from 482,000 units in December, but up 5.3 percent from a year ago. Also, the S&P/Case-Shiller National House Price Index [PDF] rose 4.6 percent over the 12-months ending in December 2014.”

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for one in four home borrowers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. Additional information is available at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blogFreddieMac.com/blog.

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17th February 2015

Free Webinar – Thu, Feb 19, 2015 – How To Get More Non-Lender Work in 2015

If you’re interested in learning more about how to ‘Become a Happy, Proud and Wealthy Appraiser Again’ as well as how to ‘Build Your Appraisal Business’ around more Non-Lender work then join us for a FREE content packed webinar where we’ll show you how to begin making a major shift in your business!

Free Appraiser Webinar
Get off that damned roller coaster ride from hell!

In this free seminar you are going to learn a bunch of valuable marketing techniques we use to get more orders.

Please register to only one of the webinars on 01/15, you have 2 different times to select from.  These are in Pacific Standard Time. 

Thu, Feb 19, 2015 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PST


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29th January 2015

Collateral Underwriter is Here

Collateral Underwriter info for AppraisersThere is a lot of information out there about the Collateral Underwriter and how it will affect appraisals.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to contact appraisers about their questions and how it is going to affect the appraisal industry.

I reached out to Ryan Landquist about possibly hosting a webinar to answer the questions of appraisers and how to get prepared for this new change.

What I really think is that if you are already implementing common appraisal procedures you really should not be too worried about the upcoming changes.  By having a highly defensible report with explanations to your report and comparable property selections that you probably won’t have to worry about collateral underwriting conditions.

We really don’t know at this point if the AMCs are going to require specific explanations to your comparable selection.  I am sure there will be some companies that go overboard, and you will probably have to weed out the companies that are just not worth your time.

Some tidbits from Ryan’s article:

5 things to know about Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter:

  1. Fannie loans only: CU is only used for loans geared toward Fannie Mae, and not for divorce appraisals or any other private appraisals. CU is also not used on 2-4 unit properties or “drive-by” appraisals.
  2. Not FHA/VA: CU is not used for FHA and VA loans (I’d be shocked if they didn’t adopt it later though).
  3. Commentary: The CU tool does not read any of the commentary by the appraiser, which can be key to understanding comp selection, adjustments, and the final value.
  4. Neighborhood boundaries: CU uses census block groups for data analysis instead of specific neighborhood boundaries that may be readily understood in the market. Pulling data from the right neighborhood can make a HUGE difference in a valuation, don’t you think?
  5. Adjustments & comps: Fannie Mae has heaps of data to compare to any new appraisals that come into the system. Not only do they know about sales in the neighborhood, but they also know which comps other appraisers have used, and even value adjustments given by other appraisers. CU knows if an appraiser says a comp is in good condition (C3) in one report, but then says it is in fair condition (C5) in a different report. CU will pay special attention to comp selection, adjustments, and the final reconciliation of value.

So we are looking at a lot of Data Mining for information which will lead you to the potential impact of the Collateral Underwriting system:

Potential Impact of Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter:

  1. Unknown: The truth is we don’t really know how CU will impact the market. It could be a game-changer for the mortgage industry and appraisal profession, or it could feel like the same old same old.
  2. Slower loan process: As CU is implemented, expect a learning curve, and thereby a slower loan processing time. It’s going to take some time for lenders, appraisers, and underwriters to work out the bugs.
  3. More conservative appraisals: One of the unintended consequences of CU may be more conservative appraisals.
  4. Headaches for appraisers: The fear among appraisers is that lender clients will now come back to say, “CU has identified 20 other comps in this census block. Why did the you not use these?” Hopefully that will not happen (assuming the appraiser did a good job of course), but increased scrutiny will be bound to cause appraisers to spend more time responding to CU.
  5. Higher cost for consumers: If CU does end up putting more work on appraisers, it may lead to higher appraisal fees. After all, more work requires more time (which is money).

Ryan offers some advice in the following areas that I hope we can discuss in the future with a webinar to discuss all these topics:

  1. Real Estate Agents: Make sure your clients know how strict the underwriting process has become for appraisals. I’m not saying you need to sit down with your clients and watch Fannie Mae’s CU tutorial (that’s probably a quick way to lose clients). All I’m saying is this is one more reason to price properties correctly since the appraisal is going to be even more scrutinized now. Also, if you accept an offer that is clearly out sync with neighborhood values, the lender is going to have a ton of data at their disposal about neighborhood values – even if the appraiser happens to “hit the number” somehow.
  2. Appraisers: Many appraisers are gravely concerned about CU, though many lenders have been reaching out to say, “Hey, we’ve already been scrutinizing you, so don’t worry about this.” Only time will tell how this will impact business and the industry. All we can do is choose the best available comparables and make reasonable market-supported adjustments. There will be a learning curve to know how to avoid red flags so to speak, but explaining why we made adjustments and supporting those adjustments will be a big theme this year for lender work. The bottom line is appraisers will need to add more commentary in their reports. If you are making the same adjustments in every single report regardless of the location of the property, it’s time to stop that because adjustments vary depending on the neighborhood. If you are struggling to support adjustments, it may be a good year to find a mentor as well as take some quality continuing education. If you do not know how to graph sales, make that a top goal this year. On the other hand, if you are an experienced appraiser, find ways to be a mentor to other appraisers by answering their questions – whether on forums or in person. As I said in 10 things appraisers can do to improve the appraisal industry, “Too many appraisers think they are right about everything, but at the end of the day being right doesn’t help anyone grow. Find ways to share your knowledge and build others up.” Lastly, if it ends up costing you more time to do your work, it may be time to consider raising your rates.


If you would be interested in hearing a webinar discussing these topics, please use the comment function below. If you would like to read the entire article at Ryan’s website, please click here.

Thanks again!


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13th January 2015

Collateral Underwriter Information for Appraisers

Collateral Underwriter info for AppraisersIf you are looking for information regarding the new Collateral Underwriter System, I have compiled some links to articles and information:


Fannie Mae



Fannie Mae Downloadable Faq









We really don’t know how this is going to affect all of us until it is implemented.  I really don’t want to add to the speculation at this point as it could be all for nothing.

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19th December 2014

Watch out for this advice from the The Wall St Journal

Now we have another thing to watch out fore.  Informing the appraiser…


Bad Advice from The Wall St Journal

Low appraisals are rare for Bank of America ’s jumbo mortgages compared with two years ago, says John Schleck, senior vice president, centralized sales executive for Bank of America. “With rates this low and values pretty stable, it may be a good time for a borrower to step in before values go higher,” he adds.

If an appraisal does come in lower than expected, here are a few tactics a borrower can try:

Higher LTV jumbos. More lenders, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo , are offering jumbo mortgages at 85% loan-to-value ratio.

• Inform the appraiser. While federal regulations forbid lenders from interacting directly with an appraiser, a refinancing homeowner can drop the needed loan amount into conversation during an appraiser visit, Mr. Carson says. Real-estate agents also can provide information about a property to the appraiser.

Rebuttal. A last recourse is for the lender to file a rebuttal to the appraisal- management company, pointing out errors and suggesting alternate comparables. However, these rarely result in an amended appraisal, Mr. Carson says.

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18th December 2014

Report: Housing Market Improving, But Slowly

While a 2015 housing industry forecast released Dec. 3 by real estate site Trulia noted that the Great Recession is still casting a shadow over the housing market, it also revealed that three of five major measures for tracking housing health are getting back to normal.
1. Home price gains will slow but affordability will worsen
Price gains slowed in 2014 and Trulia predicted more of the same in 2015. The slowdown has been especially sharp in metros that had a severe housing bust followed by a big rebound. Now, prices nationwide are just 3 percent undervalued relative to fundamentals, which leaves fewer bargains and little room for prices to rise without becoming overvalued. Also, with consumers expecting 2015 to be a good year to sell a home, more properties could be foisted on the market and further cool prices. Despite slowing home price gains, affordability could worsen in 2015 because even small price increases could outpace income growth and because the strengthening economy could increase mortgage rates.
2. The rental market will stay strong
Rental supply will increase in 2015, and demand will stay strong, driven by young people moving out of their parents’ homes; recent job gains for 25-34 year-olds should lead to this rise in household formation. The 2014 apartment construction boom will mean more supply in 2015 as multifamily properties are completed. The expected surge of renters probably will cause the homeownership rate to fall.
3. Single-family starts and new home sales could disappoint
While apartment construction is breaking records, single-family housing starts and new home sales are still only half of normal levels — although they’re expected to improve in 2015. The vacancy rate for single-family homes is still near its recession high, which discourages new construction, but as the apartment construction boom has shown, when there’s demand, builders will build. The bottom line is that buyer demand for single-family homes hasn’t recovered enough to support near-normal levels of single-family starts or new home sales.


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8th December 2014

Appraisal hypocrisy hits home

By Jeff Lazerson, Special to USA TODAY

repost from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/12/06/appraisal-real-estate/19906355/

Before the mortgage meltdown and the resulting Great Recession, you paid a reasonable price for an appraisal, and your loan officer typically received a reasonable opinion of value that led to your purchase or refinance getting funded.

Not so much anymore. Swift and furious post-crisis reaction from regulators gave birth to the 2009 Home Valuation Code of Conduct or HVCC, and the federal Dodd-Frank Law, passed in 2010, (which made HVCC statutorily mute) making things far worse for you in terms of appraisal cost and resulting valuations.

Appraisal charges have gone up roughly 33%. “Appraisals were $375 before, and since HVCC the prices went up to $500,” said Yorba Linda, Calif., appraiser Myles Lawson.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Appraisal Subcommittee – a federal agency that reviews state regulators of appraisers -could not point to any post-crisis publicly available data on appraisal accuracy when contacted for this column.

Ask any veteran loan originator. The No. 1 reason that transactions fall apart is low-ball appraisals, not tight credit standards. …continue reading the rest of this post: Appraisal hypocrisy hits home

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4th December 2014

TSI Appraisal is Hiring Appraisers

TSI Appraisal Management Company

I totally stand behind TSI appraisal and would recommend any appraiser looking to become an employee of one of the good AMCs out there to find out more about TSI Appraisal.

TSI Appraisal is expanding its appraisal network across the United States. We’re seeking highly skilled candidates to fill numerous open staff appraiser positions in these areas:

  • Austin, TX
  • Brownsville, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Detroit, MI
  • El Paso, TX
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • McAllen, TX
  • San Antonio, TX

Check out the amazing benefits that you’ll get as a TSI Appraisal staff appraiser:

  • An award-winning benefits package including healthcare, vision and dental coverage
  • Opportunity to work with a team of appraisers dedicated to your success
  • A program built for appraisers by appraisers
  • A consistent work volume with first choice of assignments in your coverage area

TSI Appraisal, a division of Title Source, is a leading Appraisal Management Company (AMC) that provides a variety of valuation products and services nationwide. TSI Appraisal facilitates over 500,000 appraisals annually. We utilize industry best practices, advanced data analytic tools and employ and unparalleled commitment to customer service. The company was named as a Detroit Free Press Top Workplace for the last six consecutive years.

Find out more and complete our short appraisal evaluation at:

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