18th December 2013

FDIC: Dodd-Frank Act Appraisal Requirements to Save Borrowers Time and Money

(Source: FDIC) – Six federal financial regulatory agencies today issued a final rule that creates exemptions from certain appraisal requirements for a subset of higher-priced mortgage loans. The exemptions are intended to save borrowers time and money while still ensuring that the loans are financially sound. The appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgages were established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, closed-end mortgage loans are considered to be higher-priced if they are secured by a consumer’s home and have interest rates above a certain threshold. The Dodd-Frank Act requires creditors to obtain a written appraisal based on a physical visit of the home’s interior before making these loans.

The final rule provides that loans of $25,000 or less and certain “streamlined” refinancings are exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements, which go into effect on January 18, 2014.

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25th November 2013

Upcoming Robobank and Union Bank Events

Rabobank and Union Bank want to directly engage the most qualified appraisers in and around these four locations:

San Jose/Fremont, CA – December 4th, 2013 from 8:30 – 5:00
Union Bank and Rabobank
Location: Hilton Newark/Fremont –
39900 Balentine Drive, Newark, CA 94560
Tel: 510-490-8390

Thousand Oaks, CA – January 15th, 2014 from 8:30 – 5:00
Union Bank and Rabobank
Location: Hyatt Westlake Plaza –
880 S. Westlake Blvd. Westlake Village, CA 91361

Seattle, WA – January 29th, 2014 from 8:30 – 5:00
Union Bank Only
Location: TBD

Sacramento, CA – February 12, 2014 from 8:30 – 5:00
Rabobank Only
Location: TBD

Rabobank and Union bank would like to form a partnership with qualified and professional appraisers in these markets. The Appraiser Events are a unique education opportunity approved for 7 hours of Continuing Education in CA (13CP165603006), OR (ALCG-C-0913-1822) and WA (AP3113). Appraisers will also have the opportunity to apply for the fee panel of these banks. In addition, appraisers will learn about bank policies, appraisal regulations and appraisal review criteria directly from bank executives. Attendees will meet bank executives and can engage in an open dialog about a variety of appraisal related issues. Rabobank and Union Bank want to be seen as an informed and trusted partner.

The response to these events has been very positive. Which has prompted some to contact Union Bank and Rabobank directly. Both Ken DeFeo and Robert Melfe have requested that all inquiries regarding these events and the fee panel prospects be directed to us at karen@allterragroup.com or you can call Karen Connolly at 513-490-0226. You will have the opportunity to speak directly to Ken and Robert at the event.

For more information please visit the Alterra Group.

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25th November 2013

Hope Everyone Has a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Hey Everyone!
It has been a while since I just reached out and said THANK YOU for being a part of Appraiser Income, reading my blog posts, sharing them and participating whenever possible.

Appraisers like you are the ones that make a difference in our industry. We all know our industry has experienced a lot of turmoil over the past 10 years, but you continue to hang in there with the rest of us! I hope over the years I have helped you to find new income opportunities while being a real estate appraiser. I hope I have not offended you when I occasionally lose my grip and call out a AMC that has wronged all of us.

I wish everyone a great future while being a real estate appraiser. Hopefully this winters slow period won’t last as long as they have in the past and if there is anything I can help you out with, just leave a comment below!

Thanks again!

Bryan Knowlton

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19th November 2013

Feds to Reconsider Customary & Reasonable Fees – Maybe

by David Brauner, Editor http://workingre.com

Appraisers might have some good news regarding fees after all but it’s hard to tell.

Speaking at the Appraisal Summit last month, the lead enforcement attorney for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Anthony Romano, told appraisers that he is aware of the ongoing controversy surrounding low fees and said that his agency intends on looking at the issue more closely in early 2014.

Appraisers at the show seemed genuinely buoyed by Romano’s remarks, which seemed to support the view that the customary and reasonable fee provision of Dodd-Frank is not being properly enforced and that low fees can and do adversely affect quality. A follow up statement issued by his office, however, seemed much less clear (see below).

RESPA to the Rescue?
At the conference, Romano cited his experience as a mortgage banker to emphasize his understanding and respect for the role appraisers play in the lending process. He stressed his high regard for appraisers throughout his virtual presentation. (Romano was scheduled to speak at the Summit but an illness prevented his travel.)

Romano said lenders should not be cutting corners on appraisals. He noted that appraisals are the last defense against fraud and that consumers deserve quality when participating in what is for many, the largest financial transaction of their lives. He noted that while the agency doesn’t want consumers to pay more for appraisals, it also doesn’t want bad values.

Romano cited RESPA (Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act) as a possible starting point for addressing low fees. He said that one suggestion is to list appraiser and AMC fees separately on closing documents, something many appraisers have long called for. The CFPB took over the administration and enforcement of RESPA in July 2011. RESPA was passed in 1974.

Romano explained that historically the “Lender Processing Fee” line item on settlement documents included items that were a lender’s expense. Today, lenders continue to collect “lender processing” fees but no longer bear the total cost of these services, which are partly handled by AMCs. Some of these costs now show up in the “Appraisal Fee” line item, which does not provide transparency to consumers- who might reasonably expect the “appraisal fee” to cover the cost of the appraisal. Part of it goes to the appraiser and part covers AMC costs.

Romano made no other substantive statements about how customary and reasonable fees might be achieved, either at the conference or in follow up questions from WRE. At the conference, he did say that whatever actions his agency takes will be phased in slowly so as not to disrupt the marketplace.

At the conference, Romano voiced what many appraisers believe, saying that if more attention had been given to appraisal independence issues it might have helped avoid the real estate collapse. He seemed to be aware of “black” and “do not use” lists but made no comment. Numerous appraisers have complained about not seeing any action to appraiser independence complaints made to the CFPB. In a follow up with WRE, Romano did not answer why this is the case. Official Line
A spokesperson for Romano issued the following statement to WRE on his behalf: “The CFPB will continue to look at fees as part of the supervision process to determine whether they are customary and reasonable as specified in Dodd-Frank. Additionally, the Bureau will continue to work within an interagency group to develop proposals to implement the Dodd-Frank Act’s amendments concerning appraisal issues. For information about the CFPB’s regulatory agenda, you can consult the Bureau’s strategic plan at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/strategic-plan.pdf, or see our current notices here: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/notice-and-comment/.”

The statement issued by the office also said that Romano’s remarks at the conference were his own opinions and do not necessarily represent the views or plans of the CFPB. About the Author
David Brauner is Editor of Working RE magazine and Senior Broker at OREP.org, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 49 states. He has covered the appraisal profession for over 20 years. He can be contacted at dbrauner@orep.org or (888) 347-5273. Calif. Insurance Lic. #0C89873.

We’re always listening: Send your story submission/idea to the Editor: dbrauner@orep.org.

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23rd October 2013

Man Predicting Housing Bubble Awarded Nobel Prize, expressed concerns about the potential for a new housing bubble.

Man Predicting Housing Bubble Awarded Nobel Prize – Repost from Appraiser News Online

Yale University professor Robert Shiller, along with University of Chicago professors Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics on Oct. 14; Shiller for developing new methods of studying asset market trends with a focus on housing, HousingWire reported.

The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices have become the benchmark by which U.S. single-family home price trajectory is measured.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Man Predicting Housing Bubble Awarded Nobel Prize, expressed concerns about the potential for a new housing bubble.

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23rd October 2013

GSEs Still Finding Problems with Home Appraisals

Re-posted from Appraisal Institute

Three years after the creation of a database seeking to standardize the home appraisal process, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to see major issues in numerous appraisals submitted by mortgage lenders, American Banker reported Sept. 12.

Fannie Mae conducted a sampling of appraisals and determined that 17.6 percent contained contradictory information, typically pertaining to the condition or quality of the property, Robert Murphy, the GSE’s director of collateral and single-family risk policy, told a Phoenix conference of risk managers. He added that those two factors are the most important in determining a property’s value.

…continue reading the rest of this post: GSEs Still Finding Problems with Home Appraisals

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23rd October 2013

Residential UAD Review – The Right Way

Where: San Diego, CA
When: October 25, 2013

Click Here to Register / Seats are limited, so please sign up in the next 48 hours.

YOUR INSTRUCTOR: As a veteran field appraiser and reviewer, Bruce Ford will share the latest UAD changes that will affect your everyday work.

This class is vital to all appraisers using the UAD format, in today’s market. Bruce is a 21 year veteran, FHA Approved appraiser and is a Certified Residential Appraiser in CA. and NV. His prior bank experience was as Staff Appraiser and Reviewer for World Savings and Wachovia. His most recent position was as Senior Review Appraiser for AXIS Appraisal Management Solutions, Inc., located in San Rafael, CA.

DOORS open at Half hour before REGISTRATION

Attendance for entire 4 hrs. is mandatory in order to receive BREA / OREA credit

Have questions about “Residential UAD Review – The Right Way” – 4 hr. CE Class in Petaluma, CA?

Contact Bruce at NorCal Quality Appraisal / mailto:uadclasspetaluma@yahoo.com

…continue reading the rest of this post: Residential UAD Review – The Right Way

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9th October 2013

Government Shutdown to Impact Thousands of Mortgages

Government Shutdown to Impact Thousands of Mortgages

Now that the shutdown of the U.S. government has entered its second week, it’s expected to slow down mortgage approvals, which could negatively impact housing and economic recovery, Bloomberg reported Oct. 7.

After failing to pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year, Congress forced a partial government shutdown Oct. 2, the first in 17 years. The shutdown resulted in the furlough of around 800,000 government employees.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Government Shutdown to Impact Thousands of Mortgages

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8th October 2013

Does Satan worship lower a Las Vegas mansion’s value?

The mansion’s owner gets an answer from real estate appraiser Randall Bell, who has carved out a singular niche determining the worth of stigmatized properties.
By Andrew Khouri
Reporting from Las Vegas

October 8, 2013

They came to the Las Vegas mansion in waves, chasing tales of ghosts and murder. Some came to gawk or snap photos in front of its black metal gate. Others came to worship Satan. Thrill seekers broke in and drew pentagrams and carved upside-down crosses throughout the house.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Does Satan worship lower a Las Vegas mansion’s value?

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1st October 2013

LRES Announces Results of Internal Vendor Partner Survey

LRES Announces Results of Internal Vendor Partner Survey
Illustrates strong working relationships with appraisers

Repost from: http://www.fortmilltimes.com/2013/09/30/2992686/lres-announces-results-of-internal.html


LRES, a national provider of commercial and residential valuations and asset management for the mortgage, banking, credit union and real estate industries, announced the successful completion of an internal survey of its appraiser panel to measure the temperature of the company’s relationship with its panel and to determine its appraisers’ most pressing concerns. By assessing comments among its appraiser network, LRES was able to evaluate its vendor partners’ overall experience working with LRES.

…continue reading the rest of this post: LRES Announces Results of Internal Vendor Partner Survey

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