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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