25th January 2012

AGA uses law firm to request documents related to Customary and Reasonable Fees

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2012 – [List of AMCs] On behalf of the American Guild of Appraisers, today the law firm Garvey Schubert Barer filed a request with the Federal Reserve Board under the Freedom of Information Act seeking a wide variety of documents related to the regulations on customary and reasonable compensation of fee appraisers that were issued by the Board in October 2011.

In announcing this action, Guild President Peter Vidi said, “It is clear that appraisal management companies have interpreted rules issued by the Fed as permitting practices that result in real estate appraisers being compensated at levels that are far below ‘reasonable and customary fees’ as required in the Dodd Frank Law. We want to learn whether the Fed intended this result and if so why.”

…continue reading the rest of this post: AGA uses law firm to request documents related to Customary and Reasonable Fees

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 0 Comments

11th January 2012

ASA, NAIFA, AI, ASFMRA File Comments with Federal Reserve on Appraiser Independence; Seek Critical Change Regarding Customary and Reasonable Fees

On December 27, the American Society of Appraisers, together with the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA), the Appraisal Institute (AI) and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), filed reply comments with the Federal Reserve regarding its proposed Appraiser Independence Interim Final Regulations. Of utmost importance to ASA and our partners was concern over the potential for “the consideration of fees paid by AMCs when adhering to the first presumption of compliance with the customary and reasonable fee regulations,” which uses a series of factors in determining whether the fee paid to an appraiser is appropriate under the law and regulations. This concern arose from commentary provided by the Fed in its Interim Rule which stated that determining whether an appraisal fee is customary and reasonable, “does not require that a creditor use third-party information that excludes appraisals ordered by AMCs.”

Also addressed in the letter was the appropriateness of safe harbors for reliance upon third-party fee studies and surveys which rely on generally accepted survey methodologies, and a recommendation that the Fed, using its RESPA authority, require separate disclosure of appraisal fees and AMC fees in this or a subsequent rulemaking as a matter of consumer protection and to further ensure that appraisers receive customary and reasonable fees. The letter also directly addresses over a dozen questions raised by the Fed as part of the rulemaking process on a variety of issues, from the extension of conflicts of interest prohibitions to AVMs, to outcome-based appraiser compensation, to the consideration of professional designations as part of a determination of the reasonableness of fees.


posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 3 Comments

9th November 2011

American Guild of Appraisers takes on the Federal Reserve

ASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Guild of Appraisers (AGA), a national organization of real estate appraisers that is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO’s Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), announced today it has retained a law firm as part of a broad-reaching effort to overturn recent federal regulations that dramatically cut the fees that appraisers are paid to perform appraisals, and threaten the viability of professional appraisal practice and the reliability of appraisals used in real estate transactions.

…continue reading the rest of this post: American Guild of Appraisers takes on the Federal Reserve

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 1 Comment

11th October 2011

Appraiser Loft closes its doors – FINALLY!

On Friday employees were notified the company was out of business and insolvent.

They were told they would be paid later. [CEO] Aman [Makkar] told them at lunch they will get paid next week, and they won’t

Appraiser Loft has been known by appraisers for a long time now as not being expediant when paying their invoices. I have had numerous appraisers call and ask me how they should go about collecting appraisal fees from Appraiser Loft.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Appraiser Loft closes its doors – FINALLY!

posted in Appraisal Management Companies, Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 35 Comments

22nd July 2011

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Opens

Washington – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hit the ground running this week, launching functions and issuing a variety of required rules and reports that represent important steps in making the CFPB operational and effective from the start.

“Two years ago, the consumer agency was just barely an idea. A year ago it became law. And this week, the CFPB will open its doors and begin to make a difference in the marketplace,” said Elizabeth Warren, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB. “This agency is ready to be a cop on the beat for American families – and I couldn’t be prouder.”

…continue reading the rest of this post: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Opens

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 0 Comments

22nd July 2011

The Busy Appraiser Podcast – 11

I share my thoughts on the appraisal industry. Low paying appraisal management companies and the appraisers that do appraisals for extremely low fees.

I talk briefly on the consumer finance protection bureau.

Report low paying AMCs to http://www.notcustomaryandreasonable.com

Make sure to sign up to the appraisal marketing system if you haven’t yet.


And I talk about a great password management plug-in. It will save all of your usernames and passwords. You can also use it to fill online application for the appraisal management companies by populating all the fields for you. Get more information at Free Password Management – http://www.freepasswordmanagement.com

Thanks again!

Bryan Knowlton

Please subscribe to show in iTunes: itpc://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/your-boss-blows/id411128864

Rate and Review in iTunes: https://buy.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZFinance.woa/wa/addUserReview?id=411128864&type=Podcast

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics, Podcasts, The Busy Appraiser Podcast | 0 Comments

21st July 2011

Last minute changes for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

The House voted Today to change how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is managed by passing legislation to install a five-member oversight panel to run the new agency instead of a single director.

The 241-173 vote – which came on the one-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill will make it easier to overturn regulations imposed by the bureau.

That doesn’t sound like a very good solution, but I guess we will have to see at this point.

Congressional Republicans were happy with the prospect of the five-member commission stating one director is too powerful and not accountable.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Last minute changes for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 0 Comments

21st July 2011

Appraisal Institute testifies before a Congressional subcommittee RE: C&R

Sara W. Stephens, MAI, Appraisal Institute’s president-elect, addressed the House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity that the Dodd-Frank Act passed by Congress last year is not being properly implemented by federal regulators in regards to C&R.

One provision within Dodd-Frank calls on appraisal management companies to pay “customary and reasonable” fees to real estate appraisers.

Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve’s Interim Final Rule is not faithful to Congressional intent. The Appraisal Institute thinks Congress’ intent was right on target. We urge Congress to guide the regulators’ aim, directing them to correct the Interim Final Rule to promote credibility over speed and cost.

…continue reading the rest of this post: Appraisal Institute testifies before a Congressional subcommittee RE: C&R

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 0 Comments

20th July 2011

Consumers and Appraisers – Grab your ankles : Filibuster in progress

The senate is in charge and are holding up any nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Mike Konzal states

What are the strengths of the way the CFPB is structured in the Dodd-Frank Act? There are many, especially the consolidation of consumer regulation and focus on research. But three structural strengths stand out: it has a single director, there’s been careful attention paid to its budgeting process and it is just like other regulators in terms of accountability but with focus on consumer protection as its primary goal. These three parts of the CFPB were carefully planned, designed and fought for.

….[Those three] major strengths — a director, funding and accountability with a focus on consumer protection — are exactly what the Republicans want to dismantle. No doubt they are trying to stall and annoy the implementation of Dodd-Frank and prevent the CFPB from doing all its work — of course they are — but if there were three critical points where they could significantly weaken what the CFPB can do, these would be those three.

They are essentially violating their oath of office by promising to keep anyone from running the agency unless some changes are made.

So what does this mean to appraisers?

Nothing new and nothing being done about the ‘Customary and Reasonable Fee” provision enacted by Dodd-Frank.

As usual we are in another waiting game with our hands tied.

Troutman Sanders of the CFPB team stated

The appraiser fee and independence provisions contained in Dodd-Frank were designed to address concerns that lenders were using less expensive appraisal management companies (“AMCs”) hired or owned by lenders at the expense of independent, high-quality appraisals. As a result, AMCs may be a regulatory target of the CFPB after the Bureau’s July 21, 2011 transfer date.

The Bureau will assume rulemaking and enforcement authority for Dodd Frank’s appraisal fee provisions after July 21st. Notably, the CFPB will be enforcing Dodd-Frank’s penalties for lenders violating appraiser independence standards which are currently $10,000 a day for the first violation and $20,000 a day for each additional violation.

Again, I urge you to get involved. Stay up to date with the news and join your local appraiser coalitions! Contact your state licensing agency, congress and other regulators. Only together can we win this battle against the appraisal management companies that are destroying our industry.

Bryan Knowlton
California Real Estate Appraiser

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 12 Comments

21st June 2011

Appraisal Management Companies ‘might’ feel the wrath 07/21/11

April 1st came and went with no good news regarding Customary and Reasonable fees and what the AMCs are doing to the appraisal industry in whole. I believe it was little more than a coincidence that it was also April Fools Day.

May 21st came and went without the world coming to an end. I also find this a little more than a coincidence that the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau will be taking over rule-making and enforcement in regards to Dodd-Frank Customary and Reasonable fee provisions.

Either way I am excited!

I know a lot of the Appraiser Coalitions as well as the AGA will be …continue reading the rest of this post: Appraisal Management Companies ‘might’ feel the wrath 07/21/11

posted in Dodd-Frank C&R Topics | 10 Comments

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