Fed Releases Updated Appraisal Guidelines

The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration jointly on Thursday released the latest and what is expected to be final version of property appraisal guidelines.

The new guidelines set a standard for appraisal independence. Lenders can exchange information with appraisers, but they cannot “directly or indirectly coerce, influence, or otherwise encourage an appraiser or a person who performs an evaluation to misstate or misrepresent the value of the property.”

Among other rules:

· Banks cannot tell the appraiser of any expected or qualifying estimate of value.
· Banks cannot specify a minimum value requirement for the property that is needed to approve the loan or as a condition of ordering the valuation.
· Banks cannot tie an appraiser’s compensation to loan approval.
· Banks can’t blacklist an appraiser if his valuations fail to meet expected thresholds.

The agencies also clarified that broker price opinions (BPOs) don’t comply with the minimum appraisal standards.

Source: Housing Wire, Jon Prior (12/02/2010)