Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Appraisers complained at a House financial services subcommittee recently that loan officers, Realtors, builders and others made pervasive attempts to interfere with their work, and that sometimes resulted in distorted home valuations. The President of the National Association of Home Builders said that in 2008 and 2009 appraisers “have often used sales of homes in foreclosure or other distressed property sales as comparables for new homes without making the appropriate value adjustments.” He said that depresses the true value of new homes, produces a further downward spiral in new home sales and unfairly devalues entire neighborhoods. All Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans originating after May 1st may change, but the National Association of Mortgage Brokers has filed a federal lawsuit in US District Court in Washington asking the court to declare the entire process illegal because it bans mortgage brokers from involvement in selecting or hiring appraisers. According to the association (which represents 20,000 brokers nationally) that will directly reduce the ability of mortgage brokers to provide consumers with an efficient and cost-effective means of shopping for a mortgage. Home buyers and refinancers then may need to pay for appraisals from every mortgage company or bank they shop. Currently, a broker can obtain one appraisal at the consumer’s expense and use it to get quotes from multiple wholesale lenders.

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