New Rules To Prevent Inflated Appraisals

28 Apr New Rules To Prevent Inflated Appraisals

I recently wrote aboutevils of inflated appraisals. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have proposed new rules forappraisals, effective May 1, 2009, called the “Home Value Code of Conduct.” They are applicable to “conventional” or “conforming” loans intended for resale to those agencies.

Among the provisions is a requirement that only lenders may order appraisals, and not mortgage brokers. This hotly disputed provision is based on the fear that mortgage brokers only go to appraisers who provide inflated appraisals. Unlike lenders, who would still earn someprofit through fees and interest on a lower loan, a mortgage broker might lose an entire commission ifa loan is denied becausethe appraisal is not high enough.

The Federal Trade Commission disagreed with this argument of those agencies, unsuccessfully writing that all parties to a loan have similar incentives for high appraisals. Moreover, the Federal Reserve recently released its own, different appraisal guidelines called the “Interagency Appraisal Evaluation Guidelines.”

More information may be found at

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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