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Appraisal Pressure: Declaring The Obvious, Is A First Step

The New York State Attorney General’s Office reportedly asked many appraisers to submit a formal declaration if they have been pressured by the lending community to provide specific appraisal results, with the threat of withholding future business if the appraiser does not comply. As Sharon Crenson of Bloomberg News reports today, in the news story Cuomo Expands Probe as Appraisers Attest to Pressure [1]:

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is asking home appraisers to declare in writing that they were improperly pressured by mortgage brokers and lenders to inflate estimates…

Its a pretty basic statement since thats the state of the mortgage industry as it currently exists. I have written, spoke, blogged about appraisal pressure until I was blue in the face about the topic so it wasn’t hard to sign the AG’s declaration. In fact, it was a relief.

This has been an exciting time. Ok, maybe exciting is too strong, but its a top twenty right up there with birth of our 4 kids, my marriage to my wife, Yankees winning a World Series (lumping all 26 in one slot for space considerations) and getting a parking space in the commuter lot of my train station.

The AG is taking tangible actions. It seems to me that the first issue, in a strange way, is getting the victims (some appraisers) to actually state there is a problem. I suspect many appraisers are not committed to the idea of coming forward for fear of retribution from their existing clients.

One small step for man [2] (appraiser), one giant step for the mortgage industry.