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Change in quality of appraisers a cause of concern

…A: According to Jonathan Miller, cofounder of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. (millersamuel.com), it’s unlikely that our correspondent would get his loan in today’s wacky world of real estate….

…”Credit conditions remain at historically tight levels and lenders rarely take action on any appraisal quality complaints, whether the appraisal report is flawed or not,” Miller said….

…Miller points to the credit collapse in 2007 to 2008, the introduction of Dodd-Frank and the agreement between Fannie Mae and then-New York Attorney General Cuomo known as the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) as the beginning of the today’s trouble for appraisers….

…”Think of them as large third-party conveyor belts that pump out requests to appraisers qualified largely by only having a license in a particular state and willing to work for 50 percent of the market rate for appraisal fees (they keep the other 50 percent for managing the appraisers),” Miller explained….

…”As a result, quality appraisers have been largely driven out of the business, moved to non-banking clients or switched careers. Most quality appraisal firms can’t afford to work at the AMC fees and the turn-time demands without damaging their reputations,” Miller noted….

…Miller’s company survived by making a three-year transition in business strategy away from retail banks and toward private banks and legal support work. “It’s been terrific to have clients that aren’t 19-year-olds chewing gum, wondering when they were getting their report and who probably don’t even know what a mortgage is,” he said….

…As Miller puts it, “Throw in rapidly rising prices, tight credit conditions and a shortage of inventory, and it becomes problematic.”…

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