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Appraisal News | AMC Directory
Appraisal industry news coverage, including stories about independence requirements, AVMs and appraiser fraud.

The AMC Insider

Recent appraisal management company activity

May 5, 2010


Appraisal management firms have been defending their appraisers and touting new customers. Two are catering to commercial mortgage holders, while reverse mortgage lenders are the target of two more. One new offering includes a certification of the appraiser's local expertise.

The decision to use an appraisal management company in today's market is a wise one because of regulations, requirements and stipulations encompassing the appraisal process, Coester Appraisal Group said last month. But the Gaithersburg, Md.-based firm warned prospective clients to focus on appraisal accuracy and not on the number of employees at the AMC.

A recent appraisal-fee analysis from a la mode Inc. was called "misleading" by the Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association because it excluded AMCs even though AMCs account for two-thirds of all appraisals. FHA reportedly requires that reasonable and customary fees be defined by the entire marketplace.

TAVMA said a la mode clearly catered to its customer base of individual appraisers in the report, adding that the analysis "cherry picks results and implies that a small sub-group of the industry should dictate industry-wide prices."

TAVMA said a recent survey showed that the average residential AMC appraiser has more than 15 years' experience. Around 87 percent of AMC appraisers are certified -- better than the 83 percent reported for all appraisers.

Pittsburgh-based Service 1st Valuation and Settlement Services said in March that it provides commercial broker price opinions on a national basis. The AMC -- a advertiser -- had already been providing the BPOs to a select group of clients.

The newest client to sign on with Lincoln Appraisal & Settlement Services was National Future Mortgage Inc., a residential and commercial mortgage broker that is licensed in more than 28 states, an April 29 announcement indicated.

Two weeks earlier, Providence, R.I.-based Lincoln -- whose President George Demopoulos recently received a senior residential appraiser designation from the Appraisal Institute -- touted reverse mortgage wholesale lender Live Well Financial as a new client.

But Lincoln wasn't the only AMC to boast about reverse mortgage clients.

AppraiserLoft announced one day earlier that its client roster includes reverse mortgage wholesalers Bank of America Reverse, Financial Freedom and Urban Financial -- as well as Live Well. San Diego-based AppraiserLoft noted that it made a strategic decision in 2007 to make a big move into the reverse mortgage industry.

In Sugar Land, Texas, Valuation Partners said last week that it now provides Appraiser Proximity Certification, which certify that the appraiser used for an assignment had "local knowledge and expertise." There is no cost for the assurance, which uses geo-coding technology.

Key Point Credit Union has become a customer of AppraisalWorld and is using a new valuation product that utilizes local appraisers. AppraisalWorld claims the new service is more comprehensive than a broker price opinion, less intricate than a traditional appraisal and less expensive than a typical 1004/URAR appraisal report.

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of in 2000.

[email protected]

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