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

Appraisal Services Enhanced

Service providers target federal compliance, efficiency

Feb. 13, 2013

By AIMEE BROWN Mortgage Daily

Appraisal service providers continue to launch new and upgraded products and services with federal regulatory compliance in mind. One firm's approach is to commend good appraisers, while other companies have released new or upgraded products and services aimed at an efficient, reliable valuation process.

On Jan. 21, appraisal management company Nationwide Appraisal & Settlement Network announced its campaign to recognize appraisers who have demonstrated quality and professionalism in the appraisal business. NASN makes a monthly effort to personally thank appraisers with low conditions percentages and timely report submissions, according to NASN Director of Operations Cari Burris.

"We understand that appraisers rarely hear a word of praise and are exposed to more negativity than anything else and we can see that this effects their view on the future," Burris said. "We believe that the best way to turn this view around is to take a moment and be human and actually say something nice to someone who deserves it."

The Oldsmar, Fl.-based AMC also revealed new divisions for its reverse mortgage, hard money and mortgage servicing clientele on Oct. 30. The divisions were created to help foster better borrower comprehension of products NASN clients can offer, according to NASN director of sales and marketing Joni Pilgrim.

Freddie Mac recently named Clear Capital a distributor of Home Value Explorer and Home Value Calibrator, a news release indicated. Home Value Explorer, an automated valuation model program with broad coverage that encompasses several models, and Calibrator, a quality control tool that identifies inflated collateral valuations, offer Clear Capital access to the tools' years of gathered property data. Freddie approved the company as a distributor because Clear Capital's approach to providing for its customers' needs was appealing, Clear Capital president Kevin Marshall said in the statement.

When Fannie Mae activated its appraisal messages on Jan. 28, Veros Real Estate Solutions said its PATHWAY solution was ready for message delivery. Veros previously claimed PATHWAY requires minimal technology integration and helped correspondent lenders, AMCs and other technology companies connect to the Uniform Collateral Data Platform to retrieve Fannie's messages.

In December, Veros publicized the addition of the Realtors Valuation Model, a Realtors Property Resource LLC product, to its AVM suite of products. The model uses analytics to assist with property pricing and evaluation, and Veros will market the tool by itself and through VeroSELECT and Sapphire, Veros' valuation management platforms.

Earlier this year, CoesterVMS highlighted its newly implemented flat-fee system for residential appraisals, regardless of appraisal type or property location. Effective Jan. 1, the flat-fee structure priced conventional appraisals at $450 and Federal Housing Administration appraisals at $475. This one-rate pricing model was created to help lenders better comply with Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act guidelines for disclosing loan costs to borrowers.

The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union implemented Platinum Data's appraisal ordering system and appraisal quality verification technology RealView. The credit union will use Platinum Data's solutions to increase appraisal compliance and quality in a cost-effective manner, according to Platinum Data's Dec. 11 news release.

SharperLending LLC unveiled two enhancements to its Appraisal Firewall technology in November. That same month, the company announced its partnership with American Reporting Co., an AMC. If lenders who use Appraisal Firewall discover they need appraisals in areas their current appraisal panel cannot cover, they can place orders with American Reporting, which has regional coverage.

Earlier in November, SharperLending revealed its Appraisal Firewall platform could now accept credit card payments from borrowers who needed to pay for appraisals. With this ability, lenders could get borrowers to pay when the appraisal order is placed instead of including this fee in closing costs.

Oct. 23 marked Comergence's unveiling of Eagle Eye, the company's due diligence and monitoring solution for the appraisal industry. Eagle Eye allows lenders and AMCs to manage an appraiser's background check and monitor an appraiser's regulation compliance. The product then compiles this information into a central data repository. Additionally, Eagle Eye also maintains current profiles on lender- and AMC-approved appraisers for quick approval by other lenders and AMCs using the Comergence solution.

Also on Oct. 23, Lender Processing Services Inc. reported its launch of Valuation Insight. Combining customized business rules with the company's databases and external data repositories, Valuation Insight offers appraisal evaluations through LPS' Loan Quality Gateway. Valuation Insight helps with federal compliance regulations, returns flagged valuations to appraisers, and creates an appraisal quality score by assessing external data and industry guidelines. LPS Chief Operating Officer Dan Scheuble said these functions are crucial to LPS investments in creating innovative, quality loan origination solutions.

"By driving more standardized, complete, consistent and compliant appraisals, Valuation Insight can help meet increased expectations for higher appraisal quality, while addressing the challenges of new regulations and requirements for loan quality," Scheuble said.

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