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

AMCs, BPOs and Appraisal Compliance

Recent appraisal innovations, issues and developments

March 9, 2010


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot

Two solutions have emerged as alternatives to unreliable broker price opinions, including a hybrid model that utilizes both technology and experienced people. Appraisal firms claim they are prepared to comply with new appraisal requirements -- though one warns that lenders are not. Meanwhile, a survey conducted for an appraisal management company said that a majority of appraisers indicated prices and turnarounds are impacted little by the use of AMCs.

Coester Appraisal Group reported yesterday that its survey of more than 1,500 licensed and certified appraisers found that more than half were licensed in a single state, while some were licensed in as many as seven states. One-third of the respondents travel an average of 15 to 20 miles from their places of business for assignments, and nearly a third travel 10 to 15 miles.

The Gaithersburg, Md.-based firm said average turnaround on appraisals was two to three days regardless of whether the appraisal was ordered through a third party or not. Nearly two-thirds of the appraisers said they charge the same whether the assignment is placed by an AMC or a lender, while 71 percent indicated that they worked for at least one AMC.

Coester last month took special interest in addressing the urgency of compliance with changing Federal Housing Administration regulations. It claimed to have fully prepared to comply with FHA changes but was concerned that lenders might not have.

Over 100 staff members of StreetLinks National Appraisal Services have successfully completed the 15-hour 2010 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices training course, according to a Feb. 10 statement. The Indianapolis, Ind.-based AMC -- which is a advertiser -- said it completes a manual quality control review on each appraisal and is the only national AMC to offer a 100 percent loss warranty and a performance guarantee.

Streetlinks has joined forces with BytePro, according to a March 2 announcement. Kirkland, Wash.-based BytePro said the integration will speed the process of ordering an appraisal by connecting directly with StreetLinks and eliminating duplicate entry. Users will also find a new prepayment processing system that allows upfront payment for appraisals.

An integration of into FirstClose promises easier appraisal ordering and data retrieval as well as integrated appraisal compliance for FHA and HVCC, a press release today said.

And Lincoln Appraisal & Settlement Services landed reverse mortgage lender Genworth Home Equity Access Division as a client, a news release last week said. The Providence, R.I.-based AMC also added Chicago-based InterBank Lending to its client base, according to a Feb. 18 statement.

Alliance Appraisal Management announced today the consolidation of all management, technology and compliance services under the umbrella of AMC Links LLC. Universal Appraisal Services was also included in the consolidation. The move is expected to improve turnaround without compromising quality.

Alliance claims it was the first AMC to train and certify its employees under USPAP.

Global DMS announced its appraisal process management software is up-to-speed with the new FHA appraisal requirements and guidelines. The Lansdale, Penn.-based company and advertiser said both of its solutions -- Oasis for lenders and eTrac for appraisal management companies -- address the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and FHA guidelines.

FNC Inc. released GAAR Viewer, a Web-based workflow system that works hand-in-hand with one of its flagship products, a Feb. 16 statement said. An on-screen review of the appraisal report alerts the reviewer to any discrepancies that could result in regulatory compliance violations and any indicators of unsupported values or fraud.

Freddie Mac late last month said an enhancement to its Loan Prospector helps sellers review appraisal results early in the origination process. A point-value estimate will be provided by its automated valuation model, Home Value Explorer, for a property address. The bulletin said the AVM does not replace an appraisal value but should be used to identify which appraisals may need additional review.

A hybrid collateral valuation report has been released by AppraisalWorld. The San Jose, Calif.-based company said the report is more detailed and accurate than a broker price opinion, less detailed than a full appraisal and completed by a certified local appraiser using its CompCruncher technology.

AppraisalWorld said it has partnered with Troy, Mich.-based Forsythe Appraisals to provide its Collateral Valuation Reports to credit unions nationwide.

Another BPO alternative was released last month by Roseville, Calif.-based Valligent. The company said its new valuation suite, DRiVE -- an acronym for Desktop Risk and Valuation Engine -- is a more cost-effective and verifiable solution than BPOs.

Paula Parisot is a reporter and blogger who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at: [email protected]

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