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

AMC to Pay Some Appraisers Up Front

StreetLinks announces AppraiserPlus designation

May 23, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

A new program from a national appraisal management company will enable appraisers to be paid when they do the inspection -- eliminating liability for mortgage lenders.

The launch of the AppraiserPlus designation was announced Thursday by StreetLinks Lender Solutions. The program will go live in August.

According to the Indianapolis-based firm, AppraiserPlus removes the traditional hurdles of micromanagement for individual appraisers such as real or perceived nuisance calls, texts and e-mails during the appraisal fulfillment process.

But not all appraisers will qualify for the program, according. StreetLinks, a Mortgage Daily advertiser. Inclusion in the program will be "very regimented and very spelled out," StreetLinks President Tom Hurst said in a telephone interview.

"There's a group of professional appraisers out there that should be approached differently, and that's what we're trying to do here," Hurst told Mortgage Daily.

Appraisers that are accepted into the program will avoid most follow-up questions by completing a StreetLinks QX review prior to deliver.

Without such distractions, appraiser productivity is higher.

The new program, which was a year in the making, also avoids post-completion appraiser payment cycles -- paying the majority of appraisal fees at the point of inspection instead of weeks or months down the road. Payments are made through the Automated Clearing House, or ACH.

"This program allows appraisers to focus on running their businesses and brings back the days of 'COD' style payment," Hurst said in the statement.

Hurst explained in the interview that some appraisers have already stopped working for other AMCs, while other appraisers are expected to begin avoiding other AMCs as a result of the new offering.

"In addition, the program comes with consistent and fair service metrics and quality control requirements by the appraiser to maintain their inclusion in the program," Hurst stated.

Mortgage lenders that use the AMC will know which appraisers have received the designation and are assured that they will never be responsible for an AMC's failure to pay those appraisers.

That factor that has become more significant in the wake of recent AMC failures like that of Evaluation Solutions/ES Appraisal Services -- which declared bankruptcy in January, according to a story from WorkingRE. Appraisers who are among those collectively owed $9 million in fees are preparing to file a class action against JPMorgan Chase & Co., which ordered appraisals through ESA.

"With multiple AMCs recently closing their doors, some lenders have been put in a tough spot -- including being left to pay millions in situations where the AMC collected the funds, but failed to pay the appraiser," Hurst stated. "AppraiserPlus mitigates such risk, making it a win for both appraisers and lenders."

In the end, Hurst noted in the interview, lenders will get a consistent product more quickly.

Hurst said that the new designation will be a factor in the selection of the best appraisers for individual assignments. Other factors that determine which appraiser to use include historical quality and service, their proximity to the property and their fees.

Hurst called the unveiling of AppraiserPlus "the most exciting announcement of my career."

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