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AMC Search Engine Launches

Service helps lenders identify best AMCs

Oct. 15, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

A new appraisal management company search engine promises to match up mortgage firms with the best available AMC.

With the recent decline in refinance business and an improvement in the performance of residential loans, AMCs have faced an unprecedented decline in business -- with some succumbing to the strain. Among recent casualties have been Evaluation Solutions/ES Appraisal Services, CoreLogic Valuation Services, PowerLink Settlement and AppraiserLoft.

One AMC, StreetLinks Lender Solutions, has addressed lender concerns about the stability of AMCs with its launch in August of its AppraiserPlus service. The Mortgage Daily advertiser said it pays appraisers who qualify for the program at the point of inspection -- eliminating the risk that appraisers can come after lenders for the fee if an AMC goes bust.

Now, AMC software provider Global DMS hopes to help lenders identify financially stable and properly licensed AMCs with its new service.

The website includes the AMC type, years in business and coverage area, according to Global DMS. It also includes their locations, licensing and payment acceptance types.

Global DMS claims that it continually verifies all information and state licensing information to "ensure that all matches are current" and correct.

According to the Lansdale, Pa., company, the search engine lists well-profiled, qualified AMCs -- helping mortgage firms with their due diligence and selection process in deciding on a new AMC. However, they are still in the process of adding AMCs and "being very selective."

Users can sign up for free.

"Approved AMCs that are listed on the site are able to facilitate online ordering, automated collateral reviews, high volume production, superior customer service and direct integration to the GSEs' Uniform Collateral Data Portal," the news release stated. "Lending entities benefit by being able to visit the site and enter in specific search criteria to locate established, reputable AMCs that have a proven track record of compliantly delivering quality appraisals."

In addition to saving users time in the due diligence process, Global DMS says that its service will help lenders avoid potentially tens of thousands of dollars in fines from doing business with the wrong AMC. Lenders can also reduce the risk of investor repurchase demands, avoid tainting relationships with appraisers and stay clear of unjust financial responsibilities.

StreetLinks President Tom Hurst, however, questions whether lenders will utilize an AMC search engine given regulatory accountability.

"The regulatory environment continues to hold lenders increasingly accountable for the vendors they choose - rightfully so," Hurst said in a written statement. "I don't see lenders outsourcing this process or choosing AMCs in a directory based on information they haven't verified first hand."

But Hurst noted that Global DMS' process is a good early stage tool in vetting AMCs.

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