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The federal government has weighed in on one state’s proposal to fix appraisal fees paid by appraisal management companies. Other valuation services activity include a new consumer valuation tool, an appraisal webinar and an integration between two service providers.

In North Carolina, lawmakers have proposed NC House Bill 829. The legislation would
prescribe a single method for determining customary and reasonable fees paid to appraisers by AMCs.

If the bill were to become law, it would
preclude the negotiation of market-based rates. In addition, it would direct the North Carolina Appraisal Board to adopt rules that are needed to enforce the law.

North Carolina Assistant Attorney General Roberta A. Ouellette has submitted a request to the Federal Trade Commission to weigh in on the legislation.

On Thursday, the FTC announced
that directors of its Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics have issued a comment.

According to the comment,
the proposed method for determining customary and reasonable fees for appraisal services isn’t mandated by federal law.
In addition, the proposed method might even be inconsistent with federal law.

The FTC also expressed concern that
the propose law could help eliminate competition in setting appraisal fees — a condition that could ultimately harm consumers through higher prices.

“We are concerned that, if HB-829 were enacted, real estate appraisal fees in North Carolina might not be based on competitively-set market rates, and that AMCs — and, ultimately, consumers — might face higher prices for appraisals.

A new home valuation tool was announced by LendingTree last month.
The tool utilizes a proprietary home valuation model that estimates home value based on third-party data.

LendingTree users can visualize their home value data trends over time. In addition, by using existing mortgage balance information — home equity is estimated and users are informed when their is an opportunity to tap into their equity.

On July 20,
United States Appraisals is hosting a free webinar, Collateral Policy and Technology Guidance for Appraisers. The webinar will feature expert tips from Fannie Mae and United States Appraisals on how to improve appraisal quality. It will also address the lender’s perspective when assessing collateral risk.

“It can be challenging for appraisers to keep up with all the constant regulatory changes and technological advancements,” United States Appraisals Chief Executive Officer Aaron Fowler said in a written statement. “We will provide them with valuable information on how to do just that.”

Registration for the online event can be completed at .

A June 15 news release from ACI indicated that its
Sky Delivery and Sky Review technology has been integrated with ValueLink Software. The integration promises to provide AMCs that utilize the ValueLink platform with access to more than 5,000 customizable collateral risk rules and dramatically speed up the appraisal review process without compromising quality or consistency.

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