Anytime the Government gets involved in an issue, it tends to have more adverse effects than positive ones. It makes things worse when they only have their plan in mind and NOT the FACTS from the people they are about to hurt. This is especially true in the Real Estate Appraisal profession and the newly introduced H.R. Bill entitled: Fair Appraisal and Inequity Reform Act of 2022. See below to read the Bill yourself:
Now that you have read the Bill, it’s essential to bring some information that not one person in the Government or the people they are getting information from is talking about or may have a different view. Then again, maybe not…
So before I get into this blog, I need to step into my time machine and go back to before the housing crisis and then soon after to provide much-needed information to you. So let’s start with pre-2007-2008.
2008 and before: Before the financial crisis, many appraisers had offices that employed multiple appraisers and trainees. The numbers don’t lie on how credentials went down, as seen below:
- * 2009= 116,791
- * 2010= 110,026
- * 2011= 106,103
Between 2007-2008, there was the highest number of credentials issued (121,407 and 120,551 certifications, respectively)
In 2009, the number of credentials went down directly due to government restrictions on the appraiser’s ability to practice, as well as the implementation of the now-defunct Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) that then-Attorney General of NY Andrew Cuomo decided to put into place due to his bad housing deals to protect his banking friends.
Also, in 2008 the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) was created Before HERA passed, there were 30,286 Licensed Appraisers. Today, there are only 7,321 licensed appraisers because most lenders moved away from hiring Licensed Appraisers after HERA was passed. This is a significant issue that, once again, the people looking to make the changes have FAILED to mention. I discussed this in my prior blog seen here: https://skaptheappraiser.net/2022/03/24/1690
Now let’s go into Post 2007-2008. HVCC and now Dodd-Frank were nothing more than laws to protect the wealthy and well; today, they make others (AMCs) rich while ignoring the FACTS. It took an excellent profession and turned it into a one that many lost respect for. More and More people decide to leave for better pastures, which is what happened. More and more appraisers saw the writing on the wall. Appraisers saw the businesses they built through hard work, determination, sweat, and tears go away before their eyes on May 1st, 2009, the day HVCC was adopted. The Government was telling every hard-working appraiser that they do not matter. As time went on, more appraisers decided to retire, find better work, or just decided to NOT work for AMCs (Myself included). See, there are many things about AMCs that most don’t know about. I would love to get into it more; however, that would take too much time. You need to know how they operate, how they bid out orders to the cheapest and fastest, how they take a portion of the appraiser’s fee, and how they don’t always select the most experienced appraiser in the area, which I think lends to the issues today. I have written on these and won’t go into details but share my blog here about those issues that still are valid today: https://skaptheappraiser.net/2018/03/28/whats-not-in-your-wallet/
A personal note here: I cannot blame anyone who decided to leave the profession after 2009. Many saw an opportunity and ran with it. However, many also decided to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of the consumer and the appraiser. I have spoken to and seen many appraisers do this, then try to convince others that this is the right way.. Well, when an AMC pays you, you better not go against your employer… just saying
Anyhow… I’ve given a glimpse of the past. Let’s now get to today and this new Bill proposed. Before I do that, I need to preface this by saying that this blog is in no way, shape, or form discrediting anyone that has felt they were a victim of bias or racism,. This blog is to put the FACTS out that the ASC (Appraisal Sub Committee), Government, The Pave Task Force, and more have failed the residential real estate appraiser and the public consumer.
Last week I wrote a blog entitled: DEAR ASC: DETAILS and Why They Matter, as seen here: https://skaptheappraiser.net/2022/03/24/1690/
So if you read my last blog, great. If you haven’t, I suggest you do so first. If not, so be it. I have already touched on the issues of trainees, AMCs, shortages, and more. So here, I will discuss further issues that many may not know about. My position within my group and the President of the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) allows me to access more information than most.
In that blog post, I talked about things that Jim Park and the ASC left out and how they could have changed the narrative some if the ASC wanted to. However, the ASC failed everyone for their agenda and good. Then, later that day, the new Bill came across my email. While sitting back and listening and seeing posts and comments from over 4000 independent appraisers in my leading Facebook group, 3000 potential or current trainees in another group I run, as well as talking to others in the know in the profession, I concluded that I needed to say more than I just did in that blog post. So here we go.
This New Bill wants to create a new federal entity to oversee the appraisal profession, which we already have but ok. This Bill is stated as, “To establish an independent agency known as the Federal Valuation Agency and real estate valuation standards and appraiser criteria, including promoting a fair, unbiased, transparent, repeatable valuation process and other purposes.” So appraisers need more oversight and appraisers need someone to destroy our businesses based off false claims because they didnt agree? Does a home owner agree when they have to pay $300 more for a plumbing issue? Or do they just sue the plumber? What about a mechanic who says it’s 3K vs 1K due to issues… Does the consumer file a complaint? The consumer is the expert right? So why do homeonwners think they are the experts in the market? Why do they hire a realtor? Because Oh thats right. The agent is biased,,,, Why does the word biased work for agents but against appraisers?
Now since many here do not pay attention to the daily issues of the appraisal profession, I’ll spell it out very simply as it’s not that hard to figure out… THE ASC is that ENTITY looking to become the Federal Agency. (This is my speculation, but based on the years of issues between the ASC and TAF and others, it only makes sense) So we have an entity in the ASC not telling the whole truth in front of senators to make them look better and gain control. How can we support an organization that can’t even tell the actual truths, give facts and give Honest statements to senators? Again refer back to my last blog post. Now I also suspect that other larger groups ( no names will be said) are also involved with this new takeover as they have had this same idea for years now. Groups that only care about the money, fame, and being able to assert their authority over all of us hard-working appraisers. Let’s not forget how the ASC receives cash from all the AMCs that they supposedly regulate (That’s a joke for another time). The ASC gets a fee for every appraiser on their roster, yet we have no idea where that money goes to or what it is used for. Where is the transparency? I see it… It’s transparent with the Government and others, but not the very people that are appraisers..
But here is the ultimate question? WHERE ARE THE ACTUAL INDEPENDENT APPRAISERS IN ALL OF THIS? WHERE ARE THEIR VOICES AS THE ONES THAT ACTUALLY ARE IN THE CROSSHAIRS, IN THE MEDIA, AND THE ONES THAT PUT THEIR LICENSES ON THE LINE EVERY SINGLE DAY? WHERE ARE THEY?
Now I am not talking about the Appraisal Institute or The American Society of Appraisers. I say that because I don’t belong either, and that’s a choice. It’s my choice because many of their members own AMCS, have separate agendas, and have a conflict of interest with me as an independent appraiser. Many other appraisers do not belong either, and that’s their choice. Both groups do not represent all appraisers. However, that’s right, you as the Government have bought into all the AMC, lender, and other groups’ narratives that you haven’t even attempted to include actual independent appraisers in the talks. It’s most likely that those appraisers would tear apart this narrative, and well, that’s not what you want. Elected officials not doing the right thing for the people they swore an oath to protect and gather any information they needed to make a decision. Funny, I just said that.. Appraisers use the data that everyone else ( Realtors, Agents etc) use to develop an opinion of value based on FACTS they research to protect the public trust, a public trust you are looking to destroy by greed insufficient information.
Information.. This is the Key Word that you all are overlooking. So I am about to give you factual information to take in.. ready?
- Hud investigations: we live in a country that states, “Innocent before proven guilty,” yet your own HUD has been researching appraisers for racism and bias. The FIRST thing presented is a settlement amount. For example, NJ appraiser who alleged racial discrimination was asked to pay $100K before an investigation was done on them. When they refused, HUD asserted their authority and asked for 1) 1 year’s worth of files along with a list of the following: RACE or Ethnicity of a person at the house 2) lender name 3) AMC name 4) value of the report. Now I have been in a major lawsuit and know how this works… However, HUD asking for money before an investigation is absurd. Pay it, your guilty; don’t pay it, and you’re guilty, and we will make your life hard. Is this the system you are looking to implement going forward? If so, you better come up with another one and quick.
- AMCs… Where have all you been over the past 13 years, and now you want to take AMC information as a factual? Please. They aren’t regulated as much as appraisers; they were given the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory golden ticket; they pretty much make the laws even though the rules said they were to MANAGE, the process did not dictate it. Example: AMC contracts with a lender. The lender is later not happy with the appraisers they choose. The appraiser is removed from the panel so that the AMC can keep said client to make money. PRESSURE Isn’t that what HVCC and DODD Frank looked to take out? Oh, but when they, the AMC make money off the appraiser, but more so the lender, the AMC will choose the lender over the appraiser. Hard to lose a client that makes you money, right?
- Creating an all-in-one federal oversight organization (ASC or Others) ) Let’s be transparent here since we know where this is going. While I can see some good in this, I see more issues going forward. All complaints go to a federal entity (ASC or others), and we take away the responsibilities of the state? Who is deciding the fate of the appraiser? Will this federal entity employ 50 state representatives on their board that knows the entire state? Will this federal entity be able to remain impartial? Will they consult actual real estate appraisers or peers?
- Lastly Transparacy… Its a big word many use and one we need today. Where is the transparency in AMC fees vs. paid to the appraiser? Where is the AMC’s transparency to bid the order out and let the consumer know or lender know? Where is the transparency in the process? Where is the transparency in how this Bill will help rather than harm? Where is the transparency in the reports HUD has been investigating so that peers and others can offer info? Where is transparency in the facts? Transparency and details matter in major events. Not stating them paints a picture that is ONLY Taken in by few but not all. TELL THE TRUTH or have it be told to you later when it’s too late. ASC… you have one last shot at this.
Senator Toomey said it best, and I may misquote but try to be as accurate as possible. “There are two studies, and the info is proprietary and hasn’t been released to the public. So if no information has been released, how can we rely on it if no one else has seen it” EXACTLY!! Why is HUD holding out on the reports? 1) They aren’t an intended user, 2) They are keeping things secret, yet they still haven’t found any appraiser guilty. Everyone is taking the Brookings institute and other organizations because they have not once reached out to actual appraisers.
I didn’t get into the bias or racism aspect of all of this for one reason alone. Nothing Hud or the government has stated or supplied has actually shown proof. That’s not to say it isnt there, however, how can I comment when I have not seen any appraisals, who the lender is, the AMC, the appraiser and the communication between them and the appraiser and AMC. OH wait.. that falls under transparancy once again that the governement doesn’’t want anyone to know about…. .
So in closing.. the Government is about to destroy a profession based on opinions, money, and what benefits them, NOT the people they represent. NOt one appraiser was represented in front of senators; not one appraiser was able to tell their story. Wouldn’t it be a fantastic day when our elected officials are looking for their paycheck for a job done only to find out that the company they work with (Appraisal loft, Coester. etc) closed shop, owing them millions but got away with it.. You know damn well they would make a stink about it and see it from our side.
Last Note: You now complain about a shortage of appraisers or biased appraisers. Pass this Bill, and the housing market will have its own chaos as I see even more appraisers leaving. One day appraisers over value homes and the next they undervalue homes. Make up your minds See you all are complaining about the wrong things. I’ll say it again.. While you all bark up the one tree you are failing to see whats going on in that other tree. You have failed to look at all the previous issues. For some reason in the political world it’s who can have the bigger and best bill and not solve the issues that are right in front of your face. So lets create more issues and more problems, instead of solving the ones that your leaders and people dont want you to hear .
Shame …. It’s WE THE PEOPLE and we have a Constitution … Start working and lead for it, Stop letting money lead you and get the poeple that matter to voice their concerns , you know the independent appraiser. WE THE PEOPLE… You all have forgotten that due to your own greed and political posiitons. White, Black, Hispanic etc Appraisers don’t appraise for who you are rather they appraise where your home is located and the facts based off it… The ASC and others are creating a narrative for their own gain. It’s time you speak to actual appraisers before it’s to late in the game and you create a problem you can’t fix. .