Appraisal Institute Urges Congress to Pass Pending Mortgage Reform Bill
WASHINGTON D.C. – The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest organization of professional real estate appraisers, is urging Congressional representatives to pass H.R. 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009, a bill that would eliminate a number of regulatory loopholes in the mortgage lending system and strengthen the appraisal regulatory structure. Currently, the bill is being considered by the House Financial Services Committee, where the markup is expected to last until Thursday.
“Our organization supports the Mortgage Reform Act not only because it returns to the fundamentals of mortgage lending and protects the independence of the appraiser from undue third-party pressure, but also because it ultimately seeks to safeguard the best interests of consumers,” said Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, president of the Appraisal Institute. “The American public needs and deserves a healthy mortgage lending system.”
In testimony last week before the House Financial Services Committee, Amorin presented lawmakers with a short list of reforms the Appraisal Institute believes are needed to protect the safety and soundness of mortgage finance system transactions. As of this morning, the Committee unanimously approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) that is consistent with many reforms recommended by the Appraisal Institute:
“We are pleased to see Congress moving swiftly and in the right direction to curb abusive lending practices,” noted Amorin. “Our organization urges all appraisers and members of the public to contact their Representatives in support of H.R. 1728 and to encourage them to become a co-sponsor of the bill.”
- Requirements for complete interior inspection appraisal requirements for all subprime loans.
- Establishment of a federal appraisal independence standard with up to $20,000, per day, in civil penalties for violations.
- Modernizing provisions of Title XI of FIRREA to provide additional resources for state enforcement and greater accountability of federal and state appraisal regulators.
- Validation for consideration of professional appraisal designations in appraiser hiring decisions.
- Required separation and clear disclosure of fees paid to appraisers and fees paid for appraisal administration (fees paid to appraisal management companies).
- Limitations on the use of broker price opinions in mortgage origination;
- Registration requirements and a regulatory regime for Appraisal Management Companies, with mechanisms to prohibit infiltration by appraisers sanctioned by state regulatory agencies.
The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009 was introduced in March by Reps. Brad Miller (D-NC) and Mel Watt (D-NC). To view an explanation of Rep. Kanjorski’s amendments to H.R. 1728, visit www.appraisalinstitute.org/newsadvocacy/downloads/ltrs_tstmny/2009/KanjorskiAppraisalandServicingAmendmentSummary.pdf.
For more information on H.R. 1728, and other legislative issues impacting appraisers, visit the Appraisal Institute’s Web site at www.appraisalinstitute.org/newsadvocacy/ or contact Bill Garber,
Director of Government and External Relations, at 202-298-5576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Appraisal Institute is a global membership association of professional real estate appraisers, with 25,000 members and 91 chapters throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Members of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA and SRA designations. For more information regarding the Appraisal Institute, please visit www.appraisalinstitute.org.