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AppraiserLoft ValuClear™ Report Provides Lenders with Accurate Market-Expert Pre-Valuation Estimates

By masad | February 16, 2023

SAN DIEGO, California (February 16, 2023) – AppraiserLoft ValuClear™ leverages thousands of local-market experts to derive an accurate pre-valuation estimate that's a reliable alternative to traditional AVMs and client estimates. With an average same day turn time, ValuClear provides lenders a pre-valuation estimate at a fraction of the cost of full appraisal or BPO.

The ValuClear report provides the expert price estimate and supporting documentation lenders need to start the lending process. Each report includes hand-selected comparables, MLS data and property photos to support the pre-valuation estimate.

“Our customers were asking for a cost effective rapid-turn solution that would give them the reliable valuation estimates they needed to begin the lending process,” stated Aman Makkar, CEO and Founder of AppraiserLoft. “Volatile markets were making AVMs less reliable, so ValuClear leverages our nationwide network of thousands of licensed real estate professionals to provide accurate pre-valuation estimates.”

"ValuClear is positioned as an alternative to traditional valuation products used in the pre-estimate process,” stated Zan Smith, Senior Vice President of Alternative Valuations. “In fact, our clients are most surprised that we are able to deliver a high-quality valuation solution at a price that competes with some AVMs in the market.”

Topics: AppraiserLoft Updates, Technology | No Comments »

Leading Reverse Mortgage Wholesale Lenders utilize AppraiserLoft for Appraisal Services

By AppraiserLoft Team | April 14, 2023

Eight of the top ten Reverse Mortgage Wholesale Lenders use AppraiserLoft as a preferred appraisal management company.

AppraiserLoft has dedicated itself to work with the nation’s leading reverse mortgage wholesale lenders over the past few years.  

AppraiserLoft’s current client list includes many of the industry leading reverse mortgage wholesale lenders including: Financial Freedom/OWB, James B. Nutter and Company, Generation Mortgage, Urban Financial, Genworth Financial, LiveWell Financial, Security One Lending and 1st Mariner Bank.

“We made a strategic decision in early 2007 to enter the reverse mortgage industry with zeal, and we have been fortunate to build such strong relationships during this time, “ said Aman Makkar, AppraiserLoft's founder and CEO.   “The majority of real estate vendors were focused on the forward lending side due to the heyday of the real estate boom.  On the other hand, we studied demographics and reverse lending statistics and realized the market was fairly untapped and in an upward trend.“  

A reverse mortgage loan is only available to a specific type of borrower.  The two main criteria are the borrower must be at least 62 years old and have at least 50% equity in the home.  Interestingly, over half of reverse mortgage loans are to borrowers between the ages of 70 to 79.

“The reverse mortgage borrower has a unique profile, therefore we ensure the appraisal process is handled with specific concern for the senior and their experience with the appraiser,” said Shane Copeland, Senior Vice President - Director of Sales.   “Understanding the senior borrower as well as the reverse mortgage loan process has helped us provide a high level of service which has also reflected positively on the lenders that we represent.”

As the reverse mortgage industry continues to grow over the coming years, AppraiserLoft is well positioned to handle their clients demand during this period.

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Reviewing the Review

By AppraiserLoft Team | February 3, 2023

Have you ever wondered if you could confirm whether an investor or mortgage insurance review of your appraisal was properly performed?  If so, we can assist you in evaluating the original review through the use of our second review product (Review2).

Review2 can be provided to any client interested in obtaining a review report on the accuracy and reliability of a previous review of a specific appraisal.  It also provides commentary and support for whether the analysis, opinions, and conclusions of the original review are credible.  Review2 is unbiased!

Here is how it works:

If the original review appraiser disagrees with the appraisal report and a new value is made, the Review2 appraiser will provide comment and support for one value or the other.

If the Review2 appraiser disagrees with both values, an additional value is provided along with retrospective market data and support as of the effective date of the original appraisal.

Appraiser Specifics:

All Review2 appraisers will be State Certified and have local knowledge and experience needed to produce a credible review.  This includes, but is not limited to, being familiar with the specific types of property and market area.  In short, only our most qualified and seasoned appraisers are available for the Review2 assignment.

Topics: AppraiserLoft Updates | No Comments »

Quality Control equals Quality Appraisals

By AppraiserLoft Team | January 25, 2023

Quality Control Reviews within 10 Minutes

Here at AppraiserLoft, it is our continued desire to attain the highest standards, what we call 'Fanatical!'  With this mindset, we have enhanced our Quality Control process to pave the way for Fanatical Quality Appraisals.

A standard industry request from clients to appraisal management companies (AMC's) is speedy turn around time.  Clients always ask, 'How fast can you get my appraisal completed?'  In trying to satisfy client needs with quick turn around times, an appraisal report's quality is susceptible to compromise.  Not with AppraiserLoft!

AppraiserLoft has actually adopted 'speed' as a tool to help with quality.  Here's how.  Normally, an appraiser uploads an appraisal to an AMC's platform and moves onto the next order in the queue.  Then hours later, if not a day or two later, the AMC returns the 'completed appraisal' to the appraiser for quality review corrections.  By then the appraiser's 'mind set' has moved on.  The appraiser is now being burdened by the 'competed appraisal.'

Instead of hours or days, our appraisers normally receive their appraisal for quality control review corrections within 10 minutes of uploading to our platform.  Appraisers love it.  Why?  They love it because the appraisal is still in the forefront of their brain; therefore, the appraiser normally returns the corrected appraisal to us soon thereafter.

How do we accomplish a Quality Control Review within 10 minutes? It's a hybrid approach of Customized Client QC Integrations, our Proprietary Technology, and QC Staff from 6am - 12 midnight Sunday through Friday.

Implementing such measures is a winning solution for all parties involved.  Appraisers love it because they can truly move onto to their next order.  Clients love it because they get both speed and quality simultaneously.  For us, we love seeing both appraisers and clients fanatically served.

Topics: AppraiserLoft Updates | No Comments »

AppraiserLoft Achieves Compliance with TAVMA Standards and Expands Executive Team

By AppraiserLoft Team | January 22, 2023

Continuing to exhibit our longstanding support for unparalleled appraisal management practices, AppraiserLoft announces full compliance with Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association’s (TAVMA) Standards of Good Practices in Appraisal Management. Released January 6, 2010, TAVMA standards join a composite of other appraisal management regulations set forth by FHA, HVCC and other agencies.

As a leading appraisal management company, AppraiserLoft has consistently met or exceeded the guidelines recommended or required in providing ethical property valuations. AppraiserLoft has adopted stringent guidelines which mirror TAVMA’s standards. Those standards focus on: Supplier recruitment and coordination, assignment of appraisals ordered, management of order tracking and workflow, quality control at all stages, appraisal delivery, customer service, product development, marketing and administration and training.

AppraiserLoft founder Aman Makkar fully supports TAVMA’s standards, evidenced by his company’s requirement that its panel of appraisers adhere to the highest code of ethics in the industry. Given the wide scope and range of recent legislation and standards, Makkar has also created three new positions within the company. “AppraiserLoft understands the importance of integrity and honesty in the appraisal management industry. To exemplify our commitment to excel in our management practices, we welcome Bill Waltenbaugh as our Chief Appraiser, Masad Baba as our Chief Compliance Officer and Ernest Durbin, SRA as our Chief Knowledge Officer. The addition of these three highly qualified individuals to our staff is just one measure we are taking to ensure that AppraiserLoft sets the highest standard in the delivery of appraisals to our clients,” stated Makkar.

“AppraiserLoft extends our full support to TAVMA’s standards of good practice. We are internally prepared and staffed to continue our commitment to delivering professional, unbiased appraisals which are in full compliance with all agency and government regulations and rules,” stated Masad Baba. Standards of good practice and codes of conduct within the appraisal industry are necessary measures which govern AppraiserLoft’s internal policies and practices.

Topics: Appraisal Regulations | No Comments »

Appraisal System in Department of the Interior Gets Scrutinized

By AppraiserLoft Team | January 6, 2023

An evaluation report on the appraisal operations in the Department of the Interior (Department) has found that the existing system is not working properly and has heavy criticism for the current status of the Appraisal Services Directorate (ASD), the office set up to handle the appraisal needs for the Department.

The report, from the Office of the Inspector General, claims that appraisal operations are “impeded by a combination of factors,” including a lack of support from the National Business Center (NBC), persistent undermining by other bureaus and the “nonexistence of leadership.”

The ASD was originally created in 2003 as part of the effort to remedy longstanding problems with the appraisal process in the Department. The ASD’s mission is to satisfy the appraisal needs for property bought and sold by the Department and its bureaus, including the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation. Over the last four years, the ASD has appraised almost 8 million acres of land, with an appraised value of almost $10 billion. The ASD has over fifty full-time appraisers who report back to a chief appraiser based in Washington, D.C.

The report says that the ASD does not have “full control over and responsibility for the appraisal process,” with the NBC failing to provide timely support and services. In addition, the other bureaus have consistently undermined the ASD by “repeatedly acting to regain control of the appraisal function.” The Department, meanwhile, did nothing to intervene and address these issues.

In damning criticism of the current structure, the memo that accompanied the report, said, “This lack of support is compounded by the fact that ASD has essentially become dependent upon others to address policy and enforcement issues as the agency has been without consistently strong leadership for the past three years.”

At the heart of the system should be appraiser independence, according to the findings in the report. “The quality of an appraiser’s services in ascertaining market value is negated when appraiser independence is compromised by excessive pressure to meet management and political objectives.”

The appraisers employed by ASD were frequently in conflict with realty managers’ “drive to expedite land transactions and ‘make the deal.’” The ASD was placed within the NBC, making it dependent on the Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget to address any problems.

Making matters worse was that the ASD lacked a proper chief appraiser for the last three years. Since the first chief appraiser left the post in 2006, the ASD was led by a “series of well-intentioned acting chiefs and, for one year, by a chief appraiser who was not technically qualified to hold the position.”

Summing up the attitude of the NBC towards the objectivity of appraisers, the report said, “We found that the NBC selected the unqualified chief appraiser as a result of its focus on customer service and business experience, with a de-emphasis on technical appraisal skills and qualifications.”

The audit makes three recommendations to fix the problems with the Department’s appraisal system. The first is to delegate responsibility to ASD for complete control of the contracting process. The system currently sees the NBC as responsible for contracting. The second recommendation is to ensure that a “strong and competent” chief appraiser is hired to lead ASD. The final recommendation is to revisit the organizational placement of the ASD. Rather than its current status within NBC, the report recommends it becomes an independent office within the Office of Policy, Management and Budget, in order to “reinforce ASD’s ability to successfully and independently perform appraisal-related activities.”


Source: Valuation Review

Topics: Bank Appraisal Conflicts | No Comments »

Lender groups call for AMC model to be protected

By AppraiserLoft Team | December 21, 2022

Two professional groups of major national lenders have sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee and the House Rules Committee calling for the appraisal management company (AMC) business model to be given protection in upcoming legislation that is aimed at reforming the mortgage industry. Among other requests, the groups believe that AMC regulation on a state level should be overseen by the states’ respective bank regulatory agencies and not appraisal boards, which are described as “dysfunctional.”

The letter was sent to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Committees by the Consumer Mortgage Coalition and the Housing Policy Council, both of which are trade groups that represent the national residential mortgage lenders, servicers and service providers. Members include such titans of the industry as Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and J.P.Morgan Chase and Co.

In the letter, the groups strongly endorse the AMC business model, saying that it helps lenders comply with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and gives “value-added services,” including:

-  Providing a firewall between loan-production staff and appraisers;

-  Maintaining comprehensive, state-by-state databases to ensure that only licensed and certified appraisers in good standing are engaged;

-  Ensuring appraisers comply with all aspects of USPAP;

-  Maintaining systems to track and ensure the quality and timeliness of appraisals; appraisal technology improves quality control and accuracy; and

-  Backing their appraisals with significant capital as well as errors and omissions insurance, both of which most individual appraisers lack. This is an important protection that enhances the safety and soundness of mortgage lenders, while it benefits private investors.


The groups call for the upcoming AMC regulations contained in H.R. 1728 to be amended. Specifically, they do not believe that state appraisal boards will be able to effectively enforce the regulations, calling boards “dysfunctional” and “under-resourced.”

“It would be a mistake to impose a new federal mandate on states to regulate AMCs, and then force them to use the dysfunctional, under-resourced state agencies that have been ineffective at meeting their basic regulatory mission,” the letter explains. It cites testimony delivered by the Appraisal Institute to Congress earlier this year that claimed 60 percent of state appraisal boards had failed to uphold their enforcement responsibilities.

Instead of state boards overseeing AMC regulations, the groups suggest it would be better to have state bank regulatory agencies in place instead, as these agencies would have the “sufficient resources, expertise and a track record of taking disciplinary action when needed.” In addition, state and federal banking regulators already have the standards and processes in place that are needed for reviewing and supervising third-party service providers for banks.

The other amendment to HR 1728 that the group calls for is in registration fees for AMCs. The current level is too high, they say, and would bankrupt or force out of business those companies who operate on a national level. They suggest an annual cap of $5,000, as this would give enough capital for the new oversight program, “without unfairly harming smaller AMCs.”

Source: Valuation Review

Topics: General | No Comments »

AppraiserLoft Positions Itself as a Leader in Achieving Compliance with FHA’s January 2010 Appraisal Rules

By AppraiserLoft Team | December 21, 2022, a leading online national appraisal management company, continues its trend of HVCC compliance, this time with the FHA regulations requiring appraiser independence in loan origination. The newly proposed FHA guidelines slated to take place on January 1, 2023 are strongly supported by AppraiserLoft which, since it was founded, has required that its appraisers adhere to a strict code of ethics in their property valuations. AppraiserLoft’s practices were already in full compliance with the new FHA Appraiser Independence and Appraiser Engagement regulations when HUD released them in October 2009.  AppraiserLoft achieved early compliance with similar standards set forth by the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) in 2009. Their commitment to maintaining integrity and delivering professional unbiased appraisals positions them to provide appraisal services to lenders, which are in full and complete compliance with all government rules and regulations.

Among those new rules and regulations is FHA’s requirement that appraisers receive reasonable and customary compensation, a practice which AppraiserLoft has adhered to since it was founded in 2006. Mirroring HVCC’s requirement that appraisers cannot be affiliated with lending agencies, FHA’s version has also adopted higher standards in ordering appraisals, a measure strongly supported by AppraiserLoft. According to Brad Kirk, AppraiserLoft’s Director of National Sales, “The company will continue to exceed expectations as it ensures that all transactions are performed at an arm’s length, without any influences or relationships which could impact the true valuation of properties we are trusted to appraise honestly and independently.”

AppraiserLoft’s practices also mirror the new FHA requirement that appraisers have familiarity, experience, and knowledge in the geographic location of the properties they appraise. With over 15,000 appraisers, AppraiserLoft’s nationwide network includes FHA approved appraisers in all 50 states. SVP and Director of National Sales, Shane Copeland adds, “Geographic location has always been and will always be one of the main criteria for the selection of independent appraisers in AppraiserLoft’s transactions. We strongly support and will continue our previous practice of hiring local appraisers to provide property valuations that lenders can trust.”

FHA Appraiser Independence and Appraiser Engagement regulations will also impose changes in FHA case number procurement and management. Strict regulations preventing lenders from generating FHA case numbers have the potential to delay the appraisal ordering process. Copeland reports that AppraiserLoft is internally prepared to expedite the process and reduce inefficiencies, while continuing its commitment to generating impressive turnaround times of 3-4 days in most areas.

The new FHA guidelines are part of a continuing effort to ensure integrity in the relationship between lenders and appraisers. “AppraiserLoft applauds and supports the higher standards outlined in the FHA version of the HVCC. We welcome the opportunity to be leaders in complying with this legislation and have set forth policies and procedures which will help us to effectively do so,” Kirk announced.

Topics: General | No Comments »

Freddie Mac: Home Valuation Code Has Improved Appraisal Quality

By AppraiserLoft Team | October 20, 2022

By Brad Finkelstein, National Mortgage News
October 20, 2022
Though it is early in the process, Freddie Mac said it has seen a tangible improvement in the quality of appraisals of loans it buys since the Home Valuation Code of Conduct took effect.

Patricia McClung, Freddie’s vice president of offerings management, said at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s convention here last week that of the appraisals the government-sponsored enterprise receives, 15% more have come acceptably close to the automated valuation model it runs as a check.

The improved quality of mortgages bought by Freddie and Fannie Mae reduces the repurchase risk for mortgage lenders because of lower defect rates, she said.

The code, which took effect May 1 for all loans bought or guaranteed by Freddie or Fannie, has sparked controversy. It bars mortgage brokers and loan officers from ordering appraisals, which might give them leverage to pressure the appraiser to overstate the home’s value.

Many lenders have outsourced the ordering of this work to appraisal management companies. Mortgage brokers and real estate agents have accused these companies of inhibiting a housing-market recovery by hiring appraisers who are inexperienced or unfamiliar with the neighborhoods they work in and thus produce faulty, lowball valuations.

Ezzard Alves, Fannie’s director of credit risk, said at the conference that several myths exist about the code. One is the notion that it bars all communication with the appraiser. In fact, the code permits a lender or authorized third party to contact an appraiser with additional information, to seek an explanation for a valuation, or to correct a factual error, he noted.

Appraisals are low simply because values are declining, which was happening before the code took effect, Alves said. As for the claim that management companies are using "out-of-area" appraisers, he said, Fannie and Freddie require the use of appraisers who know the local market.

For complete story, click here:

Topics: Appraisal Regulations | No Comments »

Chicago Lawyer Seeking Class Actions over HELOCs Against Wells Fargo, Chase, Others

By AppraiserLoft Team | September 15, 2022

By: Darrell Delamaide

Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and other major banks are fraudulently closing down home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) just when consumers need them the most, Chicago attorney Jay Edelson is alleging on behalf of a number of clients in lawsuits that seek class action status.

Edelson has embarked on a crusade against the banks for suspending HELOCs when a computer program tells them – falsely, he claims – that a borrower’s house has declined in value. Failing that, he charges in another case, the banks find some spurious “material change” in the creditor’s profile to justify the suspension.

In a flurry of lawsuits and press releases, the plaintiff’s lawyer has attracted nationwide attention.

Edelson filed a suit against Wells Fargo Bank on behalf of Michael Hickman, of Westmont, Illinois, claiming that Wells Fargo used computer models to determine home values instead of having licensed appraisers do the job. The bank did not give customers sufficient notice of either its intent to re-appraise the home or the possible consequences, the suit alleges.

The Wells Fargo case is similar to an earlier lawsuit filed by Edelson against JPMorgan Chase on behalf of Pascal Majon of Zion, Illinois, who claims Chase denied him access  to his HELOC account due to a purported substantial decline in the value of his home. In reality, Edelson said, Majon’s home did not decline in value.

Majon’s case is part of a fraud to deny customers access to millions of dollars in their previously approved home equity lines of credit, the suit alleges. The bank intentionally used falsified home appraisals to freeze home credit lines, according to the suit.

One of the arguments in the lawsuits is that Wells, Chase, and other banks are engaging in these allegedly unfair practices even after accepting government bailout funds.

“Rather than honoring their promises to Congress and to the American people that they would use the bailout money to get credit flowing again,” Edelson said in his press release about the Majon case, “banks like Chase seem content to deny people access to their credit when they need it most.”

Edelson said his firm, KamberEdelson LLC, has filed other class actions against Washington Mutual (now a Chase subsidiary) and Citibank over similar HELOC practices.

In another case against Wells Fargo, the Edelson client, Marika Hamilton, alleges that the bank fraudulently suspended her HELOC by claiming a late charge of $25, that was put on her credit report in error, constituted a material change in her credit profile.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that Wells Fargo employees bullied her when she protested the suspension.

“Wells Fargo caused a late charge to be put on Ms. Hamilton’s credit report that never should have been there to begin with. It then used that item to justify suspending her entire credit line,” Edelson said of the case. “Adding insult to injury, the bank then threatened her and her business if she dared to stand up for herself. This is what Wells Fargo has done with the $25 billion in bailout money. Illegality aside, it’s flatly appalling.”

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Topics: Lawsuits | No Comments »

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