Also Meet With Representatives of ASC; Urge Delay of March 29th Go-Live Date
On February 6 ASA, along with the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA), sent a letter to the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) urging them to delay the planned March 29th implementation of the national appraisal complaint hotline, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.
In pushing for the delay, ASA and NAIFA pointed to several issues regarding the hotline’s formation:
- That the hotline was created in a closed process, without adequate stakeholder exposure or input;
- The hotline, as proposed, violates Congress’s intent and the clear language of Dodd-Frank;
- The hotline has morphed from a tool for appraisers to report instances of undue influence into a “catch-all” tool where anyone can file a complaint against an appraiser for any alleged violation of USPAP, regardless of whether it is legitimate; and,
- The open-ended cipher design of the hotline will greatly increase the volume of complaints against appraisers, impose undue, excessive burdens on them and on state appraiser licensing agencies, and possibly gum up the mortgage loan processing system. Ironically, the open-ended hotline is likely to increase pressure on appraisers to come up with market values that will make a mortgage transaction appear to be safely collateralized.
On February 7, government relations representatives for ASA and NAIFA met with Jim Park, Executive Director of ASC, along with senior staff, to further discuss the letter’s contents and to request an opportunity for the two organizations to be heard by the full ASC board.
You can read the full letter sent to the ASC by clicking here.
Scott A. Austin, IFA sent along these excerpts:
The bottom line:
“What is almost certain to happen – if the hotline website and system permit complaints involving alleged violations of any and all USPAP provisions – is an influx of large numbers of complaints that are spurious or fundamentally mistaken – complaints which will, nevertheless, raise questions about the professionalism of the appraiser complained against, occupy his or her time and attention and force state or federal agencies to review them. These are likely, but very unwelcome, outcomes that
the ASC should want to avoid..."
“While our organizations strongly support the hotline system for the purpose intended by Congress, we do not support a complaint system that permits individuals to trigger an investigative process that is unrelated to appraiser independence matters. We also do not support a process which excludes stakeholders from having a say in the implementation of a unique federal program, like the hotline program, which impacts our members in vital ways. Congress unambiguously intended the hotline to concern itself solely with appraiser independence issues; and the complaint system designed by the agencies should clearly reflect that fact.”