Industry News Blog


Mortgage lenders are seeking some relief from Fannie and Freddie as they are getting slammed with repurchases, stemming from faulty appraisals, fraudulent activity and incorrect paperwork.

Read more here at Bloomberg News about how taxpayer money is helping lenders at the local level.


Appraisal Institute's President Leslie Sellers told a Congressional subcommittee last week that it was time to clamp down on the industry.  The entire speech can be found here.


Over 100 members of the Appraisal Institute attended a congressional meeting to share the organization's position on financial regulatory reform and other business issues.

Read more about it here.


Always interesting to look at business from the consumer's mindset, and helpful too, when dealing with homeowners.  Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal that gives homeowners and potential borrowers some insight to how appraisals work, and the process of appealing them. 

With all the new regulations and media coverage during the mortgage meltdown, I'm sure a lot of consumers are wondering what to do if an appraisal comes in too low. 


The current report of increased mortgage fraud includes a 50 percent spike in home valuation fraud.  Here is a great article from The Washington Post that points out even though restrictions have been imposed, fraud is still occuring.  In addition, it points a finger at AMCs for using inexperienced appraisers who are willing to work at cheaper rates.

Read more here.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development informed mortgagees they can obtain a case number in FHA Connection without first having to select an appraiser from the FHA's roster or input the appraiser's information in the case number assignment screen, according to Mortgagee Letter 2010-15. The update went into effect on Feb. 15.

HUD also said the effective appraisal date must be subsequent to the case number assignment date, with limited exceptions.


In order to keep up with the changing times, appraisers will need to learn more about energy efficient housing topics and how they relete to property valuations.  The GREEN Act, approved April 22, "includes a provision supported by the Appraisal Institute that would define any property with energy efficient features/improvements as a “complex” appraisal assignment that therefore would require a higher competency level, such as certification," as noted in the...


Even with all the new regulations and heightened awareness, mortgage fraud is still on the incline although at a much slower pace.  According to MyBankTracker, fraud occurrences have risen five consecutive years. 

Read more about it here at MyBankTracker.


A lawsuit against Goldman Sachs contends executives benefited from the decline of the mortgage industry, in fact, that they were betting on it.  And seemingly, they were.  But they also bet on which executives could eat the most White Castle burgers in one sitting.  So, what's their crime?


Fannie Mae conducted a National Housing survey and found that even with all the economic turmoil and foreclosure activity, about two-thirds of Americans surveyed think this is a good time to purchase a home and prefer homeownership to renting.

For more interesting details on this survey and its results go here.