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February 18, 2002

Realtors Group Suggests More Experience For Federal Housing Administration Appraisers

By Marcie Geffner
Inman News Features

The National Association of Realtors has submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development supporting proposed new rules that would strengthen the requirements for appraisers to be on the Federal Housing Authority?s single-family housing appraiser roster and suggesting that the rules be made even tougher.

The new rules would require that appraisers who wish to be added to the roster meet minimum licensing or certification standards issued by the Appraisal Foundation appraiser qualifications board in addition to being state licensed or certified and clarify that an appraiser could be removed from the roster if he or she lost his or her license or certification in any state due to disciplinary action, even if he or she still were licensed or certified in another state.

NAR in its comment letter chastised HUD for not having more effectively enforced the existing

Frank Gregoire, chairman of NAR?s appraisal committee and a Realtor and appraiser in St. Petersburg, Fla., said NAR "acknowledged the erroneous acceptance of appraisers lacking the required credentials, but chose to address enhancing the standards rather than dwelling on past oversight."

Gregoire said NAR supports not only the higher standards, but also more stringent criteria for roster-ready appraisers. Specifically, the association told HUD that two years? experience as a licensed or certified appraiser should be a requirement above and beyond the minimum experience level set by the appraiser qualifications board.

The association?s comment letter, signed by 2002 President Martin Edwards Jr., stated that HUD/FHA appraisals often are more complicated than valuations of homes for other lenders and clients and thus warrant the higher level of experience.

Gregoire said HUD has specific requirements for "identifying the quality and adequacy of construction, adherence to minimum property standards, cost estimating for repairs, and estimating useful and remaining life of residential improvements, components and equipment."

And he said the skill and knowledge to meet those requirements could be gained by field work and appraisal experience.

"The roster of HUD appraisers should not be filled with newly licensed and certified appraisers, but with those having met a standard above the minimum," he said.

NAR?s letter to HUD also suggested several clarifications to HUD?s rules governing the suspension or removal of appraisers who are on the roster.

The Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Appraisers have asked HUD to drop approximately 330 of the 22,160 appraisers currently on the roster because they don?t have state licenses that conform to the appraiser qualifications board?s requirements. Gregoire said anecdotal evidence indicates the out-of-compliance appraisers may be concentrated in Illinois and Oklahoma.

Copyright: Inman News Service



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