House Committee Passes the Escrow, Appraisal and Mortgage Servicing Improvement Act
November 9, 2007
H.R. 3837, the Escrow, Appraisal and Mortgage Servicing Improvement Act addresses the critical need in the current mortgage marketplace to enhance appraisal independence standards. According to a study released by the October Research Corporation in December 2006, 90 percent of appraisers reported feeling pressure to raise property valuations to enable the completion of a transaction.
To rectify these problems, the bill establishes enforceable national appraisal independence standards with tough penalties, improves federal oversight of state appraisal regulators, and strengthens appraiser licensing and education standards. It also aims to enhance borrower protections by improving mortgage servicing and requiring escrows for individuals more likely to experience difficulty with repayment. The bill offers a comprehensive, balanced, and progressive set of solutions to solve these complex, abusive, and deceptive mortgage lending practices.