“Dot your i’s and cross your t’s” (or is it the other way around?)
While this rule may have been pounded into us throughout grade school, the basic principle still applies in all we do. Real Estate appraisals are no exception.
Most Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s) have always dotted those i’s, and individual appraisers have strived to cross their t’s. But after the travails of the 2008 housing crisis and subsequent financial meltdown, safeguards like Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection Act were put in place to make sure there was broader oversight.
Enter AARO: a nationally chartered organization dedicated to the regulation of real estate appraisers. During the next three years, all state appraiser regulatory agencies will be required to enact legislation for the purpose of regulating Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs), and at Nationwide Appraisal Network (NAN) we’re on the ground floor with compliance.
Cristy Conolly, Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance recently attended the AARO conference and outlined three of the major topics that NAN is watching closely:
#1: AMC Final Rules. “The final rules were just published on June 9th. Now each state has 3 years to set up an oversight mechanism,” says Conolly. “These final rules will, of course, be the minimum AMC requirements, but every state can and will ‘tack on’ additional standards.
Because NAN is truly nationwide, our goal is to take the strictest of these regulations and enact them across the board so there is no question that the appraisers in our network are operating at the highest level.
#2: National Registry. The Appraisal Subcommittee is developing a national AMC registry that will oversee the industry and process any complaints. AMC’s will be required to pay an as-of-yet-undetermined fee for being in this membership. The ASC is also working on providing more detailed, up to date information as well as full disciplinary history for appraisers on the national registry. Conolly is thankful for this addition. “Up until now, any registry has contained minimal and outdated information. Having a more reliable database will greatly help NAN in the vetting process. We take great pride in working with the very best appraisers and this new registry will help in being able to complete our due diligence in a timely manner.”
#3 AMC Audit Process. Currently, states have the right to audit AMC’s but are not required to do so. “One of my favorite words around the NAN office is document,” says Conolly. “You know how realtors say ‘location, location, location’? A good compliance officer says ‘document, document, document’. When an auditor looks through a NAN file, there won’t be a question as to why that appraiser was selected, why an additional scope of work was necessary, or who spoke to the appraiser and what was discussed. We document every communication for every file both with the appraiser and our client.”
So the big takeaway from the AARO meeting? Yes there are a great deal of rules, regulations and oversight on the way. But at NAN, we’re already implementing much of that change and will be completely up to date on all new standards in each state. If you want to work with an AMC that really does dot it’s i’s and crosses its t’s, contact us today!
About Nationwide Appraisal Network- NAN is an industry leader in appraisal management, providing a unique approach to valuations through customization, innovation, and quality. Visit us at www.nationwide-appraisal.com or call 888.760.8899