You may have heard the expression “if you do not have a seat at the table, you are on the menu.” VaCAP can honestly state, appraisers are not on the menu.
Over the past several weeks, members of the Network (NSAO), which has now grown to 28 state organizations, have been recapping the events that transpired at the meetings in Washington D.C. last month. These meetings consisted of the FHFA meeting, the NSAO meeting, the ASC meeting, and the AARO conference.
Most state organizations participated and many individual appraisers attended. The support for the appraisal profession was strong. Appraisers have changed the dialogue significantly from a few years ago. Regulators no longer view appraisers in torn jeans and flip flops; an image portrayed by some bad players for personal gain. The professionalism we all have was conveyed with professional attire, professional attitudes and professional conduct. Things we do each and every day. Discussions were frequent and informative. Appraisers were presenters and other participants eagerly listened. Problems presented were addressed with solutions. Frank Gregoire, an appraiser and advocate for the profession, presented with the theme: “The appraisal house is in order, the issues are on the mortgage side” When you think about this statement, private clients do not have the issues the mortgage clients have. The appraisal process works.
Fannie and Freddie provided some insight into the PIW and ACE programs. They have a cap of 8% of the loans that can be offered an “opt out” option. Currently, only 2-3 % is being offered and of those being offered, only 40% of borrowers accept them. The statement was made “appraisers are important and we will continue to use them.”
At the FHFA meeting, there were numerous round table discussions. Members of the committee sat at tables with appraisers and lenders. Each FHFA member had a list of questions. Appraisers were the guest of honor and they wanted to hear from appraisers. CoreLogic, the moderator, the GSEs, Fannie and Freddie all remained quiet.
At the NSAO meeting, each state in attendance gave an update of events in their home state. Many ideas were shared and some solutions offered. There was not one person in that meeting who did not participate. Appraisers helping Appraisers. A roundtable discussion also took place at the NSAO meeting. Sehar Siddiqi, the National Association of Realtors, Sharon Whitaker, American Bankers Association, and Jessica Lynch, the National Association of Home Builders were our guest. A professional exchange of problems and solutions occurred for all to consider. Appraisers, once again were presented as the professionals we are. Steve Cannon, the attorney representing Louisiana against the FTC complaint, gave a presentation on antitrust issues and how we can protect ourselves. He also gave a brief history of the events of the Louisiana case. The Appraisal Standards Board meeting provided an update on things coming down the road. Much of the discussion revolved around USPAP changes for 2020-2021 and exposure drafts.
The AARO conference was another strong showing of professional appraisers. Debbie Jones, an appraiser from South Carolina, led a committee and presentation on streamlining the process to obtain your license once all the documents have been submitted. Lots of positive terminology during the conference. Some highlights on appraisal independence: Penny Reid, (Wells Fargo) “Credit and appraisals must be independent” Jim Amorin, (Appraisal Institute) “Supports C& R fees and appraisal independence” Frank Gregoire (Florida) “We need unbiased appraisals” The President of AARO, Craig Steinly, is an appraiser: “Appraisers are welcomed and encouraged to participate in AARO conferences. Appraisers are the experts in their profession."
If you are not a member of VaCAP or any other state organization, you should join. The state organizations are changing the landscape and we need your participation to continue the profession in a positive direction. We are now viewed as the solution, not the problem. If your state does not have an organization, reach out to us; there are many who will help you get started. Thank you to all who support VaCAP and our profession.