Filtered by category: Legislative Clear Filter

US Commercial Real Estate Likely to Benefit from Revised NAFTA: CBRE

By Michael Tucker

The North American Free Trade Agreement's likely replacement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, should increase U.S. commercial property market demand by decreasing uncertainty about trade, said CBRE, Los Angeles.

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AI Distributes 45-Day Notice

The Appraisal Institute on Oct. 1 sent to 45-Day Notice an item pertaining to amendments to the organization’s bylaws and regulations 8 and 9. AI’s Board of Directors will consider the proposed amendments at its Nov. 15-16 meeting in Chicago. 
 
Read about the proposed admendments. AI professionals need to sign in to read the notice.
 
AI professionals need to sign in to read the notice. Comments should be sent to [email protected].

National Asking Rents For Office Space Rise Again

Written by Michael Tucker

The national office market continues to improve, largely due to a strong job market with just a 3.9 percent unemployment rate, reported Transwestern, Houston.

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National Mortgage Settlement Involving Feds, States and Banks Wraps Up

By Ben Lane

One of the vestiges of the financial crisis is now officially in the past.

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FHFA Extends Comment Period for Proposed GSE Capital Requirements

The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended the public comment period for the Agency's proposed rule on Enterprise Capital Requirements by an additional 60 days, citing "high level of interest in the proposed rule and requests from multiple stakeholders for more time to evaluate it."

The previous deadline for comments was September 17; the new deadline is November 16.

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President Signs Bill Authorizing 4-month Extension of Flood Insurance Program

President Trump on July 31 signed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program by four months — until Nov. 30, the White House reported. The extension gives lawmakers a small window to craft a longer-term extension for the program, which is underfunded by about $20 billion.

Click here to read more.

IRS Final Rules Define Qualified Appraisers, Standards Flexibility

The IRS on July 30 finalized rules for substantiating and reporting cash and noncash charitable deductions, stating that any tax deduction of more than $500,000 requires a qualified appraisal conducted in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards. The rules take immediate effect.
 
“The final rules confirm that professionally designated appraisers, such as those conferred by the Appraisal Institute, are well positioned to satisfy the qualified appraiser requirements of the IRS,” said AI President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA. “This is a highly contested area of tax law and appraisal practice, and users of appraisal services can remove doubt by turning to competent Appraisal Institute Designated Members.”  
 
“We also are pleased to see the agency provide for standards flexibility to appraisers, recognizing generally recognized appraisal standards as opposed to strict adherence to one particular standard,” said Murrett. “This protects taxpayers and the public interest, while providing more flexibility to appraisers and taxpayers procuring real estate appraisals for conservation and historic preservation easement purposes.”
 
The IRS received mixed feedback about the standards issue, but ultimately sided with the Appraisal Institute’s position on standards flexibility, noting in the final rule: 
 
Several commenters recommended that the final regulations require appraisal documents to be prepared “in accordance with USPAP” and not merely in accordance with the “substance and principles of USPAP.” Other commenters indicated that strict compliance with USPAP would eliminate use of all other appraisal standards, including some that are generally accepted in the appraisal industry. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that it is beneficial to provide some flexibility by requiring conformity with appraisal standards that are consistent with the substance and principles of USPAP rather than requiring that all appraisals be prepared strictly in accordance with USPAP. Accordingly, the final regulations do not adopt the recommendation to require strict compliance with USPAP and retain the requirement of consistency with the substance and principles of USPAP.
 
Review the final rule.

Fannie Mae Drops Form 1004MC, the GSE Reveals at AI Annual Conference

Fannie Mae is discontinuing the use of Form 1004MC (Market Conditions), the government-sponsored enterprise announced July 30 at the Appraisal Institute Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The GSE is expected to officially announce the change when it releases its updated Selling Guide in the coming weeks. 
 
Form 1004MC was released in November 2008, and from the start many appraisers said they found its use inappropriate for many market situations and conditions. Members of the AI Government Relations Committee expressed this opinion to Fannie Mae during recent discussions on ways the GSE could improve its policies and procedures. 
 
Reporting market trend activity will remain an important undertaking for appraisers and they will continue to do so even without the requirement to complete Form 1004MC. 
 
Freddie Mac has yet to make a similar announcement about discontinuing use of 1004MC, but the move by Fannie Mae may compel a similar policy change to maintain competitive posture. 
 
AI will monitor the situation and report new developments when they are announced. 

Appraisal Institute Opposes Effort to Reduce Risk Management for SBA Loans

The Appraisal Institute today announced its opposition to proposed federal legislation that would reduce the requirements for appraisals in major Small Business Administration loan programs.

The Appraisal Institute objects to the provisions of H.R. 6347, the 7(a) Real Estate Appraisal Harmonization Act, and H.R. 6348, the Small Business Access to Capital and Efficiency Act, both of which would adjust upward the real estate appraisal thresholds for SBA loan programs. An appraisal threshold is the amount of a real estate transaction above which an appraisal is required.

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Cordaro v Harrington Bank Court of Appeals

NCAI remains committed to keeping you informed of recent legal issues affecting the appraisal industry in North Carolina. The NC Court of Appeals issued a decision this week that may impact appraisers and their clients. According to David Ferrell, our legislative consultant, the case is about the potential liability of a bank for providing an inaccurate appraisal value to its borrower in connection with a residential loan. The Court ultimately ruled that the borrower’s complaint failed to sufficiently plead a contractual duty owed to him by the bank with regard to the appraisal – so the Court upheld the trial court’s dismissal of the case. 

Click here to view a copy of the court opinion. We will also have a copy on our website for future reference. NCAI will continue to keep track of these issues.

Court Finds Tax Appeal Attorneys Not Engaged in Appraisal Practice

The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (Chancery Division) on June 20 ruled that attorneys who referenced comparable property valuations and market values based on an income approach as part of tax appeal proceedings were simply engaged in the traditional practice of law and not in appraisal practice.
 
The case, Illinois State Bar Association vs. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, was filed in July 2017 after two Illinois attorneys were accused by the IDFPR of engaging in unlicensed appraisal practice after they submitted comparable property valuations, income approach information and market value opinions as part of two tax assessment appeals in DuPage County and McHenry County. 
 
ISBA filed a complaint seeking a declaration that the IDFPR lacked authority to prosecute, discipline or sanction lawyers for engaging in the practice of law for advocating on behalf of clients in real estate tax assessment proceedings. The case also sought to enjoin the IDFPR from initiating, maintaining or threatening prosecution of attorneys for engaging in that activity.
 
The main question before the court was whether an attorney representing a client in a tax proceeding violated the state’s Appraisal Act and functioned as an unlicensed appraiser when providing an analysis of comparable property valuations or developing an opinion of market value utilizing the income approach in a legal brief supporting a tax appeal. 
 
ISBA issued a statement when it filed suit noting, “Arguments based on property valuation are common in many legal fields and have long been typical of real estate tax assessment practice. The ISBA believes that making such arguments on behalf of clients clearly constitutes the practice of law, does not entail the submission of an appraisal, and is well beyond the authority of the IDFPR to regulate.”
Click here to read more.