Filtered by tag: Legislative Remove Filter

AI Opposes Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers participated in bipartisan meetings with members of Congress Jan. 15, urging them to review a proposed increase to the residential appraisal threshold.
 
The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have proposed raising the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000.
 
The Appraisal Institute is asking appraisers to voice their opposition to the proposed increase. AI created an action alert where its professionals and others can weigh in on this important matter. The action alert provides talking points that appraisers can use in their letters, and AI encourages appraisers to share their own stories and experiences when speaking against the proposal. 
 
Use the AI action alert to make your voice heard.
 
If you have any questions regarding this issue, contact Bill Garber, AI’s director of government and external relations, at 202-298-6449 or by email at [email protected].

FEMA Brings Back Flood Insurance Policies During Lingering Government Shutdown

By Caroline Basile

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced late Friday that it will resume selling and renewing flood insurance policies, rescinding its initial ruling that the National Flood Insurance Program cannot be renewed amid the ongoing government shutdown.

Read More

AI Seeks Public Hearing on Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute and 15 other organizations submitted a letter Dec. 21 to the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency requesting that they hold a public meeting as part of the process to determine whether to increase the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000. 

Click here to read the letter.

AI Rejects Proposed Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve on Nov. 20 released a proposal to increase the threshold at which residential home loans require an appraisal to $400,000 from $250,000.
 
The rule would not apply to loans wholly or partially insured or guaranteed by, or eligible for sale to, a government agency or government-sponsored enterprise.
 
“The Appraisal Institute strongly objects to the FDIC’s proposal to raise residential appraisal thresholds,” said 2018 AI President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA. “Congress just considered establishing a residential appraisal exemption and instead chose to enact a vastly different allowance involving appraisers in rural areas. This proposed rulemaking flies in the face of this action, and recreates the same type of environment that led to the housing crisis.
“By increasing the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000, FDIC would threaten the vital role that appraisers play in real estate transactions” said Murrett. “This action would undermine the crucial risk mitigation services that appraisers provide clients and users of appraisal services.
 
Murrett noted, “Raising the threshold means more evaluations will be allowed in place of appraisals. “The Appraisal Institute anticipates that will result in a return to the loan production-driven environment seen during the leadup to the financial crisis, where appraisal and risk management were thrust aside to make more – not better – loans. Apparently, the FDIC has learned nothing from that experience.
 
“Reducing regulations may seem to make sense initially, but the FDIC’s announcement raises significant safety and soundness concerns that the Appraisal Institute finds deeply disturbing,” Murrett said.

FHFA Sets Conforming Loan Limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019.  In most of the U.S., the 2019 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018. 

Baseline limit

Read More

Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules on Applicability of Appraiser Bias

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Nov. 26 ruled that the prohibition on appraiser bias contained in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the Appraisal Institute’s Code of Ethics and Certification Standard, or the appearance of bias, applies only to individuals and not to an appraiser’s employer.
 
 
The Court’s ruling is consistent with the position advanced in the amici curiae brief submitted by the Appraisal Institute and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers. At stake was the ability of appraisers who perform services in Massachusetts to engage in the valuation of properties when the appraisers’ employers provide other services, such as brokerage, leasing and asset management.
Click here to read more.

AI and Land Trust Alliance Support Conservation Easement

The Appraisal Institute and the Land Trust Alliance co-signed a letter Nov. 29 urging congressional leaders to advance the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act, which would help maintain the integrity of conservation easement donations by closing an apparent loophole related to abusive syndicated tax shelters. 

Click here to read more.

NCAI Comments on NCUA's Proposal

As you're aware by now, AI joined 17 other groups to submit public comments opposing NCUA's proposal to quadruple – from $250,000 to $1 million – the appraisal threshold for non-residential real estate loans. Our own state chapter (NCAI) has submitted public comments as well. Click the button below to read them.

Read NCAI's Letter

AI Professional Appointed to Missouri Real Estate Appraisal Board

By Liam Quinn

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Oct. 18 appointed Randy Bryson, SRA, AI-RRS, to the state's Real Estate Appraisers Commission. Bryson is president of Associated Property Analysts in Columbia and has been an appraiser since 1980. 

Click here to read more.

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

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.

Read More

Appraisal Institute Releases Guide to "Residential Green" Addendum

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today released a guide to complete and use the organization’s “Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum.”

This guide helps appraisers, real estate agents, energy and green raters, lenders, builders, the secondary mortgage market and sustainability organizations understand how each section of the addendum applies to valuation and marketing of the property.

Read More