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HUD Delays New FHA Appraiser Guidelines

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) postponed implementation of new rules meant to promote objectivity for appraisers and minimize interference from lenders of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed mortgages. According to an FHA memo obtained by HousingWire, the January 1, 2010 implementation of Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2009-28 (download here) won’t take affect until February 15, 2010. The new FHA regulations are similar to those implemented by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to ensure appraiser independence with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC). Prior to the new rule, FHA-approved lenders could not accept appraisal reports selected, retained or compensated, in any manner by real estate agents. According to ML-28, FHA-approved lenders will be prohibited from accepting appraisals prepared by FHA Roster appraisers who are selected, retained or compensated in any manner by a mortgage broker or any member of a lender’s staff who is compensated on a commission basis tied to the successful completion of a loan. The second part of ML-28 makes lenders responsible for ensuring the appraiser who actually conducted the appraisal is correctly identified in FHA Connection, the Web site lenders and appraisers use to facilitate transactions with the FHA. The extension will provide FHA and lenders additional time to adjust systems to accommodate the changes and additional guidance about changes to FHA Connections will come in a later ML, HUD said. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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