Solidifi Inc., a collateral valuation and risk management services provider based in Canada, said Monday evening that it has opened its U.S. head office in Chicago, Illinois, and extended its suite of solutions into the national mortgage market. "Through our work with U.S. based lenders and global mortgage insurance companies, we are well prepared to provide immediate solutions to the collateral risk assessment challenges currently facing the mortgage industry," said Jason Smith, president and CEO of Solidifi. In light of impending market changes surrounding the introduction of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct -- which in particular creates market opportunity for appraisal management companies -- Solidifi said it had invested significant resources preparing its Solidifi Values collateral management platform for the U.S. market. The so-called HVCC has been derided by many industry participants as a one-sided solution that railroads appraisers; others have questioned whether one state's Attorney General should be able to change national industry practice. New York AG Andrew Cuomo first announced the deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in early March, and his office has been steadfast in its backing of the proposal. Expecting that some version of the HVCC will go into effect, Solidifi says that it's done its best to help appraisers maintain their core fee structure, rather than eroding fees, as some have feared. "Solidifi's fully transparent model is founded on the premise of appraiser independence, quality, and speed -- not just the lowest fee," said Smith. "Appraisers conduct business with mortgage participants by setting their own fees, and competing in an open market based on real-time service, speed, and quality metrics. "With our configurable and automated assignment algorithms, mortgage participants can set their collateral policy geographically and allow Solidifi to transparently manage the valuation transaction within an HVCC compliant framework as required." Regulatory compliance is a fundamental contributor to appraisal quality and acceptability for use in mortgage lending. Annual USPAP issuance, additional state and federal requirements, and changing end investor requirements will continue to be key drivers to collateral risk management protocol. Solidifi said its platform enforces compliance to the lender's requirements throughout the lifecycle of the appraisal, from order through to acceptance. To learn more, visit http://www.solidifi.com.