Kirchmeyer adds appraisal insurance against faulty valuations
Kirchmeyer & Associates added loss protection for faulty valuations to its appraisal management services, according to a company release. The new program, operated in partnership with Group9 Insurance Solutions, shields lenders and investors from losses when "a valuation inaccuracy is discovered" in the case of loan default, foreclosure or buyback, the release said. Kirchmeyer, based in Buffalo, N.Y., said Companion Insurance Company underwrites the insurance. "Rebuilding the mortgage industry's confidence is paramount in today's market, and having a plan in place enables the industry to thrive," Kirchmeyer President James Kirchmeyer said in the release. Brian Coester, CEO of Coester Appraisal Group, said many lenders are getting burned on flawed appraisals. Mortgage insurance covers losses for other conditions of default or foreclosure, he said, but not appraisals. A similar appraisal insurance program launched earlier this year by Coester's company also included legal defense for mortgage repurchases. "It's definitely something where there's a fundamental gap," Coester said. "Mortgage insurance companies can cover just a certain aspect. They can't cover everything." Coester said the appraisal insurance can shield lenders against making bad loans, and makes it easier to sell mortgages. "This would have really helped back in 2005," he said. Write to Andrew Scoggin. Follow him on Twitter @ascoggin.