On April 1, the new "customary and reasonable" appraiser fees under Dodd-Frank take effect. A week prior, HousingWire ran a Q&A with David Feldman, the vice president of government affairs at CoreLogic Valuations in an effort to clarify the impact this will have on the appraisal industry.
Many appraisers took notice of it, and not in a good way.
In a review of letters to the editor, many expressed frustration that the interview did not go far enough.
"I have to say I am very disappointed with the lack of questioning and follow-up to his very one-sided answers," said Tony Grubb an appraiser at Virginia-based AppraisalTech. "Not once was he asked about or discussed the harm Corelogic's lower than average fees have done to appraisers and their families across the country."
"Amazing what Corelogic says about fees to appraisers," wrote in another complainant who wishes to remain anonymous. "I just spent the last week lowering our fees because all the vendor management companies said that unless you lower your fees to compete with the other guys you will get little or no work."
"Appraisers have become slaves to the banks and vendor management companies," she added.
CoreLogic defends Feldman's words, though declined a vigorous response. The comments were also presented to other, similar firms. Many report the feeling that appraisers are not being flexible enough.
In particular, one firm said it had trouble finding appraisers to do "desk-based" work. "The days of going out to two valuations and taking the afternoon off are over," a manager at the AMC said.
Additionally, the chief appraiser of Pro Teck Valuation Services, Jeff Dickstein, did weigh in on other nagging regulatory questions. Mainly, there is an added worry that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which officially opens on July 21, will further negatively impact the appraisal industry.
Dickstein said the intended use of an appraisal is for the lender to obtain a market value opinion to assess risk for loan collateral, not for the buyer or seller. Most buyers and sellers are interested in anticipated sale price, not market value.
"If a consumer-oriented regulator takes charge, you will see people filing more objections to appraisals," Dickstein said. "The seller for instance may object to the home price being too low and argue for a higher valuation based on something like an above ground spa, which is not a real property feature, and not given value on an appraisal report."