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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

The highly contested state of the appraisal market and where it’s headed

HousingWire experts answer the tough questions
Back in March, HousingWire gathered three industry experts to answers readers’ questions on the appraisal market. But as it turned out, one hour wasn’t nearly enough time to properly dig into the state of the highly debated appraisal market. In order to weigh in on the questions left unanswered on the first webinar, HousingWire hosted a follow-up appraisal webinar. Here’s what the three experts revealed on the state of the appraisal market.
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Another answer to the appraiser shortage? Eliminate 4-year degree requirement

Online training and less college hours would widen the field
New education and training requirements proposed by the Appraisal Foundation’s Appraisal Quality Board task force would ease the education burden to enter the field. Instead of requiring four-year college degrees, trainees could instead pass a college-level equivalency program equivalent to 21 semester hours of coursework (basically, an associate’s degree). In addition, candidates will be able to complete their training online, via a Capstone-type training program.
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Why a career in real estate is the perfect fit for many Millennials

Understand social platforms better than any other generation
Social media platforms keep us connected with family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances on a daily basis. And Millennials understand these platforms better than any other generation. But the online aspect isn't the only reason real estate is an attractive career for the younger generation. In many ways, this type of career is one that many young people will find enjoyable, rewarding, and —perhaps most important to this generation — meaningful.
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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Another Goldman Sachs alum joins Trump team

Plus, forest fires and the CFPB complaint database
The appointment of Anthony Scaramucci adds another Goldman Sachs alum to the Trump team. Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council, and Dina Powell, deputy national security advisor, are all former Goldman partners, while Steve Bannon, the president's top strategist, was a vice president at Goldman Sachs in the 1980s. 
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Happy Birthday Dodd-Frank: The Big Banks learned nothing

Calls to reform reform lack lessons from history
[Commentary] Dodd-Frank financial reform aimed to prevent a repeat of the supposed business practices that brought the global economy to a crashing halt. And the advent of the CFPB is meant to enforce that order. However, more than half a decade into its enactment, calls to reform the act are stronger than ever, albeit from predictable sources.
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Data plays a bigger role in the shrinking distressed market

Investors can accurately assess risk and price accordingly
[Commentary] Both GSEs still have plenty of legacy NPL and RPL on their books, as do large banks, particularly those with footprints in judicial states. That results in relatively large deals hitting the market: often portfolios of tens of thousands of loans, with unpaid balances of $1 billion to $3 billion. Smaller trades have also remained steady as reperformers get sold and regional banks and other investors manage their balance sheets. And there is still plenty of demand.
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The False Claims Act has no place in housing

Stop its use or lose FHA lenders
[Expert commentary] To be clear, we need a well-regulated lending industry to protect taxpayers, homebuyers, and communities. This is a good thing. But the use of False Claims Act is an inappropriate and harmful response that only reduces access to credit for qualified borrowers. It’s time to stop this.
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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Wells Fargo prepares to unveil digital mortgage

Nation’s biggest mortgage lender going digital in 2018
The digital mortgage revolution is about to hit lightspeed, as the nation's largest mortgage lender is preparing to go digital. That's right. Wells Fargo is developing its own digital mortgage platform. Actually, Wells Fargo is doing more than preparing to go digital. The bank is already testing its own digital mortgage experience and plans to fully roll it out at some point in 2018. Here's the full scoop.
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