Monday, May 4, 2009

The Home Valuation Code of Conduct In Full Effect

The HVCC, or Home Valuation Code of Conduct (link: Fannie Mae FAQs), went into effect on Friday, May 1, 2009.

Michael wrote about its imminent arrival in an April post as the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) had just announced the withdrawal of their lawsuit versus FHFA, thus ending their legal battle against the HVCC.

After months of preparation by lenders and appraisers alike, we're just past the May 1st start date and now submitting files according to the new guidelines. At this point, any appraisal ordered or paid for by loan production staff members (loan officers and processors at brokerages and banks alike), homeowners or real estate agents will not be accepted by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

While NAMB was vociferously opposing the Code, the reaction was mixed in the appraisal industry (as far as I could see).

But the grumbling in the appraisal industry is picking up: HVCC Appraiser Talkback Survey: What's Really Going On? (Appraisal Scoop, April 30th)

The intentions of the HVCC were admirable. Everyone wants a better appraisal system. The reality of the new rules? So far the biggest beneficiary has been AMCs, or Appraisal Management Companies - the companies through which lenders order/pay for appraisals. Business is booming for them. Borrowers pay $50-75 more for appraisals, the AMC takes their cut, and the appraiser gets paid approx. $100 less for the same report they did back in April.

But I guess only time will tell if the HVCC is the appraisal panacea, or if it was just an ill-conceived solution to a complicated problem.

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