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Appraisal Institute, ASA respond to HUD on RESPA.

The Appraisal Institute and American Society of Appraisers sent a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on October 28, 2002, responding to HUD's Proposed Rule on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, specifically its proposal to allow bundling of services through "guaranteed mortgage packages."

The goal of the reform is to have lenders provide consumers with a simple, clear and firm good faith estimate to shop for a home loan and service providers before they become so invested in the process that they cannot back out; and to allow any entity to assemble and offer consumers "guaranteed mortgage packages," including appraisal services.

While the two organizations agree with the overriding goal of the proposed rule, to simplify and improve the process of obtaining mortgages, they cited concern that bundling may lead to obscuring the services provided and increased client pressure. To that end, the two groups urged HUD to keep the appraisal fee under the good faith estimate, rather than allowing it to get buried in the "guaranteed mortgage packages."

The letter came after representatives of the Appraisal Institute participated in an October 9 panel discussion on the proposed RESPA reform hosted by the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. The panel focused the proposal's impacts on small business and included representatives from the Appraisal Institute, NAR, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the American Land Title Association and America's Community Bankers.

Bill Garber, Director of Government Affairs of the Appraisal Institute, said Appraisal Institute members expressed concerns over disclosure of appraisal costs to consumers and appraisers being "lost in the package" or "bundle." The RESPA rule could hide true costs of appraisal services to consumers and possibly allow for unreasonable markups or upcharges.

For a copy of the letter, visit or contact Garber at 202-298-5586 or
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Title Annotation:Industry and Institute News
Publication:Valuation Insights & Perspectives
Date:Sep 22, 2002
Previous Article:Appraisal Institute, NAR, ASA call on HUD to abandon Appraiser Watch Initiative.
Next Article:Appraisal Foundation names new appointees.

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