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Best Practices needed to address appraiser independence issues.

To solve problems surrounding appraisal independence and client pressure, lenders and appraisers need to develop Best Practices that would serve as a guideline for both segments of the lending industry. This message was emphasized by Appraisal Institute president Gary Taylor, MAI, SRA, and Jeanne Obedzinski, MAI, who were among five speakers on a telephone briefing held February 24, 2004, cosponsored by the American Bankers Association and the Appraisal Institute. The teleconference was designed to foster dialog between appraisers and lenders on the issues of appraiser independence as well as offer guidance on complying with new regulatory guidelines and procedures. Approximately 4,000 appraisers and lenders participated in the two-hour nationwide teleconference in over 500 sites, setting a new attendance record for such events hosted by the ABA.

In addition to Taylor and Obedzinski, who is regional manager for real estate risk assessment for Bank of America, other speakers were Thomas E. Watson Jr., from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Virginia Gibbs, of the Federal Reserve's Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; and Anna M. Rentschler, vice president of First National Bank of Audrain County, Mexico, Mo.

Watson and Gibbs stressed the importance to lenders of separating the loan production function from the collateral valuation process, pointing out, for example, that use of a borrower's appraiser by a bank was in violation of the law. Speaking from the banking perspective, Obedzinski emphasized the importance to bankers of having appropriate quality control procedures in place. "Go beyond the checklist" when it comes to appraisal reviews, said Rentschler. "Don't go back to the '80s with trumped up values," she commented.

Taylor emphasized the need to reestablish firewalls between appraiser and lender, which have eroded over the past decade. The 2003 interagency statement on Independent Appraisal and Evaluation Functions is an attempt to recreate that firewall. He also encouraged more specifics on how appraisers can file complaints without fear of backlash from lenders.

If you were not able to participate in the live program, you may still receive a comprehensive update on appraisal independence by purchasing an audiocassette or CD-ROM of the briefing. To learn more about this program, go to and%20education/tb_022404. You may also order the cassette or CD-ROM Audio recordings by calling 800-775-7654.

If you have any questions about this program, contact Bill Garber, Director of Government Affairs, at 202-298-5586 or
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Title Annotation:Industry and Institute News
Publication:Valuation Insights & Perspectives
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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