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NAIFA sues regulators to reverse appraisal rules.

The National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA) sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDlC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) seeking to overturn new rules recently adopted by all three banks and thrift regulatory agencies that exempt millions of real estate transactions from congressionally mandated appraisal requirements.

The complaint, which was filed in federal district court in Washington, DC, by the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher on behalf of NAIFA, claims that the regulators violated federal law when they decided recently that lenders are not required to obtain real estate appraisals that meet the requirements of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).

In announcing this action, NAIFA National President Albert B. Eason of Louisiana stated, "NAIFA is not in the habit of suing the U. S. government, but we cannot sit back and watch the regulators destroy the appraisal reforms enacted by Congress in 1989 that the appraisal profession has worked so hard to achieve."

Eason continued, "The situation is very simple. Congress told the FDIC, OCC and OTS what to do and they are refusing to do it. As a result, millions of homebuyers are being deprived of the consumer protections -- Congress enacted in the wake of the S&L crisis and billions of dollars of taxpayer money is being put needlessly at risk. We intend to pursue this matter vigorously and are confident that the courts will find that the agencies have violated the law."

Title XI of FIRREA was enacted when Congress found that faulty and fraudulent appraisals contributed to failures of banks and savings and loans. Title XI requires that real estate appraisals in connection with transactions where the federal government has ultimate financial liability be conducted by appraisers with demonstrated qualifications pursuant to uniform standards. In recent weeks, regulators arbitrarily decided that for over half of the new residential loans made in the U.S.--those below $100,000--lenders could by-pass FIRREA appraisal requirements. Other categories of transactions were also exempted.
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Title Annotation:National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 27, 1992
Words:339
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