Home Lenders FAQs - Lenders What are the FHA/HUD requirements for Mortgage Lenders to safegard real estate appraiser independance?
What are the FHA/HUD requirements for Mortgage Lenders to safegard real estate appraiser independance?

In the Mortgagee Letter 2009-28 (dated: September 18, 2009 and effective: January 01, 2010), FHA is reaffirming the requirements for appraiser independence. Mortgagees and third parties working on behalf of mortgagees are prohibited from:

  • Withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment or partial payment for an appraisal report.
  • Withholding or threatening to withhold future business for an appraiser, or demoting or terminating or threatening to demote or terminate an appraiser.
  • Expressly or impliedly promising future business, promotions or increased compensation for an appraiser.
  • Conditioning the ordering of an appraisal report or the payment of an appraisal fee or salary or bonus on the opinion, conclusion or valuation to be reached, or on a preliminary value estimate requested from an appraiser.
  • Requesting that an appraiser provide an estimated, predetermined or desired valuation in an appraisal report prior to the completion of the appraisal report, or requesting that an appraiser provide estimated values or comparable sales at any time prior to the appraiser’s completion of an appraisal report.
  • Providing to the appraiser an anticipated, estimated, encouraged or desired value for a subject property or a proposed or target amount to be loaned to the borrower, except that a copy of the sales contract for purchase must be provided.
  • Providing to the appraiser, appraisal company, appraisal management company or any entity or person related to the appraiser, appraisal company or management company, stock or other financial or non-financial benefits.
  • Allowing the removal of an appraiser from a list of qualified appraisers or the addition of an appraiser to an exclusionary list of qualified appraisers, used by any entity, without prompt written notice to such appraiser, which notice shall include written evidence of the appraiser’s illegal conduct, a violation of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) or state licensing standards, improper or unprofessional behavior or other substantive reason for removal.
  • Ordering, obtaining, using, or paying for a second or subsequent appraisal or automated valuation model(AVM) in connection with a mortgage financing transaction unless: (i) there is a reasonable basis to believe that the initial appraisal was flawed or tainted and such appraisal is clearly and appropriately noted in the loan file, or (ii) unless such appraisal or automated valuation model is done pursuant to written, pre-established bona fide pre- or post-funding appraisal review or quality control process or underwriting guidelines, and so long as the lender adheres to a policy of selecting the most reliable appraisal, rather than the appraisal that states the highest value; or
  • Any other act or practice that impairs or attempts to impair an appraiser’s independence, objectivity or impartiality or violates law or regulation, including, but not limited to: the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z and USPAP.

    Source: www.hud.gov, Mortgagee Letter 2009-28

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