Category Archives: Appraisal Practices Board

SB3044 (Amendment to the Real Estate Act of 2000) Signed by Governor

ICAP Members,

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 98-1109 (also known as SB3044) which will be effective January 1, 2015.  Among other things, the act defines BPO’s and CMA’s, specifies their use and what information/disclosures must be included.  The act also makes necessary changes to Illinois Law to be compliant with new federal requirements in 2015.  See the changes at:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/98/PDF/098-1109.pdf

 

 

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Spring 2014 AARO Conference

On behalf of ICAP, Ken Mrozek, MAI, SRA attended the Association of Regulatory Officials (AARO) 2014 Spring Conference, where discussions included state compliance reviews, national registry, USPAP, Dodd Frank Act, AMC Regulation, mandatory background checks, and more.  This year’s spring conference held April 11-13 at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, California.  It was attended by representatives from the TAF, ASC, AQB, APB, ASB, AMCs, Members of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, AI, IAAO, NAA, IAC, FBI, as well as many state regulator departments (including Brian Weaver ad Mark Thompson from Illinois). Topics of discussion at the conference included:

  • Updates from TAF, ASC, AQB, APB and ASB
  • Criminal History Reports & Background Checks;
  • Reducing Complaint Processing Times:  Successful Complaint Reductions Plans & ASC Review Findings
  • Mortgage Fraud Investigation
  • Supervisor/Trainee Course Development & Maintenance
  • Federal Legislation on Background Checks and the February AQB Exposure Draft
  • Appraiser and AMC Regulatory Issues and Updates

Additionally, time was allocated to various Advisory Council Meetings, meetings included:  ASC Advisory, Qualifications Advisory, USPAP Advisory, AMC Advisory Council, and Appraiser Professional Organizations Advisory Council.  The following is a summary of the discussions as presented by the various presenters.

 

Jim Park, Executive Director of the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC)

  • New State Rating System for State Compliance

The old ASC State Rating system had three ratings:  In Substantial Compliance, Not In Substantial Compliance, Not In Compliance.  The new rating system, as of June 1, 2013, states have 5 ratings.  Eighteen states have been rated so far in 2014 (including Illinois).  The rating categories and number of states rated are:

o    Excellent (2-year review cycle)/4 States

o    Good (2-year review cycle)/8 States

o    Needs Improvement (2-year review cycle)/6 States

o    Not Satisfactory (1-year review cycle)/ 0 States

o    Poor (Continuous Monitoring)/0 States

Illinois was reviewed September 2013 and was rated:  Needs Improvement with a 2-Year review cycle with follow-up.

  • National Appraiser Registry

There was discussion on how states are keeping the National Appraiser Registry up to date with licensee information.  At present, 27% of states are entering all data directly into the National Registry.  California is using SOAP System, which is linked to the National Registry and automatically updates the registry daily.

  • Appraiser Population

Mr. Park discussed the appraiser population, which peaked in 2008 with approximately 120K appraisers.  It had declined at a 3% to 5% annual rate through 2012.  He noted that the rate of decline decreased in 2013 to 1%, where we are currently at approximately 100K appraisers.  These numbers to not include trainees.

Since implementation as required by the Dodd Frank Act, the Appraisal Complaint Hotline website has had approximately 6,200 website hits.  The call center has taken 287 calls and there were 289 federal referrals and 865 agency referrals.

  • AMC Regulation

The AMC Regulation Requirements were released for 60-day Comment Period.  The Comment Period ends June 9th.  There may be another round of requirement and another 60-day comment period.  Once the new requirements are enacted, states will have 36 months to comply (with one possible 12 month extension).  The AMC Registration also includes a definition of an AMC, which differs from the current Illinois definition.

  • Federal Regulations to Come and ASC 2014 Priorities

Mr. Park discussed additional regulations and other Appraisal Subcommittee priorities that may be seen in the future.  These include:

o    Interagency guidelines require all valuations to be subject to review.  The Appraisal Standards Board is just starting to look at Automated Valuation Modules (AVM’s) and how the board might ensure Quality Control.

o    The ASB is looking to develop a Unique Appraiser ID Number that will be tied to the National Appraiser Registry.  The number would be used at the state and federal level to identify and track individual appraisers.

o    The Dodd Frank Act requires the ASB to develop an AMC National Registry.  This is still in progress.

 

David Bunton, President of The Appraisal Foundation (TAF)

  • Investigator Training

TAF developed courses for Investigator training.  There were two levels of investigator available and one newly announced training.  There are currently 310 Level I Trainers and 204 Level II Trainers.  TAF will not be offering a Level III investigator training course which will focus on evaluating appraisal report writing and reporting investigator findings.

  • Foundation to Publish a “Digest of USPAP Court Cases”

TAF will publish a collection of court cases across the country which cites USPAP.   The volume of court cases citing USPAP has grown exponentially, according to Mr. Bunton.  A website subscription will be available in time.  There was not timeframe given to when it would be published or when the website would be available.

The foundation has an electronic library available with resources to assist appraisers.  Resources highlighted include:

o    Training Videos

o    AQB Updates

o    APB – Its Role and Function

o    Understanding the Appraiser Regulatory System

o    Introduction to Green Buildings

o    Mock Administrative Hearing

o    Roundtable – Business Valuation Profession as it Relates to Financial Reporting

Mr. Bunton described a new non-profit organization established with the support of thirteen appraisal-related organizations, known as Alliance for Valuation Education.  The alliance’s primary goal is to develop valuation education that broadens and complements those courses currently being offered in the marketplace.  The Alliance will not be a provider of education.  The education developed by the alliance will be made available for wholesale purchase by education providers and professional organizations who will serve as course presenters.  Initial focus of the Alliances is on Continuing Education and may consider development of Basic Qualifying Education Courses or Remedial Courses later.

 

Wayne Miller, Chair of Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB)

  • Background Checks Mandate

Mr. Miller announced that earlier that day, the Board voted to postpone mandate for background checks to 1/1/2017.  States can still implement prior to this date, but after 1/1/2017, states will be required to complete background checks on all new appraiser applicants.

  • Personal Property Appraiser Criteria

Mr. Miller stated that the Personal Property Appraiser Criteria have not been updated since 1998.  The AQB is working on updating these criteria and there will likely be an Exposure Draft released soon

  • Jobs Analysis Survey sent out to appraisers recently

A recent job s analysis survey was sent over 23,000 emails throughout the country.  A total of 14.6% completed the entire survey and the board expressed gratitude for all those completing the survey.  The results will drive how appraisers are tested in state exams.  The initial results from the survey indicate that since 2008, state appraiser exams have been testing the “right” things.  The AQB is looking to see how exams could be shortened without losing effectiveness.  Mr. Miller also published the success rates for State Exams, nationwide.  In 2013, 1st Time Test Taker Pass Rates for Certified Residential was 69% and for Certified General was 54%.

  • Other AQB Discussion points

o    466 of 509 USPAP Instructors renewed their instructor’s license this year.  There were 24 new instructors.

o    The AQB is considering a University Degree Program, where university students would take college courses that would count for college credit as well as Qualifying Education towards their appraiser license.

 

Barry Shea, Chair of Appraisal Standards Board (ASB)

  • The ASB is the largest it has been, currently at 8 members.  Members include: 5 Certified Generals, 2 Certified Residential, and 1 Personal Property
  • The Second Exposure Draft for 2016-2017 USPAP is out for comment, some changes:

o    Definition of “Report”

  • Communication of Assignment Results/Drafts
  • Standard 3
  • Retrospective versus Prospective Value Opinions
  • Reasonable Exposure Time
  • Statement 9
  • Confidentiality & Ethics Rule.  This rule as written as a few unintended consequences.  As written, an appraiser is unable to show the appraisal report under investigation to their own attorney due.  Additionally, the board is considering two confidentially concerns.  One, how does the rule apply to clients that are no longer in existence, such as bankrupt banks.  Also, how the rule applies to staff members of an appraisal company.
  • Courses being worked on by the ASB

o    Appraisal Review Courses

o    A course providing a more in-depth look at the applications of USPAP (beyond the 7- and 15-hour courses).  This would be an optional course which would look at USPAP as it applies to extraordinary circumstances.

 

Rick Baumgardener, Chair of Appraisal Practices Board (APB)

  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) Process

o    Mr. Baumgardener discussed the Subject Matter Expert (SME) Process.  There is currently a SME pool of approximately 100 experts in various topics.  Once a project has been identified, SME’s will define the Scope of Work for the project and the AQB will approve before the project moves forward.  This is not meant to be a “How To” guide, but only provide the basic information for appraisers.  The current SME project is the Valuation of Green Buildings.  There is a Second Exposure Draft – Valuation of Green Buildings:  Background & Core Competency out for comment.  Future projects will divide Valuation of Green Buildings into Residential and Non-Residential buildings.  The APB is now considering new projects, including:

  • Collection and Verification of Sales Comparable Data
  • Green Buildings Residential
  • Green Buildings Non-Residential
  • Tangible and Non-Tangible Assets
  • Valuation of Financial Reporting

 

Criminal History Reports and Background Checks – Defensible Decisions

  • Anne Petit, Superintendent of the Ohio State Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing discussed Defensible Decisions in Administrative Regulation.  Ohio has been completing Background Checks on appraiser applicants for some time.  She covered the ethical and legal concerns related to implementation.  Denials are appealable, but the applicant must appeal to the state board.
  • Alec Stone, Legal Counsel for California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers stated that California statute now requires all new applicants to pass a background check.  It is not yet clear if upgrades are required to pass a background check.  Mr. Stone stated that 15% to 30% of initial applicants have a “rap” sheet, and over half of these are related to DUI’s.  Less than 5% of offences are related to drug felonies or sexual misconduct, and less than 1% is related to fraud.

 

NMLS System (National Multiple Licensing Services)

  • Tim Doyle, Senior VP, Conference of State Bank Supervisors discussed the NMLS System.  It is available to State Regulators as a method to track their Appraiser licensees.  It tracks pertinent data, including licenses, education, and discipline.  It is also compliant with 2017 background check requirement.  The systems are an approved channel for the FBI national database, required for proper background checks.  Submitted background checks are received back in 2 to 12 hours.

 

Panel Discussion:  Reducing Compliant Processing Times:  Successful Complaint Reductions Plans and ASC Review Findings

  • Panel:

o    Mark Mrnak, Enforcement Director, Texas

o    Danitra Kourkounakis, Enforcement Chief, Ohio

o    Elizabeth Seaters, Enforcement Chief, California.

  • Brian Weaver, Illinois Appraisal Coordinator asked Mark Mrnak on the panel about “Contingent Dismissals” used in Texas.  Mr. Mrnak stated that Contingent Dismissals are successfully used in Texas to avoid formal disciplinary.  This is available for 1st time offenders with minor or major deficiencies or 2nd time offenders with minor deficiencies.  The offender must agree to the terms of the conditional dismissal.  Terms may include courses, mentorship, or written assignments.  It is usually a short timeframe for completing terms (~6 months).  If offender meets required actions, the offense is dismissed with a warning letter which stays in the record, but it is not reported to ASC or AMC’s.  A future offense would still be considered a 1st time offense.  There are consequences if the terms are not met.  The mentorship program includes board approved mentors and the offenders must pay for the mentor’s time.  The offender is able to select their own mentor.
  • Scott DiBiasio, Appraisal Institute’s Manager of State and Industry Affairs asked panel how states might enforce compliance if appraiser was not required to comply with USPAP, only the USPAP Ethics and Competency Section, for Non-FRT (Federally Regulated Transactions) work.  Panel was unsure how to respond, and stated that states require appraisers to be compliant with USPAP.  Scott alluded to potential future changes that may require appraisers of Non-FRT appraisals to only comply with the Ethics and Competency Section of USPAP.

 

Panel Discussion:  Supervisor/Trainee Course Development & Maintenance

  • Panel:

o    John Brenan, The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) – introduced the Supervisory Appraiser/Trainee Appraiser Education Q&A published by The Appraisal Foundation.  Worth checking out if you’re a trainee or supervisor.  Note:  State may add to the requirements beyond the federal requirements.

o    Craig Steinley, South Dakota – implementation of a Supervisory/Trainee Appraiser course in South Dakota.  Mr. Steinley discussed the implementation of the education in South Dakota.  There is a core content section where the AQB provides minimum content.  A second portion is the jurisdictional topics related to supervisory and trainee topics specific to the state.  AQB allows the states to decide whether the course is considered Continuing Education or not.  AQB does not stipulate time requirements.  Training has ranged for various states has ranged from around four hours to two days.  Illinois course is not yet complete, but is likely going to be a one day 7-hour course for both sections, and likely to be available on the fall of 2014.  More to follow.

 

Panel Discussion:  Regulatory Issues:  Federal Legislation on Background Checks & the February AQB Exposure Draft

  • Panel:

o    Tim Doyle (NMLS) – Further discussed NMLS as a possible method for meeting background check compliance through the NMLS system.  Noted:  NMLS is owned by the Office of Comptroller and is a Not-for-Profit which is owned and regulated by state regulators.  Potential future additions to system include:  Examination Suite, Risk, Electronic Surety Bonds

o    John Brenan (TAF) – Discussed Exposure Draft – 2015 Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria as it relates to Background Checks

o    Doug Oldmixon (Texas) – Texas considering Background Checks for AMC’s.  Also considering statute that would prevent AMC’s from passing on cost to appraiser for excess requirements beyond state requirements.

 

Panel Discussion:  Regulatory Issues:  Appraiser and AMC Regulatory Issues and Updates

  • Panel:

o    Scott DiBiasio, Appraisal Institute – Federal Guidance.

  • Mr. DiBiasio discussed risk management guidance.  Regulated Institutions are responsible for actions of 3rd Part Entities, such as AMC’s.  This has moved more institutions (banks) to bringing AMC functions back in-house.  He stated that there are approximately 60% to 80% less residential appraisals ordered through AMC’s currently than in the past year.
  • 38 States have passed Comprehensive AMC Oversight & Registration Law and 17 jurisdictions have yet implemented any law.  There are many states now looking to update their AMC law.  Several states are considering a Recovery Fund versus Surety Bond.  Additionally, several states are finding Surety Bonds at $25,000 or less inadequate and increasing to $100,000.
  • Some states have added a State Board Member for AMC’s and others have developed an AMC Advisory Board to advise the State Board
  • Other Issues being discussed concerning AMC’s are what constitutes an AMC.  Dodd Frank Act, which currently relates primarily to residential appraisals, and if/how it relates to commercial appraisals.  There is also discussion on what distinctions (if any) should be made between companies with employees versus independent contractors.
  • New Proposed Rules for AMC Act were released last week.  Mr. DiBiasio offered a checklist he developed to help states analyze if they meet requirements (but stated it is only a working document, not a definitive guide).

AARO Fall Conference-The First in a Three Part Series

On behalf of ICAP Karen Emerle, SRA attended the Association of Regulatory Officials (AARO) Fall Conference, where discussions included reciprocity, USPAP updates, mandatory background checks and more.  This article, the first of a three-part series, summarizes the four days of regulatory discussion’s that will impact the future of real estate appraising for years to come.

The Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO) has a new mission statement and updated Bylaws, which were adopted October 2013.  According to their website www.aaro.net their mission is to improve the administration and enforcement of real estate appraisal laws in member jurisdictions.

This year’s fall conference held October 19-22, 2013 at the Westin Hotel, Washington D.C. was attended by representatives from the ASC, AF, ASB, AQB, APB, AMCs, Members of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, AI, IAAO, Farm Credit Mid-America, and the NC Deputy Director and Legal Counsel. Topics of discussion at the conference included:

  • Federal Updates;
  • Background Checks-Alternatives to the FBI;
  • AMC Registration and, Regulation Issues;
  • USPAP Update for Regulators;
  • Experience Training Concerns;
  • Differing Terminology, Expectations and Requirements in Review Appraisal;
  • a Town Hall covering a potpourri of topics and issues impacting the Appraiser Regulatory Agencies; and
  • Experience Training Today and Beyond, and Enforcement-Hearing Preparation.

Additionally, time was allocated to various committee meetings and closed sessions related to specific job functions of investigators, attorneys, board members, administrators and AMCs.

Part One-Federal Updates:

One of the ASC’s core functions is to monitor the requirements established by the States for certification and licensing of appraisers qualified to perform appraisals in connection with federally related transactions.  The Appraisal Subcommittee performs periodic Compliance Reviews of each State appraiser regulatory program to determine compliance, or lack thereof, with Title XI, and to assess the Program’s implementation of the AQB Criteria as adopted by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB).  Jim Park from the Appraisal Subcommittee provided historical context of legislation and announced that the AQB Policy Statements have been reduced from 10 to 7.  The policy statements provided States with the necessary information to maintain their Programs in compliance with Title XI.  The revised statements are as follows:

  • 1 –Statutes, Regulations, Policies and Procedures Governing State Programs;
  • 2 –Temporary Practice;
  • 3 –National Registry;
  • 4 –Application Process;
  • 5 –Reciprocity;
  • 6 –Education;
  • 7 –State Agency Enforcement; and
  • 8 –Interim Sanctions.

Policy Statements 1 through 7 correspond with the categories that are evaluated during the Compliance Review process and included in the ASC Compliance Review Report and Policy Statement 8 sets forth required procedures in the event that interim sanctions are imposed against a State by the ASC.  Mr. Park also discussed the revised Compliance Review Findings categories for state programs as follows:

  • Excellent;
  • Good;
  • Needs improvement;
  • Not satisfactory; and
  • Poor.

To view the Appraisal Subcommittees Policy Statements (revised June, 2013) Click Here.

Mr. Park discussed appraisal reciprocity, reiterating the ASC suggestions that States consider implementing, at a minimum, the following features in their reciprocity policies:

  • A simple application;
  • No reexamination;
  • No additional review of an applicant’s education or experience;
  • Reciprocal licensing or certification fees similar in amount to the corresponding fees for “home” State appraisers; and
  • The collection and forwarding to the ASC of the National Registry fee for each reciprocally licensed or certified appraiser.

Reciprocity’s main benefit is that appraisers who qualify for certification or licensing in one State may freely cross into another State without needing to “register” for each appraisal assignment in the other State. Therefore, a duly certified or licensed appraiser in one State can be recognized as such in each of the other States in which he or she is licensed or certified by reciprocity.  The ASC endorses reciprocity and urges the States to establish permanent reciprocity arrangements promptly to address the needs of certified or licensed appraisers who practice on a non-temporary, multi-state basis.

Mr. Park also discussed the Appraisal Complaint National Hotline (Hotline), which is to refer complaints to the appropriate State and/or Federal agencies in order to handle complaints of alleged violations of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and/or appraisal independence requirements.

As part of its State agency monitoring process, the ASC will evaluate the effectiveness with which each State agency follows up complaints from financial institutions and other persons who report instances of appraiser incompetence or unethical behavior.  Mr. Park indicated that Dodd Frank gave the Appraisal Subcommittee the authority to follow up on complaints; however, did not give it the authority to handle complaints.  It was noted that as of the date of the conference the ASC has chosen no to follow up on complaints. Click the following to go to the Appraisal Complaint National Hotline.

In addition to the discussions regarding the Hotline Mr. Park indicated that the ASC is working on the following special projects:

  • Develop a plan for the establishment of an ASC Advisory Committee (by the end of 2014) which pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act will give the ASC new rulemaking and additional sanctioning authority;
  • Create a unique National Registry number for each appraiser, which will be available to the appropriate State and Federal regulatory agencies to simplify multi-State queries regarding specific appraisers.  This unique appraiser identifier will provide the background and schooling of every appraiser;
  • The development of Webinars on the recent changes for State Programs.

To view the Appraisal Subcommittees 5-year Strategic Plan (2014-2018) Click Here.

John Brenan of The Appraisal Foundation spoke about the changes in the 2014-15 USPAP, to view The Foundations video presentation of the changes in the 2014-15 USPAP click the following link: Video: 2014-15 USPAP Summary of Actions, while this video is not intended to replace a course it does provide summary information about the recent changes and provides assistance in advance of USPAP update course.

Mr. Brenan addressed the unintended consequences that Dodd Frank had on Appraiser/Client Communication and the erroneous belief that one can’t talk to an appraiser or ask questions. To address some of the misunderstandings regarding Dodd Frank The Appraisal Foundation is developing a brochure and new videos; of which, one will be directed to consumers that they anticipate  will debut in November 2013 with the purpose to help home buyers understand lenders underwriting decisions.

Mr. Brenan also discussed a course currently being developed by Larry Disney that will address the examination of appraisals in order to make sure the examination process is handled appropriately.  In addition, Mr. Brenan indicated that the Appraisal Subcommittee is working on a State Investigator Training Course that will be offered for free to state investigators.   The Appraisal Subcommittee is also looking at the possibility of reviving the interest in publishing a compilation of court cases from various States.

The Appraisal Subcommittee has several other items that they are considering looking into including the possibility of building an appraiser database to substantiate the value of green building adjustments and addressing Geographical Competency.

Barry Shea from the Appraisal Standards Board discussed USPAP education courses and the 2016 USPAP publication.  Mr. Shea mentioned that changes must be adopted by early 2015 for the 2016 Publication.  The issues currently being discussed for the 2016-2017 release of USPAP are:

  • Clarifying or rewriting definitions; including, draft reports and revised appraisal reports;
  • Incorporating Advisory Opinions into the rules and standards; and
  • Determining if the level of understanding of USPAP is where it should be.

Wayne Miller from the Appraisal Qualification Board discussed topics related to Real Property Qualifications Criteria, national exams, age and education level of new exam applicants. Mr. Miller indicated that in 2015 the education requirement will be a Bachelors Degree or higher and that USPAP instructors must complete the Instructor Recertification Course (IRC) before March 3, 2014 if they wish to continue to teach. Mr. Miller discussed the AQB’s Course Approval Program (CAP) which was established at the request of and as a service to state appraiser regulatory agencies and providers of real estate appraisal education. The AQB hopes this voluntary program will provide a minimum level of acceptance for real estate appraisal education courses meeting the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria established by the AQB. The CAP has 300 courses including 8 university degree programs that are approved by the AQB.  To read more about the AQB’s CAP program Click Here.

John Brenan from the Appraisal Practices Board (APB) discussed that the APB is looking for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), who are recognized individuals with expertise in the specific topic being considered, to research and detail all pertinent sources of existing information on the given topic.  The APB offers voluntary guidance in topic areas which appraisers and users of appraisal services feel are the most pressing.  Currently the APB is working on valuation of green buildings which will have three core segments including:

  • Background;
  • Competency; and
  • Methodology

Other APB projects include appraising newly constructed residential properties, collection and verification of data and a concept paper regarding the valuation issues with appraising tangible and intangible property (specifically with regard to hotel valuation). The APB valuation advisory website currently has 5 valuation advisory topics on their website. To access a APB Valuation advisory topic click below:

APB Valuation Advisory #1: Identification of Contributory Assets and Calculation of Economic Rents

Identification of Contributory Assets and Calculation of Economic Rents (Tool Kit)

APB Valuation Advisory #2: Adjusting Comparable Sales for Seller Concessions

APB Valuation Advisory #3:  Residential Appraising in a Declining Market

APB Valuation Advisory #4:  Identifying Comparable Properties – Revised

APB Valuation Advisory #5:  Identifying Comparable Properties in Automated Valuation Models for Mass Appraisal

Mr. Brenan indicated that only 30% of appraisers belong to a professional organization and that that the Appraisal Practices Board was developed to inform the appraisers who don’t belong to a professional organization.

During the conference attendees were reminded that the AQB strongly encourages all interested parties including appraisers to comment on exposure documents. All potential revisions to USPAP, qualification criteria, and voluntary guidance on recognized methods and techniques, as well as many other ASB, AQB and APB communications are released for comment prior to adoption. The AQB encourages public input and considers all comment letters prior to taking any final action.  To review the Appraisal Foundations exposure Drafts and to comment click here.

~ Karen T. Emerle, SRA

2012 LOGO

ICAP Board Member attended the Appraisal Foundations first public meeting of the Appraisal Practices Board

In order to keep their membership informed of industry changes; ICAP Board Member Brian Masterson attended the Appraisal Foundations first public meeting of the Appraisal Practices Board (APB).

According to their webpage, www.appraisalfoundation.org, The APB has been charged with the following:

  • Providing financial support for the work of the AQB, APB and ASB,
  • Appointing members to the AQB, APB and the ASB, and
  • Oversight of the activities of the Foundation Boards & Advisory Councils.

In addition, the APB has the responsibility of identifying and issuing opinions on Recognized Valuation Methods and Techniques, which may apply to all disciplines within the appraisal profession, and will offer voluntary guidance in topic areas which appraisers and users of appraisal services feel are the most pressing.

The APB consists of seven members as well as individual panels of Subject Matter Experts (individuals with expertise in the specific areas under consideration) who are tasked with researching and vetting the pressing issues, allowing for public comments, ultimately resulting in the adoption of “guidance that may include more than one recognized method or technique that addresses the specific topic.”

Among the issues the APB disused were “Adjusting Comparable Sales for Seller Paid Concessions” and “Residential Appraising in a Declining Market” (First Exposure Drafts found here: https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/download.aspx?id=seb1923e99be47968#).  These drafts offer real world insight on how practicing appraisers can address these issues.

While USPAP Advisory Opinions offer guidance, the APB takes it a step further and offers actual guidance with real world examples.  The second exposure draft of these topics will be released in January, 2012 and will have a 30 day exposure period.

Guidance offered by the APB is voluntary, and the Appraisal Institute is urging the APB to remove the statement acknowledging that guidance documents may be adopted by government agencies. Additionally, the Appraisal Institute is urging that all guidance documents – including the current Exposure Draft – at a minimum, should include a clear statement in the preamble along the following lines:

“This voluntary guidance for appraisers is not intended for enforcement purposes or for direct incorporation or incorporation by reference, into state laws affecting the standards by which opinions of value of real property are developed”.  

To read a letter written by the Appraisal Institute to the Chairman of the Appraisal Practices Board Click: www.appraisalinstitute.org/newsadvocacy/downloads/ltrs_tstmny/2011/ai_afb_exposure_draft_fnl.pdf

Before adjourning the meeting the board members emphasized the importance of involving every day appraisers in helping to establish the industry standards that impact their profession.  The thoughts of the Appraisal Institute are that the codification of best practice documents places the quality of appraisal reports at risk, as it likely would cause appraisers to fixate on procedures, rather than analyzing and reporting the market. With appraisal, there may be more than one “right” way to approach a problem, and these may not be fully captured in guidance documents; in addition, it may stunt the development of legitimate methods and techniques that are developed in response to new technologies and client and consumer needs.  ICAP is encouraging its membership to get involved and share their expertise with the APB, an application can be obtained by e-mailing SMEapplicants@appraisalfoundation.org.

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