The Government Accountability Office recently released a report examining real estate valuations in the wake of the recent mortgage crisis. The report, used data from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and five of the biggest mortgage lenders. It revealed that valuations received through broker price opinions and automated valuation models take less time and are less costly than traditional appraisal reports, but traditional appraisal reports are still mandated for almost all first-lien residential loan originations due to their greater reliability. The report noted that appraisal management companies are becoming more prominent because of regulations that prevent conflicts of interest in the appraiser selection process.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires state appraisal licensing boards to supervise AMCs. The law also mandates that federal banking regulators, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau create minimum standards for states to apply in registering AMCs. However, the report states that federal regulators have not finished rulemaking to establish state standards. Dodd-Frank broadened the role of the Appraisal Subcommittee, which oversees state appraiser regulatory programs, monitors requirements relating to appraisal standards for federal financial institutions, maintains a National Registry of state-certified and licensed appraisers and monitors and reviews operations of the Appraisal Foundation. However, the ASC has been restricted in meeting its responsibilities under Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, the report noted.