Friday, April 1, 2011

Let The Whining Begin

Guess what day it is? That is correct, DF is now in effect. Granted there is still a lot of legal rambling out there, but now is the time for all of you to stand up and be heard! Below Valocity has sent out a notice that pretty much says you aren’t in control, they area. Well…Blahh Blahh Blahh.

When is everyone just going to say, “no”? If we all did, they would be forced to play by our rules. All of our fellow peers that aren’t aware should be reminded how much power we have working together! It is our profession, not theirs. Urrrr. Just say, no!

Michael Imes
michael at appinc dot net

[Check out this hogwash - AMCs can certainly be depended upon to struggle valiantly to be allowed to continue skimming their fees from our work. M. Tabor]

An Important Message from Valocity Regarding Dodd-Frank

With the April 1st deadline for full implementation now just hours away, we wanted to reach out to every affiliate appraiser on Valocity's panel to bring you up to speed on the Dodd-Frank bill. We know how important this is to all of our appraisers and we have spent great effort over the past year to see that appraisers receive higher compensation for their work.

Dodd-Frank was signed into law in July of 2010. If you have been following the news on this saga, you are aware that the original intent of Title XIV covering Customary and Reasonable Fees, was based on the presumption that AMCs should pay appraisers "retail" fees or fees calculated absent AMC involvement.

We were disappointed that at the 11th hour certain lobbyists and others with influential voices were able to add an additional "presumption" that allows Customary and Reasonable to be calculated with the inclusion of fees historically paid to appraisers by AMCs. To add insult to injury, this newly-added method of calculating Customary and Reasonable was referred to as Presumption 1, while the original method, which excluded historical AMC fees, was suddenly being referred to as the "alternative" presumption.

Valocity has been actively involved in monitoring the progress of Dodd-Frank from its inception all the way to today. We have been doing everything in our power to strongly recommend to our lending clients that the safest and best path to take is to adopt Presumption 2. We recommend it not just because it offers them the best chance of avoiding any regulatory entanglements, but quite frankly, because it's the right thing to do for the industry as a whole and for appraisers in particular.

Valocity has always prided itself on its commitment to appraisal quality. And that begins with attracting and retaining the best and most experienced appraisers to our nationwide panel. We try very hard to operate in the most appraiser-friendly manner we can. To accomplish that, we have been working with our lending clients and promoting a "Cost - Plus" approach where they pay customary and reasonable to the appraiser based on Presumption 2, and then pay a management fee for all of the other services that Valocity provides as their AMC.

Many lenders continue to be extremely tight-lipped about which Presumption they will adopt, and how they feel about the cost-plus approach. But they ultimately drive the decision because they bear the burden of potential exposure to significant fines by the Federal Reserve if they are deemed to be paying fees that are not Customary and Reasonable.

Some of our clients have already indicated that they will modify their fees. Some of them have indicated that they feel they were already in compliance with Customary and Reasonable. And still others, even at this late hour, have yet to fully communicate with us what their intention is. Some clients have come right out and asked us what they should do. For them, we have of course, advocated a Presumption 2 approach.

We should know within a week which direction virtually all of them will go. But with the April 1st deadline looming, we felt it was important to make all of you aware of the many variables that are still in play.

Valocity has vehemently lead the charge with our clients in promoting Dodd-Frank's original intent of paying "retail" fees. Clearly lenders realize there are now two distinctly different options. We are awaiting client decisions as their legal departments weigh the options and give us final direction. At the end of the day, we have to do what we can to stay competitive and to continue to provide you with a steady flow of work at the best fees we can possibly offer. Right now, we continue to be staunch supporters of Presumption 2. But like any organization in any mortgage industry sector, we have to be flexible and willing to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.

We are aware of how important this is for all appraisers, and we will do our best to keep you informed as we gain further clarity in the coming days and weeks. We encourage you to keep a good outlook and to focus, as you always have, on continuing to produce the industry's very best appraisals. We are hopeful that there will still be some positive adjustments by lenders as they begin to receive negative feedback from appraisers.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Valocity directly at 866.367.8611 or


The Valocity Team

Note: A comment was submitted to this post that I will not publish with the vulgar reference. If you want to resubmit without the obscenity, I'll post your comment. It would also be nice if you had more of the courage you demand of the rest of us, and did not hide behind "Anonymous."

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