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House Committee on Veterans Affairs Holds Hearing on VA Loan Appraisal Issues

Apr 05, 2017

On April 4, the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs held a hearing entitled “Assessing VA Approved Appraisers and How to Improve the Program for The 21st Century”. The hearing was designed to “assess VA’s current appraisal process, as well as specific difficulties for timely appraisals in highly rural areas”, as well as to investigate possible technological solutions to mitigate timeliness issues.

Much of the hearing focused on two areas: The requirements for becoming a member of the VA appraiser panel, and the baseline requirements for comparable sales data in VA appraisal reports. Most witnesses were supportive of the current VA panel structure, going so far as to call it the “gold standard” in the appraisal community. One witness, Russell Johnson of Clear Capital, suggested that desktop appraisals could streamline the work flow for VA appraisers, though others were skeptical of the ability to use this approach in rural and remote areas where data is scarce.

At the end, Subcommittee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) asked the witness panel to come back within a month with recommendations regarding ways to improve appraiser availability and willingness to perform VA appraisal assignments. The full witness panel included:

  • Mr. Jeffrey London Director Loan Guaranty Service Veterans Benefits Administration U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Accompanied by: Mr. Gerald Kifer Supervisory Appraiser Loan Guaranty Service Veterans Benefits Administration U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • Ms. Michelle Bradley 2016 Real Property Valuation Committee Chair National Association of Realtors
  • Mr. Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS Vice President Appraisal Institute
  • Mr. Russell Johnson Chief Revenue Officer Clear Capital

To see the full video of the hearing, click here.