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FHFA Seeks Input on Appraisal-Related Policies, Practices and Processes

Jan 21, 2021

On December 28th, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a Request For Information on appraisal-related policies, practices, and processes to ensure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate safely and soundly while seeking ways to modernize the appraisal process.

Specifically, the FHFA is interested in how modernizing appraisals can improve loan quality and the origination process without subjecting the appraisal process to unintended risk.

Further, the FHFA is seeking input on four areas related to appraisals:

  • Appraisal modernization; 
  • The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and the design of appraisal forms; 
  • Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and appraisal waivers; and
  • Valuation differences by borrower and neighborhood ethnic makeup.

One modernization approach considered by the Enterprises is to implement hybrid, or bifurcated, appraisals. The hybrid appraisal enlists a third party, such as an appraiser trainee, home inspector, or real estate agent, to collect and send data from their inspection to an Enterprises’ automated underwriting system.

If further analysis is needed, a desktop appraisal will be conducted. With loan originations at an all-time high, this could dramatically reduce wait times in high volume and rural areas. Despite the hybrid model’s perceived benefits, the FHFA understands the risk of third party involvement, who do not follow the same standards as appraisers.

ASA is reviewing the RFI and intends to file comments. To read the FHFA RFI, click here.

In conjunction with this request, On February 11th, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will host a public listening session as part of the Request for Input (RFI) on appraisal-related policies, practices, and processes. The individual input and feedback received in response to the RFI will be considered by FHFA to determine the necessary modifications needed to ensure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) operate safely and soundly.

The session is tentatively scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and conclude by 4 p.m. ET. You may request a brief (10-minute) speaking slot by completing the registration by February 8th. Written feedback can also be submitted no later than February 26th on FHFA.gov.

 To register for the public listening session, click here.