Appraisal Management Company Not Paying Reasonable Fees


Appraisal Management Company Not Paying Reasonable Fees, Agency Says

An appraisal management company has agreed to pay a $5,000 administrative fee and adopt a fee schedule after an investigation by the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board found the company wasn’t paying appraisers “customary and reasonable fees” as required under the federal Dodd-Frank financial services reform law, enacted in 2010.

Find more information about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on realtor.org.

The company, Coester Appraisal Management Group, based in Rockville, Md., has also agreed to submit reports to the state appraisal board on a quarterly basis for a year.

The company says it has done nothing wrong and is voluntarily complying with the state’s instructions.

Under Dodd-Frank, which passed in the wake of the housing bust, lenders are required to take an arm’s lengths approach to hiring appraisers. One way to do that is by hiring appraisal management companies, which hire the appraisers and set their fees, keeping a portion of the fees for themselves. Dodd-Frank requires the companies to pay appraisers fees that are considered “customary and reasonable.”

Read more on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, on which Dodd-Frank appraisal rules are based.

Appraisers have complained for years about the size of the cut appraisal management companies pay themselves. The action by the Louisiana board is the first disciplinary action taken by a state agency on the issue of fees and is likely to be closely watched by the industry.

Source: “Louisiana Fines Appraisal Firm for Not Paying ‘Reasonable’ Fees,” American Banker, (June 8, 2015), La. Appraisers Board Now Says Coester AMC Didn’t Violate State Law,” National Mortgage News (June 8, 2015)

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