Chicago-based appraisal management company (AMC) Solidifi has announced its compliance with the new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Appraiser Independence and Appraiser Engagement regulations announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development last month.
The new rules, which bear a similarity to Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) regulations, intend to insulate the appraisal process from undue influence by loan originators, and apply to all FHA loans in process after Jan. 1, 2010.
The FHA guidelines require lenders to ensure appraisers have geographic competency and knowledge of a subject property area. Solidifi's executive vice president of sales and marketing, Loren Cooke, says the company's appraisal service tracks and displays appraisers' performance metrics and credentials, including geographic competency and real-time distance to subject properties.
"We allow lenders to set their minimum performance and credential levels of an appraiser they want to work with – including geographic competency, which can be as specific as setting a tolerance of a 20-mile radius of the property," he says. "Geographic competency will be another challenge for traditional AMCs to deal with as they struggle to comply, especially within the constraints of their already-high cost structures."