Congress hears appeals to fix dysfunctional appraisal system; expect bill next year, says Adam Martinez, chairman of Rose Law Group Real Estate Litigation Department

appraisalBy Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance recently held a hearing on “Modernizing Appraisals: A Regulatory Review and the Future of the Industry.” According to the committee memorandum, the hearing was called to “Examine the appraisal industry since the creation of the Appraisal Subcommittee in 1989, review the Dodd-Frank Act’s impact on appraisers, consumers and stakeholders, and explore the future of appraisals, including alternative home valuation methods.” Six panelists presented more than a hundred pages of prepared testimony. Some highlights.


Federal regulations for real estate appraisers have been untouched for nearly 30 years. Most agree it is time for an overhaul of the system. The question however, is whether appraisers should continue to be under the heavy federal regulatory scheme and state regulation, or whether the time has come to reduce federal oversight.

Appraisers are one of the most heavily regulated professions in the United States. Many appraisers worry that continuing or increasing federal regulations will have an adverse effect on the industry, which has shrunk in recent years with fewer appraisers entering the profession, and will not improve the quality of appraisals – key concerns for appraisers, consumers, and other market participants. Appraisers disagree that alternative valuation methods are necessary, particularly the creation of a one-size-fits-all set of methods for valuation.

Rather, they believe eliminating federal “red tape” and focusing on improving the quality of appraisals best serve the industry and marketplace. No legislation has been introduced, but is likely to be introduced in 2017.

~ Adam Martinez

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November 2016