Fannie Mae Clarifies CU Details; AI Seeks More Answers

ai-blog-presidents-header-2015 I’m very excited to let you know that AI has secured an outstanding keynote speaker for this year’s Annual Meeting.

Photographer Dewitt Jones to Keynote AI Annual Meeting
The Appraisal Institute announced February 18 that Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic magazine photographer, author and Academy Award-nominated film director, will be the keynote speaker at its 2015 Annual Meeting, which takes place July 27-29 in Dallas.

Jones will talk about the creative process and how it helped shape his professional career, including 20 years at National Geographic, shooting advertising campaigns for such clients as United Airlines and Dewar’s Scotch, earning two Academy Award nominations and authoring nine books.

The Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting will feature a wide variety of panel discussions, and provide opportunities for networking, continuing education (with the chance to earn Appraisal Institute continuing education credit and state CE credit), an awards dinner, exhibits and numerous options for exploring the city of Dallas.

Registration will open March 3 and there’s a special rate in effect through March 30. Also, be sure to follow the Annual Meeting conversation on Twitter (#AIConnect15).

Learn more about the AI Annual Meeting and register.

New AI Form Helps Analyze ‘Green’ CRE Features
The Appraisal Institute on February 11 released a form intended to help analyze values of commercial buildings’ energy-efficient features. It is the first of its kind intended for appraisers’ use.

AI’s Commercial Green and Energy-Efficient Addendum offers a communication tool that lenders may use as part of the scope of work. The addendum also assists investors in communicating the construction features of the property that impact income.

Read more about the Commercial Green and Energy-Efficient Addendum and download the form.

Fannie Mae Clarifies CU Details; AI Seeks More Answers

Fannie Mae clarified key details of its new Collateral Underwriter tool in a February 4 letter to single-family lenders, noting that CU does not accept or reject appraisal reports or characterize an appraisal report as “good” or “bad.”

The Appraisal Institute sees the clarifications as a helpful – and necessary – step because it has received many questions about CU since its January 26 implementation, some of which are addressed in the lender letter. For example, AI has heard that some lenders reportedly asked appraisers to “clear” or “override” CU messages, which is something appraisers are unable to do. Fannie’s letter clarifies that those steps are not required of lenders.

AI noted in January that programs like CU should not become a gateway for less experienced reviewers to get involved in the appraisal review process.

Read Fannie Mae’s Lender Letter LL-2015-02.

Further, AI launched a Collateral Underwriter Implementation section within the AI Communities of Practice. Learn more about providing feedback via the CoP.

AI Opposes Appraisal Threshold Increase, Requests Regulatory Relief

In written testimony, submitted February 19 to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the Appraisal Institute argued against increasing the current appraisal threshold of $250,000 – as some community banks have suggested – saying it was unnecessary; however, AI noted that it was necessary to rethink appraisal policy and guard against “rules-based” processes.

The testimony was delivered as part of a set of Senate Banking Committee hearings on “Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions” held February 9 and 12.

Federal regulators indicated that the current appraisal “de minimis” threshold is under review because of complaints from rural community banks, but also because of a regularly scheduled review of paperwork reduction policies. In its testimony, AI affirmed that the majority of residential rural loans actually fall below the current appraisal requirement threshold and questioned the need for expansion.

AI’s testimony also noted concern about some programs and initiatives from The Appraisal Foundation and about the long-term impact of Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter program on the mortgage lending review process, as well as the appraisal process.

Learn more about AI’s written testimony.

AI Enhances Thought Leadership, Attends Key Industry Events
In keeping with the Appraisal Institute’s commitment to convey its thought leadership to valuation professionals and others, AI Immediate Past President Ken Wilson, MAI, SRA, and Bill Garber, director of government and external relations, represented the organization at the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 outreach meeting, February 4, in Dallas.

Additionally, AI exhibited at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo, February 1-4, in San Diego, and at the American Bankers Association’s National Conference for Community Bankers, February 8-11, in Boca Raton, Florida. Also, I was joined by Sandy Adomatis, SRA, for a presentation at the Residential Energy Services Network’s Building Performance Conference, February 16, in San Diego.

Other News Around AI
And here’s some other important news from the Appraisal Institute:

  • The Appraisal Institute’s “Opinions of Value” blog and its video on how data impacts appraisals both received AVA Digital Awards honoring excellence in digital communication. The blog received a Platinum award in the Web Element/Blog category, while the video received a Gold award in the Informational Video category from the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals.
  • AI posted two new videos to its YouTube channel. Terry Dunkin, MAI, SRPA, SRA; Steve Roach, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS; Kyle Redfearn, MAI; and Mark Linne, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, discuss some of their most interesting valuation assignments, and another video outlines how AI provides solutions to the valuation profession.
  • The Appraisal Institute continues to grow its social media presence. Be sure to follow AI on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Best wishes for a prosperous month!